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 Eigenfaces, Fisherfaces, 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 their attendance management. Therefore you can also rely on their solutions for your organizations attendance management. Schedule a free demo today and see how Truein attendance system works.