Is it time to face the future, and recognise the benefits that this pioneering technology can bring to your workplace?
Facial recognition technology has come a long way. Once relegated to the realm of science fiction, facial recognition soon found real-world application in police stations, airports, and hospitals around the world. And, with Apple’s users also leveraging facial recognition’s security benefits to unlock devices and verify mobile wallet transactions, it’s quickly becoming an ever-present in our daily lives.
But there’s another (oft-overlooked, and criminally underrated) usage for this futuristic technology. It’s slightly less glamorous than Apple’s latest offerings, sure – but it’s capable of revolutionising your workplace more than the 11 Pro ever could.
It’s called a time and attendance system, and it uses facial recognition to allow your staff to sign into work quickly and safely. Unlike their fingerprint-based counterparts, facial recognition attendance systems are hands-free; helping reduce the spread of viruses, and prevent buddy punching. And, unlike basic proximity devices, they don’t require a key fob or card that can be easily misplaced.
But which facial recognition attendance system is right for your business? Whether you want affordability, functionality, or unadulterated aesthetic appeal, read on to explore our top five facial recognition attendance system picks for UK SMEs.
What is a facial recognition attendance system?
A facial recognition attendance system is made up of two parts.
Part one is the hardware, which consists of a clocking-in device. This will usually sit just next to the entrance to your business’ premises, on the wall of your lobby or front office, or in the staffroom. The clocking-in terminal will scan your employee’s face, verifying their identity and recording the time of their sign in.
Part two is the software. Time and attendance software works with both the facial recognition clocking-in device and your existing back office processes. It automatically turns the raw data collected by the machine into easily exportable reports you can use for payroll and HR purposes.
Was Liam’s lateness this morning a one-off, or part of a pattern? Was Marina properly compensated for her overtime last Thursday? Facial recognition attendance systems make absence disputes, holiday pay confusion, and shift pattern chaos all things of the past.
You can also use the software to manage users of the system, and add and remove people from it as necessary. Many facial recognition attendance systems (such as Bodet) also offer access control, meaning employees will have to verify their identity to gain access to your premises, or particular rooms within it.
Let’s face it: Can your business afford to ignore the benefits of facial recognition technology?
What is the best facial recognition attendance system?
We looked into the range of facial recognition attendance systems on the market, to provide you with everything you need to make the best decision for your business. According to our research, the best facial recognition attendance system comes from Safescan, and it’s called the TimeMoto TM-838.
There was more where that came from, though – making up the rest of our list are intuitive models from uAttend, ClockRite, Timeware, and AccuTime.
So, which one is right for your business? It’s time to find out.
Safescan TimeMoto TM-838
Best all-round facial recognition attendance system
At £549 (excl. VAT), the TM-838 is the most expensive of Safescan’s time and attendance system models. In the context of the devices on our list’s prices, though, the TM-838 is smack bang in the middle – and for the superior level of features you get, we reckon it’s worth every penny.
- 30-day trial available, with a 14-day satisfaction guarantee and a three-year warranty
- Facilitates up to 2,000 users...
- ...but only holds a maximum of 400 face templates
Cheapest facial recognition attendance system
The MN2000 terminal will set you back just £249 (excl. VAT). However, you’ll need to lease the software from uAttend on a monthly basis, with total cost dependent on the number of employees that will be using the system.
- 1 to 9 employees: £14.99 per month
- 10 to 19 employees: £23.99 per month
- 20 to 49 employees: £49.99 per month
- 50 to 99 employees: £79.99 per month
- 100+ employees: £99.99 per month
All monthly costs are VAT exclusive.
▶ Read more: uAttend time and attendance software review
- No contract or tie-in period
- Multiple terminals work together without the need for networking
- Each terminal can only clock in a maximum of 200 employees
Best for customer support
The ClockRite C400’s pricing depends on the number of facial recognition clocking-in devices you need, and the amount of staff that will be using it. The price also varies based on whether the terminal offers wireless connectivity or not.
Here are the price ranges for a single terminal:
|Number of employees||Price (without wifi connectivity)||Price (with wifi connectivity)|
|Up to 12||£295||£370|
|13 to 25||£375||£450|
|26 to 50||£450||£525|
|51 to 75||£500||£575|
|76 to 100||£555||£630|
|101 to 200||£700||£775|
|201 to 500||£875||£980|
|501 to 800||£1,080||£1,155|
Too many numbers? We get it.
And to be honest, when it comes to getting accurate quotes for a range of facial recognition attendance systems, the easiest way isn’t scouring the internet for prices. It’s by letting us help. Simply give us some details about your industry, the number of employees you need your system to support, and when you need it installed by.
We’ll do the rest, matching you with hand-picked suppliers who’ll be in touch with tailored facial recognition time and attendance system quotes for your business.
- Also sports an in-built RFID reader for proximity clocking in
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- May be too simplistic for the requirements of some businesses
Timeware Suprema FaceStation 2
Best for large businesses
The Suprema FaceStation 2 costs £1,190 (excl. VAT). On top of this, an attendance terminal connection licence will set you back a further £588 (VAT excl).
- Put simply, this device represents some of the finest biometric technology available
- Timeware comes with four decades of experience
- The connection licence adds extra cost onto an already expensive terminal
AccuTime Face Recognition – Pro
Best for ease of use
Like ClockRite, AccuTime’s pricing is also based on the number of users, and whether or not wifi connectivity is included. Here are its rates.
|Number of staff||Price (without wifi connectivity)||Price (with wifi connectivity)|
|Up to 50||£995||£1,025|
|Up to 100 employees||£1,195||£1,225|
- Integrates with Sage payroll software
- One-year warranty on the hardware
- One of the more expensive systems of its kind
Facial recognition. Though it still, in some ways, feels like it’s been peeled straight off the pages of an old sci-fi comic, it can do wonders in the workplace. From automating key HR and payroll processes to reducing the spread of office illnesses, facial recognition attendance systems save time, boost morale, and increase productivity.
What’s more, they’re affordable – you can get your hands on a model such as the uAttend MN2000 for only £249 (excl. VAT). If usability is more your thing, though, opt for AccuTime’s Face Recognition – Pro, while the Timeware Suprema FaceStation 2 (though a mouthful) should be the first name on the shopping list of larger businesses. The ClockRite C400 boasts the finest customer support, and the Safescan TM-838 is, of course, the system we recommend most fervently.
Above all, it’s important to remember that each business’ situation is different. Staff numbers, premises size, budget… even the date you need your system to be live for can be a crucial differentiator when it comes to finding the right system.
That’s why we take all these factors into consideration when you complete our 30-second webform. Our free service matches you only with the facial recognition attendance systems that are best-suited to partner with your business. They’ll then provide you with tailored quotes designed to help your SME grow.
What other biometric time and attendance systems could I consider?
Biometric time and attendance systems verify your employees’ identities via one or more of their own unique physical characteristics. As well as facial recognition, biometric devices can use fingerprint, voice, retina, and iris scanning to verify a person.
▶ Read more: Biometric time and attendance systems 2020
Which facial recognition attendance system has the best app?
Of the systems above, our favourite app is the Safescan mobile app. Like the stunning clocking-in device it accompanies, Safescan’s app (available for both Android and iOS) is fast, easy to use, and looks good to boot.
▶ Read more: Time and attendance app reviews