If you’re yet to implement a face recognition attendance system, buddy punching could have insidiously penetrated your workforce. Its impact on your revenue might not be apparent, but the vice may be causing your company to bleed money. If you’re unacquainted, time theft via buddy punching makes up over 2.2% of your total payroll costs.
The worst part, employees don’t wake up one day and decide to add 10 hours of work they didn’t do.
On the contrary, they fudge their time in 5, 10, or 15 minutes. This might not look like a big deal, but the minutes can add up quickly, leading an employee to steal 4.5 hours weekly.
Fortunately, there’s a solution in the mold of facial recognition systems. In this guide, we’ll reveal four cloud-based employee attendance systems with facial recognition capability. We’ll show you how each system works, and discuss the pricing, to help you make an informed decision.
What Are The Best Facial Recognition Systems?
If you’re short on time, here’s a sneak peek at the best facial recognition attendance systems:
Timeero: Easy-to-use app with AI face detection system
Fareclock: Face recognition with automatic photo capture
Jibble: Capture Additional Face biometric data
QuickBooks Time: Requests Employee Consent during onboarding
These apps eliminate buddy punching but differ slightly in how they work and their pricing. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of each solution works, but first, how does facial recognition put an end to buddy punching?
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Buddy punching continues to be a menace in your company because your current time and attendance tracking app cannot determine who’s punching in/out. Facial recognition technology ensures employees don’t seek the help of their buddies to clock them in when they’re running late.
If you’re new to facial recognition, it may seem complicated - but it’s not.
The system takes a photo (selfie) of an employee as they clock in or out. The algorithm leverages biometric technology to compare the image with what’s in the employee’s profile to determine whether they match. Different apps respond differently to face mismatch.
The best facial recognition systems block the punch attempt or allow the employee to clock in and alert you immediately, prompting immediate action. However, some systems don’t notify you when a mismatch occurs. Instead, they flag the time entry, making it easier to spot potential buddy punches during the time card approval.
Top 5 Facial Recognition Attendance Systems
These facial recognition apps work differently, and their prices differ too. In this section, we’ll dissect each system to reveal how it works. We’ll also add pricing to the equation to help you make an informed decision. Let’s dive straight in, starting with Timeero - the best facial recognition attendance system.
Timeero: Face Recognition with Advanced AI
Easy to use Terminal Kiosk
Flags time entry and alerts manager in case of face mismatch
Compatible with iOS tablets only
Timeero facial recognition snags the top spot because it’s affordable and easy to use for all employees and admins. The facial recognition system is available on the Timeero kiosk app, which works seamlessly on iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets.
Setting Up Timeero Facial Recognition System
You can get the Timeero facial recognition up and running in minutes. Download the Timeero kiosk app on your iOS tablet and create an employee profile with a unique PIN (a unique identifier). Employees will have to enter their PIN as they punch in or out.
You can add the employee’s photo for facial recognition when setting up the employee profile. Alternatively, if you don’t upload the employee photo, the Timeero kiosk app will take a photo of the employee the first time they clock in. Going forward, the app will use that photo as the baseline image for facial recognition.
How Facial Recognition Works
Employees clock in/out from the same device stationed at the punching zone to curb off-site punching. Still, you can set up geofences to prevent employees from punching in or out outside their designated work sites. Plus, if you have different punching locations, fret not. Timeero allows you to use special codes to determine which device the buddy puncher used.
At the punching zone, the employee picks their name from the list and enters their PIN, after which they can take a photo. The system uses an artificial intelligence (AI) system to compare the photo with the baseline image.
If the employee clocking in is someone other than who they claim to be, the app notifies the admin or manager via email. However, it does so while letting the employee punch in or out.
This way, the employee can get to work without causing delays in the punch queue that might affect other employees.
Here’s another interesting fact. If you’re caught between tasks, and for some reason, you miss the face mismatch notification, fret not. Timeero flags time entries with face mismatch, making it easier to catch potential buddy punches as you review employee time cards. The flagged time entry features a flag icon and is highlighted.
If you lose internet connection as employee clock in or out or are in an off-the-grid worksite, worry not. Employees can clock in without a hassle, and when the internet connection is available, the app will synchronize the time entries to your database for admins and managers in the office to see. Learn more on our full Timeero review.
Timeero pricing: 14-day free trial. Pricing starts at $4 per employee per month. For the price, you get time-off management, live GPS tracking, geofencing, mileage tracking, time card access control management, and API integration.
Fareclock: Automatic Photo Capture
Works on Android and iOS mobile devices
Automatic punching when a face is recognized
Glitches with the install code
It doesn’t send an alert to you in case of a face mismatch
No live GPS tracking
Has a base fee
Like Timeero, Fareclock has a sleek and clutter-free user interface. The system works seamlessly on Android and iOS mobile devices, meaning you can allow employees to use their devices, but there’s a caveat.
