Fingerprint reader user's guide for TRANZ

This guide describes how to set up use the fingerprint reader add-on for the time clock system on the TRANZ terminal.

The fingerprint reader can be operated in two modes: Semi-automatic, where employees must identify themselves by entering a PIN or swiping a card, or fully-automatic, where the fingerprint reader automatically recognizes the employee by their fingerprint. The fully-automatic mode is enabled by default, and the semi-automatic mode is activated if a user starts pressing keys or swipes a card when clocking in or out.


If you are upgrading an existing installation, you need to:

  1. First transmit all punches out of your clock, so there is no risk of losing any.
  2. Make sure your clock has the latest programming loaded.

For all installations:

  1. Connect the fingerprint reader.
  2. Press FUNC+1. When asked for the password, it's 346437 (spells FINGER. If the password isn't accepted, you need to redownload the terminal software. See downloading a clock for instructions.)
  3. When asked whether you want to erase, press 1 for erase.
  4. Transmit your clock. (It's important to transmit now. The erase will occur during the transmit. Any fingerprints, including the manager fingerprint, will be erased during this initial transmit.)
  5. Set up a manager password and enroll a manager fingerprint.
  6. Begin enrolling employees' fingers.

Upgrading an existing non-biometric installation

Before making any changes to your setup, transmit any activity so you don't risk losing it. Press the 9 key to transmit.

Software and firmware versions

If you are upgrading an existing installation, contact your payroll provider for instructions on upgrading the clock software. In order to use the fingerprint reader, you need to have version 2.01 or later of the clock software loaded. If you used your clock before August 2007, you probably need an update. Use the standard download procedure to update the clock, but substitute the code 7472 for the application ID (instead of 747).

The clock software version is different from the firmware whose version number appears when you turn on the clock. The firmware is made by VeriFone, although your payroll provider can special-order update chips from the payroll/timekeeping software providers. The latest firmware for the TRANZ 330 is version 3.70, and the latest firmware for the TRANZ 380 is 1.41. The firmware is on a removable chip in a slot that's visible if you open the unit. Using the latest firmware is recommended. Some features will be disabled if you use a TRANZ 330 firmware version earlier than 3.60.

You can verify both the software and firmware versions online by visiting the Verify Transmit screen on the timekeeping site's administration menu.

Connecting the fingerprint reader

The fingerprint reader has two cables coming from it. Both cables connect to the TRANZ terminal, and both are required to be connected to use the reader. Although the cables look similar, they are keyed differently and each will only fit in the correct socket.

The reader does not have a separate power cord. It gets its power directly from the clock.

When you have connected the reader and the clock is powered on, it should briefly flash a red and green light, and beep three times in quick succession. This lets you know it's on.

Fingerprint manager menu

Once the fingerprint reader has been installed, the fingerprint menu can be accessed by pressing 3 at the date/time screen.

The default password for the manager menu is 1234, and you can (and should) change this on the menu.

You can also set up a manager fingerprint. That's option 3 on the menu. This allows you to conveniently enter the menu to enroll prints without your employees seeing your password. EITHER the manager fingerprint OR the password can be used to access the menu, so if you set up a fingerprint, don't forget to change the password from 1234 to something else. (Remember, employees who can access the manager menu can delete their own registrations, and then clock in/out without verifying their fingerprint!)

Setting up a manager password and fingerprint

From the fingerprint menu, you can set up a manager fingerprint and password. Either the fingerprint or the password can be used to enter the fingerprint management menu.

Even if you set a manager fingerprint, make sure to change the default password as well. The clock will allow the password to be used any time the manager fingerprint cannot be read, or if the fingerprint reader is disconnected or not associated. If unauthorized employees can get to the menu using the password, they can delete their own enrollments or make changes that allow them to defeat the fingerprint reader.

The manager password and fingerprint do not get sent to the server, nor do they automatically propagate from clock to clock. These must be set on each clock individually. It is perfectly acceptable to have different passwords or manager fingerprints on different clocks for the same client.

Enrolling employee fingers

You can enroll or re-enroll employee fingers from the fingerprint manager menu. Each employee should be associated with a card number or PIN number that you will enter on the timekeeping web site in the "card number" field. To enroll an employee, enter the employee ID number, and then follow the prompts to enroll and verify the fingerprint.

What happens when you enroll

Your fingerprint reader does not actually store any fingerprint images. Rather, it simply memorizes key points on the fingerprint that can be used to recognize that same print later. The key points are simply a short string of numbers. Each number string is referred to as a "template".

The templates are stored on your fingerprint reader, and not in the TRANZ terminal, with one exception. When you perform an enrollment, a copy of the template is temporarily saved in the terminal so it can be transmitted to the server. The server then sends a copy of that fingerprint template to all the other clocks belonging to the same client. Afterwards, the only copy (besides the backup on the server) is in each of the fingerprint readers themselves.

Each fingerprint you enroll will appear to add 3 or 4 punches to the outgoing batch, which will be transmitted to the payroll server upon next transmit.

