8 Disadvantages of Fingerprint Attendance System

With the exponential rise of smartphones, fingerprint sensing has become necessary for the masses. The use of biometric login for devices like mobiles, tablets, and even laptops is standard now. However, in the post-pandemic era, where the focus is on limiting physical contact, the same fingerprint recognition technology can prove to be obstructive. Many firms relied on fingerprint attendance systems to manage their workforce as they offered better security and automation. But, when COVID-19 struck, the same fast and non-invasive attendance systems became hotspots for spreading the infection. In the wake of the seriousness of the situation, state and local governments in India suspended the use of fingerprint biometric attendance systems. According to a Mint Report, a leading Indian telecom operator replaced 650 fingerprint-based attendance systems with facial recognition systems across India. A large steel-producing company embraced the exact change. These are some instances that bring forth the disadvantages of fingerprint biometrics. The disadvantages of the fingerprint attendance system are not limited to just the fear of touch that affects employees' mental and emotional states. In this article, we explore these disadvantages in detail.

The drawbacks of depending on fingerprint attendance systems

1. Issues with recognition of damaged fingerprints

There is a lack of flexibility to identify the person in case of a cut or wound or when fingerprints are smudged with dirt or grease. Fingerprint sensors are sensitive, which works in their favor if the fingers are clean, but these sensors are inefficient for industries like mining, construction, and manufacturing. The workforce in these industries either wears safety gear like gloves or has dirt and dust on their fingers. It makes it cumbersome for them to record their attendance.

2. Deployment can be expensive

Fingerprint attendance systems are entirely dependent on hardware and peripherals. It is often expensive to scale these systems as you will need to install hardware at every location. There is no alternative to investing in new hardware every time. For companies that have a primarily distributed workforce, with employees working on remote sites or massive production floors, disadvantages of biometric scanning become evident.

3. Fingerprint data can get stolen

Fingerprint attendance systems often store data about physical traits such as fingerprint and palm veins in a local database. This information is linked with individual workers. It is essential to keep the data protected at times. Companies enabling fingerprint attendance systems have to deploy measures to prevent the data from being hacked or stolen.

4. Not ideal for remote and field workers

Dependence on standalone machines is one of the significant disadvantages of fingerprint identification. Such attendance systems require dedicated hardware to record attendance. Companies cannot deploy standalone kiosks at fields or remote locations.

5. Accuracy is not as high as facial recognition systems

Fingerprint attendance systems are not as accurate as facial recognition systems. Also, workers utilize tools and heavy machinery leading to wearing fingerprints for labor-intensive industries such as mining. It makes it difficult for machines to recognize the fingerprints leading to frustration. Workers have to fill out attendance sheets manually. Facial recognition systems are highly accurate as they do not depend on just set biometric attributes like fingerprints. Such systems use algorithms like EigenfacesFisherfaces, and Kernel Methods that are highly accurate. These systems can recognize an individual even with changing facial features like beard, glasses, or mask.

6. Less efficient than facial recognition system

Fingerprint attendance systems are not as versatile or fast as face recognition attendance systems. Systems like Truein easily integrate with HRMS/Payroll software, increasing the productivity of the HR team. Fingerprint attendance systems are highly dependent on hardware, making them prone to performance issues. Hardware components get heated with heavy usage, which decreases their efficiency.

7. Rate of error

Biometric attendance machines that use fingerprints are prone to two errors: False Acceptance Rate (FAR) and False Rejection Rate (FRR). When the system accepts an unauthorized person, it is a FAR error, while FRR occurs when the system rejects an authorized person. In studies, the total error rate of biometric systems is around 1%, implying that for an organization with 1000 employees, an error will occur for 100 employees when recording the attendance.

8. Environmental challenges

Fingerprint attendance systems have high error rates under extreme cold or heat. As they depend on hardware, deploying them to locations where the climate is harsh or changes rapidly poses a challenge. Because of all these disadvantages of fingerprint recognition, companies are switching to face recognition systems.

Why are face recognition attendance systems a better alternative to fingerprint systems?

Adopting a face recognition attendance system can eliminate all the above-listed disadvantages of the fingerprint attendance system. Face recognition attendance systems like Truein work on AI-enabled algorithms that do not depend on physical touch to identify a worker, offering touchless safety. These systems have almost 100% accuracy and work with facial hair, changes in facial features, aging, masks, etc. Additionally, these systems do not depend on custom hardware to record attendance. Workers can download supporting apps on their smartphones to mark attendance. It is advantageous for companies with workers at remote sites or fieldwork.

Truein: The Ultimate Face Recognition Attendance System

An ideal alternative to fingerprint attendance systems, Truein is an AI-powered Touchless Face Recognition Based Time & Attendance System. It offers a complete attendance solution that eliminates the need for any complicated hardware. Its mobile/tablet app enables companies to replace standalone fingerprint attendance machines. It provides selfie-based geofencing, automated attendance reports, leaves management, and centralized controls. Already, 250+ brands and companies are using Truein for attendance management. Therefore you can rely on their solutions and check for the benefits.
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Electronic Attendance System vs Hardware less Attendance System

All businesses have a requirement to record attendance to keep the track of workers. An attendance system helps recognize which workers are arriving late and how much to pay them. The traditional method of taking attendance involves old-fashioned punch clocks, attendance sheets, or some other kind of manual system that require human supervision. However, electronic attendance systems are also known as e-attendance systems and they are completely autonomous and require no human oversight.