Setting up facial recognition on employee devices will thwart buddy punching but might open an avenue for off-site punching. If an employee is running late, they might clock in outside the designated worksite. Thankfully, Fareclock allows you to set up geofences to restrict employees from clocking in outside their worksite.
Setting Up Fareclock Facial Recognition
Setting up Fareclock facial recognition isn’t as straightforward as Timeero, mainly because you have to set up employee devices individually. It still lets you assign an employee a unique PIN and generate an install code, which they’ll use to install and log in to the mobile.
This install code ensures the employee logins to a single device. The only quibble is that we experienced a glitch with the install code. The app returned an authentication error, “code not found,” making it difficult to complete the setup.
That aside, you can manually upload employee baseline photos or capture one while setting up their profile during onboarding. Alternatively, request an employee to clock in. By default, Fareclock allows new employees to clock in. Still, it flags their first punch and files it under “Punch is pending face recognition.”
You can open the pending punch and click “yes” if the image is the employee’s. From then on, Fareclock will use that image as their baseline photo.
How Fareclock Facial Recognition Works
In the subsequent punches, the employee will only need to select “worker start” to pull up the camera and capture their image. Fareclock automatically recognizes the employee’s face and logs them in automatically — they don’t have to press any button.
Fareclock doesn’t alert the manager or admin in case of a face mismatch. Instead, it compiles all suspected buddy punches under the “face recognition failures” with the question, “Is this employee-name?” If the face doesn’t match the name, you can click “NO” to automatically clock out the employee and expunge their time card.
Worry not if you don’t respond to the failed facial recognition instances, and the employee can clock in and out. Fareclock flags time entries with pending facial recognition and indicates whether the punch happened during clock in or out. You can review each case during time card approval.
Fareclock works just fine without the internet. However, like other apps, it stores employee punches offline. It syncs them to your database once the internet connection is restored.
Fareclock pricing: 30-day free trial. Premium pricing starts at $19.50/month ($12 base fee plus $1.50 per user per month. Premium plans include a facial recognition system, scheduling, and geofencing.
Jibble: Capture Additional Face Biometrics
Limited free plan
Easy to set up and use
Gathers more face biometrics
Three facial recognition enforcement mode
Redundant step when clocking or out
Jibble is another facial recognition app designed for startups and small businesses. Besides being free, facial recognition software is easy to set up and use. You can set up the system on mobile apps (Android and iOS), shared kiosks, or web browsers.
Setting Up Jibble Facial Recognition
Jibble facial recognition is easier to set up than Fareclock. You can invite employees by email or magic link. Once the employee creates their account, they are automatically added to your team.
They also get a 4-digit PIN, which they will use when clocking in or out on the kiosk mode.
Once you set up the team, the next thing is to configure the facial recognition system. First, select a platform where employees will punch: mobile app, shared kiosk, or web browser.
Regarding facial recognition enforcement, Jiblle supports three modes:
Flexible: Facial recognition and GPS location are not required. Plus, time entries are editable.
Moderate: Facial recognition is required, but GPS location isn’t. Time entries are editable. In the moderate mode, Jibble flags the time entry in case of a face mismatch but lets the employee clock in.
Strict: This mode is recommended for businesses looking to stop buddy and off-site punching. In this mode, facial recognition and GPS location are required; only admins can edit time cards. In case of a face mismatch, Jibble blocks the time entry when in strict mode.
You don’t have to upload employee photos manually. Jibble requires employees to take a selfie the first time they clock in. Jibble collects more facial features than most apps to understand employee facial biometrics comprehensively. The app requires employees to take selfies in four poses: facing up, down, left, and right.
How Jibble Facial Recognition Works
Unlike Fareclock, Jibble doesn’t clock employees in or out automatically in case of a face match. The app serves the message “face recognized” but still requires employees to press a button to take a selfie. The extra step feels entirely redundant.
In case of a mismatch, Jibble responds differently depending on the mode you pick. If you’re on the ‘moderate’ mode, the app will let an employee clock in or out but will flag the time entry. If you’re on ‘strict’ mode, Jibble blocks the attempt and displays the message “face unrecognized. Tap to try again.”
As far as offline tracking goes, Jibble offline mode is sound. Employees can clock in or out even without an internet connection. The app will then sync their punches to your database once they reconnect to the internet.
Jibble pricing: Limited free plan. Pricing starts at $3.99 per month per user. Premium plans include biometric facial recognition, live location tracking, API support manager, geofencing, and scheduling.
Flags time entry and alerts the manager in case of face mismatch
Integrates seamlessly with the QuickBooks suite
Not the easiest to set up and use
Has a base fee
Despite being a household name in the workforce management landscape, QuickBooks Time is fourth. That’s not to mean this is a fly-by-night facial recognition time attendance system. On the contrary, the app is apt, but our top three apps deliver better performance and are easier to set up and use.
