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Nucleus Research finds that HandPunch biometrics technology "provides additional benefits”

Published on 8 May, 2009

 Schlage HandPunch, biometric technology, uses hand geometry
HandPunch can deliver a payback in fewer than 9 months
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies announced today that, according to Nucleus Research (Boston) in a just-published Report/White Paper commissioned by Schlage biometrics group: "Using biometrics to automate collection of time and attendance data can reduce buddy punching (one employee clocking in or out for another), manual data review and correction time, and payroll error. The Schlage HandPunch provides additional benefits over other biometric technologies by using hand geometry to increase reliability and reduce privacy concerns. Deployed properly, HandPunch can deliver a payback in fewer than nine months."

"Companies should consider investments in time and attendance applications as a low-risk, low-cost way to reduce payroll costs and improve productivity," said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of Research for Nucleus Research. "Advanced biometrics, such as those that use hand geometry, can greatly improve accuracy and virtually eliminate ‘buddy punching' for even greater ROI."

According to Nucleus Research, a healthcare user found that it was "able to significantly reduce buddy punching by moving from paper time cards that could be shared or borrowed to the HandPunch system." Other customers found that moving to the HandPunch eliminated the need for error-prone and time-consuming intervention by a supervisor when employees forget badges.

For time/attendance/payroll use, employees use the keypad - or a bar coded, proximity or smart card - on the HandPunch to enter their ID number and then place their hand in the hand reader. The reader simultaneously analyzes more than 31,000 points of the hand's length, width, thickness and surface area and instantaneously records more than 90 separate measurements to verify users.

The image of their hand placed on the reader is compared to the "template" stored in the system's memory. If the current image matches the template, the employee's identity is verified. Total time required for verification is less than 1 second. Because every person's hand is unique, the hand reader provides a quick, accurate, and reliable way to record In and Out punches for each employee.

As such, Nucleus Research found: "Deploying HandPunch enables organisations to reduce the time required for employee identification and punching in or out [as well the] time required to supervise the process and

The Schlage HandPunch  uses hand geometry to increase reliability and reduce privacy concerns

the amount of manual verification of information on hours worked."

HandPunch time recording also improves management reporting and operational visibility, Nucleus found. "Managers ...have better visibility into employee work habits and locations - resulting in better tactical monitoring as well as audit capabilities." The biometric readers also provide improved legal compliance. Such systems "reduce the costs and liabilities associated with ensuring compliance with employment regulations and union rules and reduce the potential cost of fines or legal action."

Nucleus Research also found advantages of hand geometry readers over other biometric technologies. Among them were:

  • "Fingerprint scanners may not recognise employees if their fingers are dirty or swollen, or if prints from others remain on the device,"
  • "The HandPunch adapts its biometric template for a specific user over time, effectively learning to change as users change."
  • "Deploying a system with high reliability and accuracy eliminated (the likelihood that) employees will take advantage of inaccuracies to request manual corrections that inflate payroll, which Nucleus found some employees still did with fingerprint scanning systems."
  • The hand geometry system improves privacy concerns. Only a mathematical algorithm of the image is saved plus the HandPunch does not recognise surface details such as prints or tattoos that could be used to invade privacy.
  • Hand geometry readers cannot leave an image of their three-dimensional hand image behind while fingerprints can be left behind on fingerprint scanners.
  • There is no law enforcement link with the HandPunch.

The Report/White Paper concludes that: "Deploying HandPunch virtually eliminates payroll errors associated with buddy punching and can deliver significant return by reducing the cost of payroll, particularly in environments where dirt, dust, wet conditions or other circumstances limit the accuracy of fingerprint scanners."

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