Hardware-less attendance systems are the latest innovation in the industry that is also autonomous and doesn’t require any complicated hardware deployment at the site to mark attendance such as a mobile-based attendance system.

In this article, we are about to compare electronic attendance with hardware-less attendance systems to determine which one is best suited for your business needs.

What is an electronic attendance system?

An electronic attendance system has electronic components that are managed by software to take attendance. These systems are popularly known as automated attendance systems as they require minimal human supervision to function.

Depending on their operation, time and attendance systems can be of various types.

Types of electronic time and attendance system

1. Biometric attendance system

Employee using biometric machine

The most popular electronic attendance system is biometric. These systems are designed to identify unique physical traits of a person such as a fingerprint, handprint, retina, or face to record attendance.

2. Time Card

Employee Swiping time card by swiping machine

A time card attendance system is comparatively less expensive than other electronic attendance solutions. Their operation is simple, each employee receives a time card that they swipe on the machine. Every time a card is swiped, the data is collected and automatically transferred to a timesheet, eliminating any manual paperwork. The major drawback of this electronic time attendance system is buddy punching.

3. Proximity Cards, Badges, and Key Fobs

Employee using proximity card machine to mark in attendance

A more proficient upgrade to the time card system, these types of attendance systems work on geofencing or GPS technology. The employees only pass the proximity card, page, or key fob in front of the reader to mark the attendance. These systems can also be customized to track employee movements throughout the facility.

4. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Employee using Interactive Voice Response to clock in in remote locations

The IVR attendance system allows employees working in the field or at remote locations to clock in by calling in over a landline or cell phone.

5. Web-based Login Stations

Web based Login Station for creating static IP addresses of the employees

Most IT businesses where employees work from laptops or personal computers employ Web-based login stations. These systems set up a static IP address every time an employee logs into the computer.

Advantages of electronic attendance system

1. High Accuracy

The systems designed for electronic attendance are highly accurate. As these systems are entirely automated there is no scope for human error. On top of that, an electronic attendance system can keep track of any number of employees simultaneously, making the process highly efficient.

2. Simplifies Payroll

Let’s face it, tracking employee hours, verifying and collating payroll is a laborious and time-consuming task. Thankfully, an electronic attendance machine can simplify this process by automating the entire workflow of attendance keeping and the payroll process.

3. Integration / Configuration

An electronic attendance system can be customized to suit your needs based on the nature of work and policies. Most of these systems are designed to integrate with some of the most popular payroll software and services like Tally ERP and QuickBooks Intuit.

4. Security

Most electronic attendance management systems are built for security. These systems have highly secure architecture, especially biometric systems. The organizations where security is a primary concern can trust electronic attendance systems.

5. Productivity / Efficiency

Such attendance systems can free up precious administration time that is otherwise spent on keeping track of employees and managing the payroll system. The saved time and effort when combined with data accuracy improves productivity and hence the profits.

Why pick electronic attendance systems over manual systems?

An electronic attendance system is far superior to any manual system. These systems are much more accurate, require no human oversight, easily integrate with existing payroll software, and cannot be fooled easily.

In a world where modern technologies are making it cost-effective to deploy smart business management solutions, if you are still stuck with a manual attendance system, you are losing revenue and may also be paying for the hours your employees never worked.

That being said, there are some aspects where electronic systems lack.

Drawbacks of electronic systems compared to hardware-less attendance systems

An electronic time attendance system is not always a viable option. For instance, these systems have limited scope for businesses where employees are scattered over a large geographical area.

Hardware-less systems are more reliable in such a scenario as workers can clock in using their mobile phones.

Dependency on hardware sensors limits the efficiency of electronic systems in industries with a blue-collar workforce like mining and forging companies. Fingerprint systems are not as efficient here as workers’ fingers are often covered in dirt. For such a working environment, hardware-less systems like facial recognition are more efficient.

Post pandemic work culture is shifting towards minimizing physical contact for the safety of employees, making hardware-less attendance systems more viable.

Furthermore, electronic systems have higher maintenance cost due to hardware components. They also require more space for installation.

Do you need a hardware-less attendance system?

Yes, you do.

Irrespective of what type of your business is, a hardware-less system is a worthwhile investment. It can perform all the functions an electronic attendance system can, but is far more cost-effective. Truein is one such attendance system that is designed for employees, contractual and distributed workforce.

Why choose the Truein attendance system

Truein is an ideal hardware-less attendance system that is trusted by some of the biggest organizations. A touchless face recognition attendance system, Truein is designed to automate attendance policies and reports for your business.

A major upgrade Truein provides over other hardware-less attendance systems is the capability to recognize a face with a mask on. The AI-powered face recognition system can detect a person accurately even with a mask on or any facial attribute change such as beard or glasses.

There is a minimal cost of deploying this attendance system for your business. Employees can use their mobile or tablet to configure Truein’s app to mark their attendance.

There’s more, Truein automates payroll, leave managementshift rostering, and integration with third-party software.

Whatever your business’ attendance and employee management needs are, Truein can intelligently handle it all.

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Employee Time Theft and How To Prevent It

A successful business is built on many pillars, but most important of all is a reliable workforce. If you can trust your employees with respecting the rules at the workplace, it becomes easier to focus on other aspects of business growth. However, time theft can be a real nuisance if not dealt with.