You can set up QuickBooks Time facial recognition on web portals or tablets (Android and iOS). However, configuring QuickBooks Time isn’t as straightforward as Timeero or Jibble.
Setting Up QuickBooks Time Facial Recognition
Remember that the facial recognition feature isn’t built into QuickBooks Time. Instead, it’s a featured add-on, meaning you must install it first. The extra step makes QuickBooks Time facial recognition more difficult to set up than the rest of the apps.
To install facial recognition, open the “featured add-ons” tab, select “manage add-ons,” and install facial recognition. Since this is a featured add-on, it’s unavailable on QuickBooks Time’s main features menu. To use it, you have to navigate to the featured add-ons section. Again the extra step doesn’t aid usability.
If you’re using the time clock kiosk, you have to add the preferred clocking device, get the authorization code, and set employee PINs. Lastly, you must set your company’s preferences to complete the setup.
One quibble, though, we struggled to enable the facial recognition tool to take photos. We had to dig into QuickBooks Time documentation to find a way around it. Another Achille’s heel, which other users have reported, is that the kiosk app on the web portal is frequently down.
How QuickBooks Time Facial Recognition Works
Once employees enter the four-digit PIN during clock in/out, QuickBooks prompts them to take a photo. It then compares this photo with what is in the employee profile or the previous image.
In case of a face mismatch, it lets the employee punch in. However, it flags the time entry for review and sends the admin email notification. If you miss the notification, you can pinpoint potential buddy punch instances during time card review.
You can use the offline mode when you set up the facial recognition feature on tablets. In other words, when using tablets, employees can punch in and out without an internet connection. The web portal doesn’t work without the internet, though. When the internet is down, the kiosk app tends to be glitchy and unusable.
QuickBooks Time pricing: 30-day free trial. Premium plans start at $8 per user per month (plus a $20 base fee per month). Premium features include facial recognition, GPS employee tracking, time-off management, and mileage tracking.
Other Useful Time Tracking Features You May Need
When it comes to nullifying time theft, facial recognition is just but a piece of the puzzle. For this reason, you have to look beyond the facial recognition feature and identify other features that aid your course in stopping time theft. Some features include:
If you install a face detection system with no geofencing functionality, you leave the door open to off-site punching. This is when tardy employee clocks in outside the designated worksite, stealing a few minutes.
Geofencing is a virtual boundary that helps prevent off-site punching. If an employee attempts to clock in or out outside the geofence, their attempt is blocked.
Live GPS Tracking
Using facial recognition and geofencing doesn’t mean you have won the battle against time theft. Sometimes, employees will clock in but veer off the worksite to hang out with friends in the local McDonald’s. And then, come back to the worksite and clock out as if nothing happened.
In this case, live GPS tracking can help. A time-tracking app like Timeero keeps you on top of employees’ whereabouts. The “who’s working” tab displays employees in real-time, allowing them to spot employees wandering outside their designated job site. Learn more in our best GPS tracking apps guide.
This is the final piece of the puzzle when fighting time entry errors. A sound time-tracking system should integrate with your go-to accounting and payroll software, whether QuickBooks, ADP, Paychex, or Gusto. You can import employee timesheets directly into the system for efficient payroll processing and accurate employee remuneration.
Find The Best App to Stop Time Theft
If you’re looking to end buddy punching and other time theft vices, you must find an app that ticks the right boxes. Put simply, look for an app that offers facial recognition, geofencing, and live GPS tracking in a single suite without breaking the bank.
The apps we discussed offer facial recognition features and are apt for thwarting buddy punching. However, if you need an app to track attendance and eliminate other time theft tactics (besides buddy punching), Timeero ticks the boxes, thanks to the live GPS location tracking feature.
Timeero is easy to set up and use, and it’s pretty affordable. Don’t take our word for it; start a 14-day free trial to tinker with the app before deciding.
Facial Recognition Attendance Management FAQs
What Are the Benefits of Face Recognition Attendance System?
Face recognition attendance app offers various benefits, but the main one is that it ends with buddy punching.
What Is the Best Attendance Tracker for Small Businesses?
Timeero is the best biometric attendance tracker for small businesses. Besides being affordable and easy to use, the app provides the tools to automate time tracking while preventing time theft.
How Face Recognition Works in Attendance System?
The face recognition feature functions by taking photos of employees as they clock in or out. It compares the image with employees’ profiles to determine whether they are who they say they are. In case of a mismatch, it flags the time entry and alerts the manager.
Wondering how Timeero facial recognition feature works?
Samson is a mathematician turned content marketer specializing in SaaS and Tech content. He focuses on the practical aspects of software systems while keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge principles to create informative and engaging content. When he’s not writing, Samson spends time playing or watching soccer.
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