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What's the Difference Between a Free Time Card App and a Paid One?

whats the difference between a free time card app and a paid one
Daphne Blake

By Daphne Blake

It's not just about money when thinking about a time card app

Finding ways to cut costs in business is your job as a manager, but there are several important reasons you should not use a free time card app. Read on to see why free time card apps may hurt your business rather than help.

Free is Good! Or is it?

Most people grow up with the idea that free is good. When it comes to free ice cream, or a free back rub, or even a free pen at the bank, that idea is very true. Aside from an ice cream headache, there really isn't anything bad that can come of accepting it. The same cannot be said for using a free time card app for your business, however. Of course, we all want to find ways to save money while running a successful business, but when it comes to your choice of employee time card apps, free can do a lot more harm than good. Below we discuss some of the hidden issues brought on by well-meaning managers who fall into the free time card app trap, and how you can avoid them.

A Free Time Card App May Compromise Security

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Identity theft is no joke, and with today's advanced identity theft methods, it's easy for criminals to dig deep into your private life with the stealthy click of a button. Now, imagine the catastrophe in store for your business if a hacker happened to get into your company files. If you download and deploy a free time card app, you may have just opened the door for an attack. This time, however, it's not just your identity at stake. Many free apps—not just time card apps—are loaded with sneaky bits of code that will be released into your system the moment you run it. And don't think simply deleting the app will clean up the mess. A good hacker will have created a way for the virus to take root, even without the app still running on your device. These types of issues multiply based on the number of connected devices, and just imagine the damage that can be done if every employee has it on their phone or mobile device. Ad revenue is one-way free time card app companies get money, but the dishonest ones will often turn to malicious code to steal identities, money, and your livelihood. Is saving a few bucks really worth the risk?

If You're Not Paying For It, Where Is The Company Getting Money From?

If you have spotted a free time card app that seems too good to be true, like my grandfather used to say, it probably is. A good thing to ask about any free app is where does the money come from to keep the app running? If clients, like yourself, aren't handing over payment, how is the company staying in business? The answer is almost always ad revenue. Maybe you don't mind an ad on your screen when you're browsing the web or sending emails, but ads have no place in your business life—unless they're your ads, that is! Do you really want your employees to have to look at advertisements for other companies—maybe even your competitors—every time they need to clock in or out for a shift? Of course, you don't. Not only is that annoying, obtrusive, and ugly, it's incredibly unprofessional.

Free Apps Often Get Abandoned or Have Little to No Customer Support

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Some free apps are actually pretty good, though we stand by our suggestion to avoid any free time card apps for business use. However, it doesn't really matter how good an app is or how honest the company is, if it's free, there's a reason for it. If the app you're considering doesn't serve ads, and you're positive there is no bloatware or malware attached, the next thing to be aware of is the fact that a large number of free apps (of all kinds) often get abandoned. Many of them were made for fun, or perhaps a school project, or just to see if it could be done with a budget of zero. That's not a great way to run a business, clearly, but a lot of free apps aren't made for business reasons. That leaves you with one of two scenarios- Either the app author will shut it down after they get bored, or they keep it running with little to no customer support. What are you supposed to do when the app fails, and there's nobody there to answer your call? You just cost your business a ton of money while you scramble for a new time clock solution.

What Are the Options for a Low-Cost Time Card App?

Ok, we get it. You want to save money and increase profits, and those free apps are pretty darn tempting. However, we hope you take this article to heart and see the logic in avoiding free apps for business use. We're not going to leave you hanging, though, so here are some tips on finding a good, reliable, and low-cost time card app that will work hard for you.

a. Take advantage of free trials
b. Look for an app with multi-language support
c. Find an app company that offers dedicated customer service
d. Stay clear of contracts and shady promises
e. Look for a time card app that has built-in alerts
f. A great business app will have sister apps or compatible apps ready to fine-tune your business and enhance the other apps you use

If you found this article helpful and you'd like to learn more about productivity apps for small to medium businesses, try this article next!

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