According to several studies, time theft is one of the biggest reasons for the loss in business. A study estimates that most U.S. companies lose 20% of every dollar earned because of employee time theft.

The most widely implemented scrutiny method to prevent employees from stealing business property is installing CCTV cameras on the premises. However, this doesn’t work when employees are doctoring timesheets or punching in for a colleague.

You will be surprised to know that 30% of business failures are caused by some sort of employee theft or embezzlement. While one may argue that time theft is not the same as the removal of physical property, it nonetheless results in losses as it escalates labour costs and also wastes financial resources.

If you are struggling with the same issue and want to put an end to employee time theft, it is recommended that you start by recognizing how time theft can take place.

Different Types of Time Theft

Simply put, time theft is when employees are not working for the hours they are paid for. Although, once in a while it is acceptable, if it is a regular practice, it amounts to time theft. According to a study, an average employee steals 4.5 hours a week from their employer, that’s a total of 6 work weeks every year.

The most common ways in which employees do time theft are:

Buddy Punching

Buddy punching is when an employee punches into the time clock for a colleague if they are running late or leave early. It is the easiest way to trick the attendance system into thinking that the employee worked for the full day. As per an American Payroll Association study, more than 75% of companies lose money due to the practice of buddy punching.

Extended Breaks

Arguably, most innocent-looking time theft is when employees take too long breaks. While it is known that taking regular breaks keeps the productivity high in employees, but it must be closely monitored. Turning a 60-minute lunch break into a 75-minute break or extending 15-minute breaks by adding 5 minutes extra might not seem too drastic but when done consistently, the minutes add up pretty quickly.

For instance, smoke breaks have proved to be costly for companies. A study found that an average smoker takes roughly 6 days of smoke breaks a year, and this is only an average figure. For some industries, it adds up to 20 days a year.

Time Clock Theft

Time clock theft is when an employee manipulates or lies about the time they work for. Often, employees do not do it with the wrong intention and round up their hours to make it easier for payroll to calculate the work hours, however a few minutes every day start to add up over weeks or a month.

But some employees purposefully commit time theft. They can do it by simply asking their work buddy to clock in for them regularly. Others might intentionally not clock in and then lie about it later on. Another tricky practice is to clock in before they start working on the floor. Employees might enter the building, but they aren’t working when they should be.

Excessive personal time

Working hours are more productive when employees do not feel bound or restrictive. This is why it is a positive perk to allow employees to take a personal call or reply to a personal email when emergencies happen. However, when an employee starts to abuse the system and consistently takes excessive personal time it moves into the time theft category.

The most common instance of excessive personal time is when an employee runs their own business while at work. It can be anything, replying to customer emails or reaching out to them on social media platforms.

How to prevent time theft

Now that you are aware of how time theft is usually committed by employees and how disastrous it can be for your business, it is time to nip the evil in the bud.

Revise or Establish Time Theft Policies

Do you have clear time theft policies in place? If you do, when was the last time you reviewed the policies?

The time theft policies must be strategically framed such that your employees do not feel any unnecessary compulsion. Be aware of what you are asking of your employees. Make sure the policies are relevant and understandable. It is also important to adhere to employment standards in time theft policies.

Time theft policies that are too restrictive will make your employees feel unfair and ultimately result in a low rate of compliance. Implementing time theft policies that are employee-friendly can make a huge difference in your company’s morale.

Use tech to enhance accountability

Punch clocks and manual attendance registers are not going to make an impact and resolve the issue of time theft. You need to upgrade to more reliable attendance solutions like biometric systems. The fingerprint attendance system is the most commonly used biometric system that has replaced card swiping methods. However, in recent years, the pandemic has highlighted the need for systems that minimize human contact. Facial recognition attendance systems provide a solution to this issue. 

Attendance systems like Truein work on AI algorithms that allow employees to use their smartphones to clock in with face recognition.

Develop employee morale

When you increase employee morale their engagement and productivity increase simultaneously. It also makes employees more loyal to the organization. Often employee productivity decreases when workers see other employees getting away with time theft. Implementing time theft policies and using advanced attendance systems will curb such getaways, but what about those who are honest with their work hours?

Rewarding and recognizing such employees will encourage employee morale. Furthermore, you must try to create an environment of transparency, honesty, and trust. This will prevent time theft.

Be realistic with expectations of your staff

There lies a big difference between encouraging your workers to boost productivity and overworking them. Ensure that you are setting up realistic goals to be achieved by employees including managers.

If you set up unrealistic expectations that lead to break time getting cut or over time, your employees will start looking for ways to compensate for lost time. This is something you will not want. Be open about your expectations with your employees and communicate what is permitted during work hours and whatnot.

Make attendance system easy

No employee wants to manually put in work time or manage attendance sheets. You should work on making attendance systems less tedious. Smart attendance systems like Truein streamline the overall process and also reduce the cost incurred in hiring the human resource to manage attendance records.

FAQs About Employee Time Theft

Is employee time theft illegal?

While no legal policies are governing how the instances of time thefts must be dealt with, but companies have their policies. In some cases, time theft makes for the grounds for suspending an employee.

Is time theft common?

Yes. According to a study, 75% of employees do time theft at least once.

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How Biometric Attendance System Can Benefit Retail Stores?

