PaperCut Biometric capability

PaperCut Biometric capability


PaperCut biometric capability is one of the things that we get asked about a lot and we felt it was time to just go over a few things. We receive regular enquiries (typically tenders) wanting to know if PaperCut Embedded software supports biometrics,  the answer is fairly simple and in all honestly has very little to do with PaperCut.

First up a little background information. The current crop of biometric readers work over USB, because of this the MFD running the embedded software needs to support the biometric device via USB. MFD support for USB hardware such as keyboards,  proximity card readers and magstripe card readers differs greatly between MFD manufacturer. Most MFD brands support a vast range of keyboard emulating devices.

The biometric reader hardware effectively emulates a USB card reader when connected to a MFD. We won’t bore you with the details but in short, if the machine supports the USB device then generally PaperCut can take advantage of this and read data from the USB device as well.

PaperCut Biometric capability

So how does it all work?

As discussed biometric support is enabled by effectively emulating a USB card reader. The biometric device is connected via USB to an MFD running PaperCut embedded and also connected to the network via a LAN port. The typical workflow of the various biometric solutions is:

  • The user scans their fingerprint at the biometric scanner connected to the MFD
  • The fingerprint information is sent via the network to the biometric software running on a server
  • The fingerprint is then looked up in a biometric database and verified as a user on the network
  • Verified users have a unique number associated with their account
  • This unique ID number is sent through the network back to the bioscanner
  • The bioscanner sends the unique ID number via a USB connection to the MFD. This works just like a USB card reader scanning a card
  • The unique ID number matches the Card/ID number of a user in PaperCut
  • The user is logged into the embedded software
  • The time it takes to perform all these actions is barely noticeable


Currently, three hardware suppliers have tested their equipment with PaperCut. These are:


Biostore Limited


Live Register


Nationwide Retail Systems (NRS)


The following knowledge base article at PaperCut is worth a read:

If you have any other questions, give us a shout!

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