The terminal's memory is limited, especially the TRANZ 330. You may find that after enrolling 20 to 40 employees on a TRANZ 330, the terminal will tell you its memory is full and ask you to transmit. The only way to free up the memory is to transmit the enrollments to the server, which will take about 5 to 8 minutes. Once this is done, you can enroll another batch of 20 to 40 employees. Only the TRANZ 330 has this limitation - the TRANZ 380 is unlikely to ask you to do this. Regardless, this does not limit the total employees that can actually use a single clock. The maximum is approximately 1,900 employees - the capacity of the reader - regardless of whether used with the TRANZ 330 or 380.

About human fingerprints

All human fingerprints are unique. Even identical twins have unique fingerprints.

Also, all ten fingers on every person are uniquely distinct from each other. If a person enrolls their index finger, that same finger must be used when clocking in and out. If you want to enroll multiple fingers for the same person, note that you can give each employee up to 3 unique ID's on the timekeeping website. You would enroll each finger with a unique ID number. This, however, is almost always unnecessary.

Clocking in and out

The fingerprint reader is capable of both fully-automatic fingerprint recognition, and semi-automatic recognition.

Fully-automatic is when an employee simply walks up, presses CLOCK IN/OUT, and the clock automatically determines who the employee is by their fingerprint alone.

Semi-automatic is when an employee enters a PIN number or swipes a card. The clock already knows who the employee is by their entry, and the reader will accept only that employee's print.

Fully-automatic mode tends to work well for almost everyone. The system defaults to fully-automatic mode unless the user starts pressing keys when clocking in or out. There are a couple of things to be aware of with both modes.

Forgotten manager password or no manager finger available

It is possible to reset the manager password, however you must contact your payroll company in order to do it. Your payroll company can provide you with a "reset code" to reset the password back to 1234. The reset code is different each time - have your clock in front of you when you call.

If the manager finger is no longer available (manager quit, etc.) but the password is known, you can still access the menu. Simply enter the password while it's asking "TOUCH MGR FINGER".

Re-enrolling fingerprints

It is possible to re-use a card or PIN number. Just enroll another finger with the same employee ID number. This will overwrite the previous fingerprint, which will no longer work. The clock will say "RE-ENROLLMENT" instead of "ENROLLMENT" when it detects you are enrolling a number that already exists.

Deleting fingerprints

You can delete fingerprints from the fingerprint reader's memory. You can delete a fingerprint knowing only the employee ID number, or by touching the live finger manually to the sensor. The delete option is especially useful and important if the same finger has been enrolled with more than one code, as the reader will have troubles identifying the correct code when used in fully-automatic mode until you delete all but one of the copies of the finger.

To delete fingerprints, press 2 from the fingerprint manager menu.

When you delete a fingerprint, you'll be given the option to delete the fingerprint from the server, or on this clock only. If you select delete from server, a message will be transmitted to the server instructing it to delete the print from its database, and that message will be relayed to all your other clocks, which will also delete that same print automatically. Of course, the print is also deleted from "this clock" immediately.

If you select "this clock" only, the fingerprint will only be deleted locally, and will remain on the server and on other clocks (unless you delete it manually there as well).

If you delete a fingerprint from "this clock only" and want to retrieve it back from the server, you have three options:

  1. Re-enroll the finger, or
  2. Do a full erase and full download, or
  3. Do a "missing prints only" download from the server.

Replacing the fingerprint reader

If you connect a different fingerprint reader to the clock, the clock will detect this, and will refuse to allow anyone to use the clock until it is resolved. To alleviate this, you will be asked for the fingerprint manager password. When the clock has detected a different reader, it will only allow access to the manager menu via password.

The clock does this because it depends on trusting the database inside the fingerprint reader. If the fingerprint reader has been changed, the clock assumes it can no longer trust the data coming from the reader.

If you clear the memory of the reader, it will retrieve all current employees' fingerprint templates over the phone line next time you transmit. If you do not clear the memory, the system will assume (possibly incorrectly) that the reader's fingerprint database is up to date. If there is any doubt, you should clear the memory and download a fresh database from the server.

Server fingerprint transfer

Under normal circumstances, any time you enroll or delete a finger, the template is automatically transmitted to the server, and then passed on to each of your additional clocks.

For one reason or another, you may wish to do a fingerprint redownload, to ensure that the fingerprint reader has a fresh copy of everyone's fingerprints. One reason you might do this is to delete a large number of terminated employees. Although you can easily delete fingers from the clock, the clock will not automatically delete fingerprints if you terminate employees from the web site. That is, unless you perform a full erase and redownload. During a full erase and redownload, employees marked as terminated on the timekeeping website are skipped. This saves your memory slots for active employees.

There are four possible download modes that your clock can be configured for. The download mode is changed by option 5 on the fingerprint management menu. After you change the download mode, you should exit the manager menu, and then press 9 to transmit.