The retail industry is one of the most dynamic sectors employing a large number of people. From customer representatives to order fulfilment executives, retail stores require employees to be distributed over a large area. This requirement poses challenges such as attendance maintenance of all employees & several other compliance issues.

Most retail brands have their store’s distributed over a large geographical network, employing a varying number of people. While the traditional attendance system like card punching machines offer a solution that is not efficient at protecting against problems like buddy punching.

To overcome these challenges, the retail market is embracing modern-day biometric attendance systems. As these attendance systems allow for faster, secure and efficient business operations, they can benefit any retail store. If you still haven’t adopted a biometric attendance system for retail, you must have your questions and doubts about their effectiveness.

In the ear of technological sophistication, you don’t have to settle for less efficient and legacy systems. This article is all about explaining the advantages of biometric attendance system for retail stores.

Biometric Attendance System For Retail Industry

Biometric attendance systems have witnessed a huge demand from the retail industry for several reasons. From improving the accuracy of attendance management to boosting the productivity of employees, these systems are truly game-changers.

At present, there are three main types of biometric attendance systems available for retail stores.

  • Fingerprint Technology For Retail Industry: The fingerprint recognition system recognise the ridges and valleys (minutiae) on the surface of the finger to verify the identity of the person but sometimes it take multiple attempts to scan the fingerprint because of cuts and sweat on the fingers. Fingerprint recognition systems are useful and effective against time theft, but in the post-pandemic era, the focus is on minimising contact. As such these systems suffer a drawback.
  • Eye Recognition Systems: As an alternative, the retail industry has the option to employ eye recognition systems for attendance marking. These systems have two modes of operation at the core. Some systems use iris recognition to identify an individual while others rely on retina recognition (they raise the patterns of veins in the back of the eye to identify an individual). Problem arises from their implementation as they require dedicated hardware installation and it is expensive as compared to other biometric attendance system.
  • Face Recognition Systems: The best biometric attendance system for retail, a face recognition system eliminates the need for contact to mark attendance and it is more accurate than other type of biometric attendance system. Such attendance systems analyse the facial patterns by using Artificial Intelligence to identify an individual.

Why your retail business needs a biometric attendance system?

As a retail business owner or store manager, your time is best invested in mentoring and training your staff rather than wasting it juggling personnel to fit open shifts, keeping track of employee productivity and scheduling working shifts from scratch. By adopting a time and attendance manager software you can free up a lot of time that can be invested in interacting with your customers and improving your business.

With biometric attendance systems like the one offered by Truein, any outlet, wholesale or factory store can considerably reduce the time spent on scheduling and marking attendance. Such software can also drastically improve your workforce efficiency, reduce labour costs and optimise staff planning. This is not only beneficial for you as a business owner, but also benefit your employees to have a better work-life balance.

1. Higher level of accuracy

Manually recording attendance and time leave scope for errors and inaccuracies. Even, employees are found to log their attendance timing wrong on purpose (time theft). The legacy attendance systems like card punching machines are also susceptible to such behaviour from employees. However, when you use a biometric attendance system you do away with such errors eliminating any possibility of time theft.

Furthermore, such systems allow employees to monitor their own time, work schedules and appointments online via their smartphones or other devices. As the entire attendance system is cohesive, any schedule changes are updated live for all employees.

2. Higher Productivity

Retail stores with a lesser number of employees can manage with less efficient attendance systems, but when you have a larger workforce, it can be a problem. At the end of the day, if employees have to manually enter time into the payroll software or you have to gather up time cards, it puts in an enormous amount of effort, not to mention a lot of time wasted.

With a biometric attendance system, you can cut attendance marking and payroll processing tasks from hours down to minutes. As retail employees have a scheduling app, they do not have to wait for their turn to mark attendance.

3. Track Employees Easily

Retail stores require employees to be scattered over a large place which makes it difficult to track employees. With biometric attendance systems, you can easily track field-based and remote employees when they clock in/out using systems or mobile devices with GPS tracking. As the software can track the GPS location of mobile devices, you do not have to invest in any additional hardware.

You can put up geofencing to prevent time theft and mandate employees to be within a defined distance to be able to clock in. Furthermore, face recognition attendance systems use facial features to verify and record time, hence employees cannot game the attendance system through buddy punching.

4. Manage flexible work schedules easily

A retail business has requirements beyond just storekeeping. There is logistics, inventory and security involved. This is why the retail industry employs part-time, full-time and contract employees. The clocking options vary depending on the type of employee. The modern-day attendance management software allows managers to deploy and monitor employees regardless of where they are working from or what type of schedule they are on. This deletes a lot of overhead and makes it infinitely easier to manage flexible work schedules and allot shifts to employees easily.

5. Happy employees

A biometric attendance system not only benefits businesses but also helps employees to be paid accurately on time. All the human error that occurs when timesheets are filled out manually is eliminated. The attendance is logged accurately and updated in the system that makes payroll processing a lot easier. At the end of the day, it ultimately results in happy employees who are paid for their hard work without any delay.

There are already several biometric attendance systems for retail stores available offered by different manufacturers, but Truein stands apart.

6. Truein biometric attendance system can help

Truein offers the most advanced Touchless Face recognition Attendance system on the market. The biometric attendance system they offer is based on artificial intelligence that can be implemented by any retail store without requiring any complicated hardware.

Why use Truein Touchless Face Recognition Attendance System?

