Protective Patterns

New innovations in biometrics manage access control and staff attendance.

September 10, 2010
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ROI benefits

For Cameron Meldrum, product manager at ProfitStars, fingerprint-based IDs not only can be tailored to give access across multiple applications, they also present an opportunity for return on investment (ROI).

The company’s Biodentify® brand offers two products for credit unions: Employee ID and Member ID. “Employee ID is an enterprise-level, single sign-on solution,” says Meldrum. “You take it off the shelf, install it, and it’s ready to go.”

The system can take an employee’s fingerprint, attach it to an existing password and user name to establish a basic credential, and then use it across the enterprise. “Basically, our credentialing technology can assign one set of credentials to a large number of applications,” Meldrum says.

That ability is where ROI comes in. “It reduces time and management costs to administer multiple passwords, such as when employees forget passwords or when new passwords need to be set up across the enterprise,” Meldrum says. “With one password, confirmed by a fingerprint ID, it’s much simpler. And because the solution works across the enterprise with third-party applications, it lowers the number of password lockouts.”

Member ID works with a separate module from the employee ID, referring to a separate database.

“Member fingerprints are registered and linked to the various accounts a member holds at the credit union,” says Meldrum. “Members subsequently only need to have their fingerprints scanned for all their accounts to become available. The system can scan 10,000 names in less than a second, so calling up information is virtually instantaneous.”

While people are sometimes apprehensive about having their fingerprints stored, fearing theft or duplication, he says it’s virtually impossible for that to happen. “We never store an actual fingerprint in a database. Instead, we use a proprietary algorithm to capture and analyze its patterns, focusing on ‘minutiae points.’ We then create an encrypted mathematical representation of that print called a template that can’t be reverse-engineered. The template can only be read by our proprietary software.

“Biometrics is so much easier than whipping out numerous forms of ID,” Meldrum continues. “Once members get used to it, it’s hard to go back to the old way.”

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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