How Does a Fingerprint Attendance System Work?

Fingerprint attendance systems are replacing the use of time clocks and paper records. This technology provides employers with accurate timekeeping information that is easily integrated into payroll systems. Biometric data offers real-time employee tracking and can alert employers of uncovered shifts.

Everyone has unique fingerprints, even identical twins. So a fingerprint attendance system uses that unique print to log you in or out of the attendance system. While this sounds impressive, you may wonder how a fingerprint attendance system works.


The first step in using a fingerprint attendance system is referred to as enrollment. The employee then places their finger on a scanner, and the unique features of their fingerprint are stored in a database. Lastly, this information is stored with the identity of the user.

The scanner identifies the minute points of each user using the crossing number (CN) method. It measures the ridge endings and bifurcations from the scanned image. This information is then coded. The scans are 97.4% accurate, and these measurements are performed in less than five seconds.


After the enrollment process is complete, the second stage in the process is verification. The user places their finger on the scanner. The scanner reads their fingerprint and matches that information against the data that was stored during the enrollment process. During verification, the system can check and match as many as 40,000 prints every second. Typically, fingerprints are most often scanned in one of two ways: optical or capacitive.

The Optical Scanner

An optical scanner tracks your fingerprint by shining a light over your fingertip and taking a digital photograph, similar to a copy machine.

The Capacitive Scanner

  • A row of LEDs shines bright light onto the surface
  • Reflected light bounces back from your finger through the glass
  • An algorithm tests the image and alerts the operator if the pressure is incorrect
  • Images are typically 512×512 pixels
  • The image is converted to code
  • The coded image is stored to a host computer

A capacitive scanner will measure your finger electronically. It will then measure the ridges and hollows of your fingerprint and the distance between ridges. And finally this information is used to build the picture of your print.

The Fingerprint Terminal

  • The scanner takes an image of your finger
  • The computer saves the specific characteristics in a biometric encrypt key
  • The binary code is saved for verification

In order to utilize a fingerprint attendance system, terminals are installed at the employer’s location. Many of these systems do not require a complicated set-up process and can be connected to an existing computer system. This technology is gaining popularity because it increases security and decreases overpayments by ensuring time worked is recorded accurately.

  • Fingerprint data cannot be forged or duplicated
  • Can be integrated with an employer’s current timekeeping system
  • Safe for employees, as no fingerprint is stored

Fingerprint attendance systems are gaining popularity because of their ease of use and accuracy. Typically, these systems will reduce payroll costs and eliminate the need to assign timekeeping tasks to individual employees. Fingerprint technology reduces incidents of timekeeping and payroll errors.

2018-04-12T13:27:34+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Employee Time Tracking|