Whether you run a small-scale retail store or own a franchise employing dozens of people, Truein is offering an easy way of attendance management.

1. No additional hardware requirement

Truein time and attendance management software can be deployed out of the box. As it is a mobile-based attendance system and the software works with smartphones and tablets, there is no need for additional hardware. It saves a lot of cost and time to upgrade the attendance system of your retail business.

2. User-friendly interface

The software is designed to be user-friendly irrespective of the device it is accessed from. With no complicated steps or manual actions involved, your employees will easily adapt to Truein, requiring minimal or no orientation.

3. Cloud-based attendance system

Truein stores the attendance data on the cloud, enabling anyone to access the employees’ data from any location using their verified devices. The HR managers can easily upload employee data in bulk using spreadsheets that make it a lot easier and efficient to manage organization-wide attendance data.

4. GPS and Geo fencing attendance

The attendance system comes with GPS and Geo-fencing technology, allowing you to mark attendance only from approved locations. Truein features selfie-based geo-fencing making it possible for employers to mark attendance from their mobile phones. It is a perfect solution for retail shop staff and contract workers.

5. Give different roles to different users

User-role management is possible with this biometric attendance system. You can assign different access to different users, based on their employment type and management position.

6. Flexibility to have different policies for different stores

If your retail business has different policies for different stores, still you can store them in the central database and customise them as per the requirement of individual stores.

7. Audit Punching

A highly useful feature of the Truein biometric attendance system is its audit punching capability. This feature randomly generates a punch notification for a random employee to check the location of the employee. This is an excellent verification option to eliminate time theft.


No matter how many stores make up your retail business or the number of employees you have, using a reliable biometric attendance system can help you avoid situations that cost you money. Such systems can eradicate time theft, improve business productivity and make attendance management highly accurate, thereby improving business as well as employee satisfaction.

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What Is Buddy Punching and How To Prevent It?

Like most businesses, you also want your employees to be cordial and look out for one another.

What to do when some employees start exploiting this relationship and start punching each other in and out at work? This is known as buddy punching or buddy clocking where some employees may illegally punch in for other employees.

As a business owner, It isn't a pleasant experience to realize your employees are committing time theft, it creates a culture of dishonesty, and you can end up paying for work that was never done.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that time theft is costing businesses $50 billion annually. 

What is buddy punching?

Simply put, buddy punching is when one employee clocks in for another employee and does attendance punching on their behalf. This is a common occurrence in instances like when an employee is running late and asks a colleague to clock in for them to avoid notice or detection by the floor manager or supervisor.

According to a 2017 Pollfish survey involving 1,000 employees, 16% admitted to buddy punching. Furthermore, the study also found that the most common mistake committed while submitting timesheets is employees adding an extra 15 minutes to their clock time.

This might not seem like a challenge, but when you put things into perspective you realize the deeper consequence this can have on the annual payroll bill.

The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that there are more than 78 million hourly workers currently. If we assume that 16% of them participated in buddy punching and added 15 minutes to a co-worker’s timesheet, this will end up adding more than $373 million to the employers’ annual payroll bill.

In some extreme cases, some employees use buddy punching to take entire days off work without getting caught or accrue extra overtime. This not only tricks employers into paying for large chunks of time employees have not worked for, but is also detrimental to the morale of an honest workforce.

Whether you are a large enterprise or a small business with tight margins, buddy punching is time theft and dishonesty that must be dealt with.

Negative Effects of Buddy Punching: More than just extra business cost

The cost implication is not only the negative impact buddy punching has in the workplace, there are many more. If you are not able to prevent buddy punching it can correlate with the following problems in your workplace.

Rise in buddy punching culture

When new team members witness seasoned employees participating in time theft, they think of it as a norm. Especially, if there is no feedback around buddy punching, employees will feel it acceptable to continue to do so. This will also result in slacking on their responsibilities.

Low morale for high performing staff

Employee absenteeism due to buddy punching puts pressure on the rest of the workforce as they need to pick up the slack and do extra work. This is outright unfair for honest employees who exhibit strong performance. They are compensated the same amount for all the extra work. Lack of equal treatment and fairness is one of the major reasons for employee turnover in the workplace.

How to prevent buddy punching at work

1. Have a strict zero-tolerance policy

The most effective way to eliminate buddy punching is to address it head-on without showing any leniency. Putting a formal buddy punching policy in place will ensure your employees are aware of the consequences they can face. Having a clear zero-tolerance policy will also let the new employees know of the stance the company has against time theft.

If you do not have a zero-tolerance policy already in place, work on one, print it out and put it where all staff can see it. A formal buddy punching policy also gives grounds for termination.

2. Install CCTV

A seemingly simple solution to prevent budding punching is to record who is clocking in. Installing CCTV cameras at the right places, you can verify whether the employee was present at the time and place when they were clocked in or clocked out.

While this solution seems simple, it has its shortfalls. Primarily monitoring CCTV footage is a time-consuming task. It is a full-time task to figure out who is where and at what time. Also, the cameras and other equipment require frequent maintenance. As all the components are serialized, even if one breaks down everything can stop working.

3. Update legacy attendance systems with modern attendance systems

While card punching systems are a norm, they do leave a lot of scope for time theft. Biometric attendance systems offer an excellent improvement. As it requires thumbprints, face recognition or retinal scans to clock in an employee, it is a failsafe mechanism to ensure that the right employee is clocking in.

