Typically a guest will report getting multiple punch errors when they attempt to scan more than the number of receipts set by your business rules. Business rules can be based on scan time or receipt time, depending on your settings.
Here is an example. The check-in rate limit is setup is for a maximum of 1 punch (check-ins) per 8-hour visit period. A guest attempting a 2nd or 3rd check-in will trigger this error. It will not matter if the guest waits 8 hours to scan the 2nd or 3rd check. All the checks were created with-in the 8 hour time limit
The guest time-line will look like similar to the snippet below.
Note that the guest received an approved loyalty on the first check with the bar code ending in 5014. Often one guest is the only loyalty member in the party. When they attempted to will use their friend's checks to add points -- bar code ending in 9836, they received the multiple punch error.
You'll note the highlighted portion in yellow will show the Period and Last Check-in time of the approved loyalty.