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Updated: Feb 1

Accurate and reliable biometrics is the foundation of any good HR System

Imagine that you are rolling out your new HR System that includes analytics, recruitment along with all the bells and whistles. Along with this, the attendance and payroll modules have been evaluated to comply with your company's stringent requirements. You now declare "all systems go"

However, an crucial component of the HR system was overlooked. Due to your tight budget, you scrimped for a low-end, low-cost attendance capture device. Since your perception was that all these devices were created the same with only minor differences, so why not go with the cheapest?

The market is flooded with cheap biometrics that makes it hard to resist. The sad truth is major deficiencies are discovered after only a few weeks or months of use.

Many do not realize that when a HR system is paired with an inaccurate, poorly designed attendance capturing device, the benefits of a good HRIS are negated. Defective data picked up from these low end biometrics causes your HR System to produce erroneous results - "garbage-in-garbage-out".

… when a HR system is paired with an inaccurate, poorly designed attendance capturing device, the benefits of a good HRIS are negated.

Common Problems of Low-End Biometric Devices:

  • Poor or non-existent after-sales support. Due to its thin margins, after-sales support has been sacrificed.

  • High False Acceptance Rate (FAR). This is a technical term that simply means that the device mismatched the employee who scanned. In other words, the device falsely identified an individual for another.

  • Poor Sensitivity. The device has difficulty reading fingerprints or falsely rejecting fingerprints. This is also known as False Rejection.

  • Prone to data tampering. The device downloads a simple text file (such as a csv or txt file) and is easily susceptible to malicious editing.

  • Prone to spoofing. Low end fingerprint biometrics have been observed to accept pictures or artificial images of fingerprints. For face biometrics, picture images are erroneously accepted.

Be careful, cheap face biometrics can easily be spoofed.


Don't overlook the attendance capturing part of your HR System. When choosing a biometrics device, use the following criteria:

  1. Choose a biometric device with a False Acceptance Rate (FAR) of .01% (1/10,000) or lower. This means that for every 10,000 transactions, there will be an average of one error.

  2. Choose one that has a good track record and in use by big companies for several years. Call up a several companies to get their feedback regarding the biometrics they are using and ask for their recommendations.

  3. Choose a supplier that has a good track record and strong after-sales support. This is a critical criteria as most implementations will require this service.


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