With biometric clocks employees were able to limit time theft to only 3% of the employees of the total who were buddy punching previously.

Face recognition attendance systems make time theft virtually impossible and can keep employees from abusing the timekeeping system. To better adapt to the needs of a contact-free work environment in the post-pandemic era there are touchless face recognition based employee attendance systems available like the one offered by Truein.

4. GPS Tracking

In workplaces where employees roam over a larger area, preventing buddy punching can be challenging as managers need more resources to track employees. An easy solution is to use timekeeping software and mobile GPS. Such systems can track an employee’s location as well as their hours. Timekeeping solutions with inbuilt GPS tracking and/or geofencing are available, which allow an employee to clock in only when they are within a certain radius of the business.

GPS tracking employees for timekeeping is not expensive as GPS can be activated on their smartphones.

5. Geofencing

A more restricted and arguably the most effective way to manage employees and avoid buddy punching is geofencing. As geofencing relies on GPS, WiFi and cellular data, it can create an invisible barrier within which a person can clock in.

You can decide at what distance you want your employees to be able to clock in, be in the parking lot or the front door. Once this digital barrier is set, employees can mark attendance only when they are inside. You can enable automatic punching for employees when they are within a certain distance or allow manual clock in through an app. With geofencing, employees cannot clock in when they are away from work, or can’t be buddy punched by any other employee.

6. Try Truein Solutions

A company focused on providing seamless staff attendance, Truein leverages the advancements in Artificial Intelligence technologies to prevent the menace of buddy punching. Their touchless face recognition based employee attendance system enables employees to clock in using their phones or tablets. There is no complicated hardware needed to implement their attendance system. Truein's attendance system also offers selfie-based geofencingleave management and automated reports.

Here is a case study on how we solved the buddy punching issue in real estate industry.


Largely buddy punching is a side effect of more pressing attendance issues, rather than being the problem itself. You must take a closer look at your attendance policy to ensure that it is fair towards employees and not too constrictive.

Still, buddy punching can be the Achilles’ heel for any business and must be prevented. Having an effective attendance solution that relies on modern technologies like AI, facial recognition and geofencing are recommended to prevent negative impacts on productivity and costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Buddy Punching Illegal?

The legal policies governing how companies handle buddy punching vary by state and country. However, in most cases, time theft through buddy punching does constitute fraud and can be ample grounds for termination without warning.

How should you tackle/deal with employees who have been caught buddy punching?

Most employees practising buddy punching are found to have a sense of entitlement. Rather than terminating their employment, you must issue a warning notice. Also, establish clear communication feedback where managers can explain the consequences of buddy punching to their teams.

What industries can most benefit from the prevention of buddy punching?

Retail, construction, hospitality and information technology witness buddy punching more than any other industry.

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Why does Truein have an edge over other hardware based attendance systems?

When a company decides to install an attendance system, their choices include a hardware based card swipe system, a hardware based thumb attendance system and a hardware based face recognition system. None of those present a practical, low maintenance and quick implementation design. 

Truein has revolutionized this industry but introducing a leading edge technology - HardwareLESS face attendance. It has been adopted by more than 150 brands like Godrej, Titan, PC Jewellers, Bajaj Allianz and 1mg. 

Switching from a Thumb Biometric device to Truein Face based Attendance Software is definitely a huge advantage and has brought satisfaction to our 400+ employees who start each day with a “Selfie”!

By DIT University

Why does Truein win over the other hardware-based systems?

Points of ConsiderationTrueinOther hardware based attendance systems
How does it work?It can work with any tablet or mobile. Simply download the app and get going.They require specific hardware which works only with their system
What are the upfront device costs?You can install one tablet at every premise or you can ask the employees to use their own phone. So the costs are negligible to nil.You need to buy their hardware for every premise.
What are the entry barriers?You can start off in one day, practically. There are no major installations required. It is like installing an app and using a web-based dashboard.You would need to purchase the hardware and wait for it to get installed. If you have the attendance hardware of your old system, it has to be discarded for a new one by the new vendor.
What are the exit barriers?You don’t have any hardware to discard. You can move on easily. You have to think about return on investment of your hardware and wait for a reasonable period before you think of system or vendor change.
What are the lifetime hassles?You have to incur no maintenance cost. The software upgrades are included in your license. Any issues with the tablet or mobile can be easily troubleshooted. It requires only Android or iOS knowledge. You have to maintain the hardware through an annual maintenance contract. If the system is not working, you have to wait for the service manager to visit the premises and fix it.
What are the offline capabilities?Truein works online as well as offline. In case there is no internet, data gets synced up later. Even remote shops or offices can use Truein without any hassle. Most of them work only online.
What are the reporting capabilities?Truein gives daily updates on SMS and mobile dashboard to all managers and admin. There is a live dashboard for instant actions. Most of them require manual calculations at month-end for a clear view of the attendance statistics.
What are the technology advantages?Truein face recognition system is AI-powered and is benchmarked with eyes. It can recognize with 100% accuracy even when facial features change. Non-recognition errors are very common. Lack of accuracy and reliability gives rise of parallel systems like manual registers.

