Biometric System to Check on Bangkok Government Staff

Some 2000 government officers working at Parliament House will soon be lining up to have their index fingers scanned as part of a new biometric attendance monitoring system to be introduced next month.

The 700,000 baht contract to install the system was awarded to Bangkok System and Software (BSS), a local security solution developer and system integrator.

In an interview with Database, BSS managing director Kenny Nawani said fingerprint technology was becoming widely deployed not only for access control, but also to monitor attendance because it could provided more accurate records when compared to current punch cards or swipe cards.

"A fingerprint scanner can help improve the attendance of workers, especially for factories," he said, noting that one study shows that employees "cheat" on their attendance by 5-15% on average.

Employees will also be encouraged to start work on time, which will lead to better productivity, he noted.

Founded in 1991, Bangkok System and Software started out doing software customisation as well as providing imported fingerprint scanners.

However, with its own engineering and marketing experience it was able to stop the import business and develop its own software and hardware a couple of years ago.

The company provides two major finger print scanning solutions: one for time attendance and one for access control.

"Our software supports Thai language and can support an unlimited number of users per machine," he said, noting that the processing speed from scanning to matching and verifying a fingerprint was under three seconds.

Mr Kenny said the company's software for managing attendance could record each employee's biography, daily time table records and reports for executive analysis. The software can also link to human resource or payroll systems.

Both systems have an option to link to IP cameras for recording or showing real-time pictures at an entrance gate, and the system also has a unique emergency alert function.

"We always use two fingers, both the left and right index fingers, when we collect prints. Right-handed people always use the right index finger to access their building or record their time, but if there is something wrong, he or she can alert security guards by using a left index finger instead," he said.

An alert message will automatically be sent to officers in a control room without the public noticing so there is no panic. The officers can also know what has happened at an access point by using the closed-circuit IP camera, he said.

Bangkok System and Software can also customise its fingerprint scanners to fit each customer, such as installing it in an elevator for secure residential buildings, or a scanner with a numeric keypad for organisations that want to use 13-digit ID card numbers as a double check access procedure, or installed on a stand or pillar.

The company plans to add more features to its solutions by developing web based management programs. It will also introduce web authentication with a digital signature in a USB token soon.

The token would make e-transactions more secure, for example e-banking transactions, said the managing director, noting that the company would also provide a software development kit for further application development.

Bangkok System and Software has sales revenue of around 30 million baht and aims to grow its business 5% this year.