The bottom line

Truein brings you new-age technology with practically no lead time to start and hassle-free lifetime satisfaction. Many leading brands have moved from other biometric systems to the Truein advantage

  The COVID Pandemic situation made us switch to new normal in many ways and one of them was switching from Biometric attendance system to touchless attendance system. We enquired with many vendors and suppliers for such products and finally we opted for Truein – Touchless Face based attendance system for our Shindewadi plant. The system support, software and product all are inline with our needs and expectations. Thank you Team Truein for the support and expecting similar experience in future.    Sandeep Deo

Sandeep Deo

Sr. Manager HR, Godrej

Truein’s support team is fast, friendly and always available to help you through a smooth on-boarding. Request a demo to get started. 

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How does face attendance win over other biometric systems?

Traditionally companies have used the thumb-based attendance system, which served as a good substitute to card-based systems. Neither of them were perfect and faced many setbacks on reliability and security. Attendance with face recognition has gained attention in recent years. While large companies have been quick to upgrade to face recognition attendance systems, many mid-sized organizations are still working with older technologies. 

Is it worthwhile to upgrade to face id attendance systems? Let’s evaluate the biometric systems objectively. 

How face recognition attendance system works?

The system stores a database of faces. A screen, usually a mobile or tablet in case of Truein, is placed at the entrance and employees have to simply walk towards it. A match is triggered with the database and attendance is captured within a second. 

Systems like Truein are benchmarked with the eye so no amount of change in facial features or fashion accessories affects its ability to return accurate results. 

Why is face attendance better than thumb-based or fingerprint systems?

Practically 100% accuracy: Thumb-based attendance systems have often failed in situations where the fingerprint is faded. Workers who work in oiling systems can’t register their attendance with faded thumb prints. Similarly heena applications or cuts on fingers return errors. It is often frustrating to try attendance multiple times before simply writing down in a manual attendance register. 

That is not the case with face recognition attendance. It has been tried, tested and proven that it is practically 100% accurate. Employees simply walk towards it and attendance is captured. It works even when hairstyles change or employees age. 

Touchless safety: With covid-19, the world has become increasingly aware of the risks of contact-based attendance systems. There is no attendance system, other than face id attendance system which is absolutely touchfree. The user has to simply show his face. The system is triggered automatically. 

Even after the world is covid-free, people will be conscious of the touches they make and it will be good to provide a hygienic system. 

No complex hardware: Thumb based systems always require that you install a machine at the entrance. While the upfront costs are a barrier in itself, the machine requires maintenance too. When you choose a face attendance system like Truein, there is no complex machine. You simply install the application on any Android or iOS system and it works. Often, companies use just a tablet or mobile for Truein face attendance. 

Remote access: Not every staff member steps into the office every day. There are remote workers or on-the-go field staff who report directly to client offices, distributor’s godown or other places. If you have rigid systems that require machines or hardware, it won’t work out for remote workers. 

With Truein mobile-based face recognition systems it is possible to allow on-the-go workers to take attendance from their own phone, wherever they are. Companies can restrict the mobile-based attendance to specific geographies, geo-fencing it, making it more secure and controlled. 

Wow experience: With attendance time cut-down to a second and no action required from the user-end, face id attendance is by far the best biometric system. It wows employees who don’t require training and are happy to adopt immediately. When a face id system is based by a powerful application, it is even more welcome. Employees can track their records from the phone and managers can track everyone in real-time. 

Reliability: Face recognition attendance systems like Truein have spoof-proof mechanisms. Employees may be required to blink their eyes before capturing attendance. It ensures no photos are used in the attendance process to mark proxies. 

Frequently asked questions:

Which biometric attendance system is more reliable and accurate?

Time and again it has been proven that fingerprint systems fail when fingers are dirty, oily, wet or bruised. Face attendance is practically 100% accurate.

Which biometric attendance system is more affordable?

Thumb based systems require sensor-based machine installation at every site, making it costly in the beginning and also at the time of maintenance. With face attendance, any Android or iOS based mobile may be sufficient. Even employees can track their face ID with their own phone. Even retail stores with multiple outlets or construction companies with multiple sites find face attendance more affordable. 

Make an informed decision

There are many choices available today. Not every finger print system or every face attendance system is made equal. Evaluate the options between various vendors or brands and make an informed choice. Be sure to ask questions like:

  • Does the attendance system have geo-fencing?
  • Does the system require hardware installation and maintenance? 
  • Does the system have mobile-based capabilities?

Asking the right questions will help you choose the most advanced biometric attendance system. 

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How To Resolve Buddy Punching Issues At Construction Sites

Construction industry uses large scale manpower and has a unique challenge of dealing with the ever-changing contract staff attendance. We’ve helped construction companies get over their biggest bane with a practical solution, especially designed for them. 

The current attendance scenario in the construction industry

Construction companies would agree that there are no fixed sites. New sites come up and old ones close down all too often. It is not practical to install machines to track attendance. Manual attendance by the security guard is the most common practice. The result?

Buddy punching:

Who is signing attendance for whom? Nobody would ever know. The actual site may have ten people, but the company may be paying for twelve. Small leakages like these in the contract labour attendance system can result in big cheques and losses eventually. 

It can also have legal and security implications too as there is no real way of knowing who you are employing. 

Manual errors:

Even in a perfect world where everyone is honest and truthful at attendance time, there is scope for mistakes. There can be date errors or spelling errors. Contract labour may not be educated enough to realize it and it may go completely unnoticed. 

Reconciliation pain:

Manual attendance at the end of the day, week or month has to be converted into excels for payroll processing. It can be many days of unproductive work, further prone to errors. 

How can construction industry have better attendance monitoring?

Truein face attendance is one app with many solutions for the construction industry. Let’s break it down for simplicity.


Your sites keep changing so you don’t have to invest in attendance infrastructure. Install any temporary stand to hold a tablet at the gate and let workers simply walk in using face attendance. Don’t have a closed gated site? Truein face attendance needs no hardware. It works on any Android or iOS mobile too. The security guard can be given a mobile to take face attendance of contract workers on site. 

No proxy:

What you see is what you get! A face recognition-based system cannot be fudged or overridden. Besides, Truein works in the most complex scenarios too:

  • Construction site has low-light or works in night shift? Our system works. 
  • Construction site is in a remote location with no internet? Truein works offline too. 

Truein works practically hundred percent of times so there is no scope for parallel systems like manual registers. 

Fast onboarding:

When you have contract staff that keeps changing every day, you cannot afford to have a slow or long onboarding system. How about a one-click system? The new joinee captures his face from the kiosk or mobile and his onboarding is completed. Every other detail like reporting manager, contractor agency, shift assignment etc. can be managed in our web dashboard later. 


If you want to restrict the attendance of a worker to one site, you can do that using our technology. We allow you to fence the attendance by marking the GPS location. He can mark his attendance only within those geographical boundaries. 

All entries get stamped with location and time, so you have a verifiable audit trail at all times. 

Practically no-fuss, quick and accurate system is what we have to offer. 

What’s more? We have clients in the construction industry who have used our system for more than four years at multiple sites on a large scale. Tried and tested? You got it! 

Testimonial from a leading construction brand

Girish Nambalkar from SJ Contracts says, “Using a face attendance system at construction sites was a big challenge. Team Truein calmly understood our requirement and provided required customization too. Truein is an excellent solution. As of today, we are using Truein attendance system at our 22 sites. We found that Truein is more user-friendly and easier to use. The required reports ae also generated by the individual users irrespective of his location.”

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Why you don’t need to install attendance machines?

When companies evolved from paper-based attendance to one that was technology enabled, they were asked to install machines for card swiping or thumb imprints. Once upon a time that felt like an obvious choice. Not anymore! If you are still installing bulky attendance systems, you are probably living in a cave.

There are choices. Go hardware-less!

Introducing hardware-less face recognition attendance

The charm of technology is not in its complexity, but in its practicality.

Consider Truein’s face attendance app – it can be installed on any tablet or mobile to get started in no time. A common tablet (any Android or iOS device) at the gate is all the infrastructure you need. Or better still – install nothing! 

Ask your employees to do a selfie-attendance from their very own phone. How do you ensure they are not marking attendance from home or a beach holiday? With Truein geo-fencing, of course. Our geofencing attendance feature lets employees mark selfie attendance only from geographical boundaries set by you. Define the radius from your office and you are set.

Why does hardware-based attendance increase liability?

Initial investment

If you have hundred construction sites or two hundred retail stores, would you invest a machine everywhere? The cost would multiply manifold. Besides, nothing lives forever. You are looking at a similar investment every few years. 

Recurring maintenance

Hardware that you or your IT does not understand will always have an external dependency. It will have its maintenance requirements. It means calling the technicians every time you hit a snag. It can also mean annual maintenance contracts and more cost. 

In comparison an Android or iOS based simple tablet or mobile needs little to no troubleshooting. And anyone can do it! 

Lack of portability

Typical hardware-based systems have heavy installations which act as permanent fixtures. They are immovable. They sit with your furniture. When you move somewhere, you need a technician again. 

Contrast that with a simple iOS or Android-based mobile attendance system with a temporary stand. Move it around as you please. Rainy days? Move it inside. No problem! 

Parallel systems

Whether it is card-based system or thumb-based system, you always hear complains about card not getting recognized or thumb not being accepted. An oily hand or scratches on card are common reasons for the system to not work. Result? The admin pulls out a manual entry register which is reconciled end of the month. 

We take attendance seriously. With Truein face attendance, you get practically hundred percent accuracy and reliability. No parallel systems, please!  

Limited use case

When you install a hardware, you are only thinking about your desk employees. What about your field workers or mobile workforce? Can a marketing manager mark attendance from agency’s office? Can a salesperson report from distributor’s office? Not if they need a large machine to mark attendance. 

Consider the Truein mobile-based selfie attendance. It works for very many use cases:

  • On field staff doesn’t have to come to office only to mark attendance 
  • In construction industry or similar industry where sites keep changing, there is no unnecessary infrastructure created. The security guard can take attendance of all contract workers from his device. 
  • Retail outlets which run in hundreds and thousands can just geo-fence their stores and let employees mark attendance from their phones. 

Onboarding pain

Every time a new employee joins in, there is a long process of thumb registration or card activation. How would you like to replace it with a face recognition system that lets new employees click a selfie and onboard themselves in no time? You will like it very much, especially when the organization grows. Think scale? Think ease of onboarding with face attendance. 

It becomes even more relevant when you are dealing with contract staff that changes on daily basis. The common bane in the construction industry! 

Step into the future

Don’t hold yourself in the past. In the 21st century, getting an attendance machine is like buying a keypad based mobile. It is like using pigeons when you can use emails. Embrace technology that is light, portable and practical. 

Go touchless, go hardware-less.

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