Business card scanner apps are software tools allowing users to take a photograph of a business card and have the information converted to a contact. We looked at dozens of apps to find the six best options based on price, ease of use, reliability and accuracy, and contact management, arriving at the best overall.
Top 6 Business Card Scanner Apps 2019
|Business Card Scanner Apps||Best For|
|(Best Overall) Field sales reps who need quick, accurate business card scanning|
|Mac users who want a native app and robust integrations|
|Sales teams who need a scanner with a direct CRM integration|
|Recruiters and B2B sales reps who want to sync contact information with LinkedIn|
|Individuals on a budget who want a basic free business card scanner|
|Individuals who want to scan multiple cards at one time|
How We Evaluated Business Card Scanners
Users who collect large numbers of business cards at networking events and after meeting new leads need a way to quickly and accurately digitize information to use it with software like CRMs or marketing automation tools. However, the best business card scanner software goes beyond transcription of contact information by providing users the ability to store and/or share contact information with other tools and apps.
We compare several business card scanner apps based on the following:
- Price & affordability: We looked at how affordable each option is for users and teams, and how much value each offers
- Ease of use: We evaluated how easy it is to scan and convert business cards into contact information
- Type of transcription: All of the apps we reviewed used either optical character recognition (OCR) or manual, human transcription; OCR is software technology that recognizes characters in text, photos, or other files, and can transcribe them
- Reliability & accuracy: We considered how accurate the resulting scanned information was since not all apps handle transcription in the same way; we also looked at how they handle conflicting data and whether it was able to correct errors
- Scanning limits: Some card scanners come with limits; we looked at how many scans allowed on both paid and free plans
- Integrations: We evaluated what services the scanner app connects with, and how easy it is to move contact data into other software apps and services
- Contact management: We looked at the overall functionality of managing contacts within the software, including how easy it is to search and find relevant contact information
We recommend ABBYY Business Card Reader for small businesses that want an app with reliable transcription and easy-to-use integrations. Additionally, ABBYY includes unique features like automatic error correction that make it a good choice for sales reps that depend on personal interactions to generate new leads.
Best Overall Business Card Scanner App for Small Businesses: ABBYY
ABBYY Business Card Reader is a reliable business card scanner app and is one of the most accurate at recognizing and transcribing contact information from a variety of business card designs and styles. The Premium account includes unlimited scans for $29.99 per year, which is comparable to other options we reviewed. We think ABBYY is the best overall choice for business-to-business (B2B) sales reps who need quick and accurate scanning from a leading provider.
ABBYY has a free plan which allows scanning of up to 15 cards total. The paid premium plan is $7.99 per month or $29.99 per year and includes unlimited scans. The premium plan also includes Salesforce integration as well as a browser-based interface that allows you to view your scanned cards.
ABBYY Business Card Reader has one of the strongest overall set of features, including OCR scanning, business card auto-detect, direct import to Salesforce, and language support. The scanning is generally more reliable than other OCR scan options except Evernote, and it’s much faster than manual transcription options like FullContact or Insightly.
Ease of Use
ABBYY makes scanning and transcribing business cards relatively simple. Users only have to open the app and take a photo of the card, and the software handles the rest. ABBYY identifies information automatically and categorizes it based on type. In addition, when ABBYY isn’t sure about text, it highlights it in blue to alert the user to review before saving. Overall ABBYY is one of the fastest OCR transcription apps and is generally one of the most accurate.
ABBYY Business Card Reader uses OCR to detect and transcribe the information from your card. One of the benefits of ABBYY OCR is that the scanning software works reliably and can recognize and transcribe data more accurately than other OCR options. ABBY also includes error detection, notifying users when it’s not sure about a transcription, giving them a chance to review and correct information on import.
ABBYY Business Card Reader has support for 25 languages and is even able to detect up to three different languages on the same card and accurately transcribe the data into your contact list. Some other options provide language support, but ABBYY provides the largest selection of languages of the options we reviewed. This is especially helpful for international account managers who regularly travel and need a reliable way to capture and store contact information.
ABBYY Business Card Reader includes the ability to export contacts directly to Salesforce as leads when you subscribe to the Premium plan. This is especially helpful for sales teams who use Salesforce and want to be able to capture leads in person and import them into their contact management software to
ABBYY includes the ability to access your contacts through a browser-based interface that automatically updates as you scan and digitize your cards. This makes it easy for users with long contact lists who want to search and view contacts, edit contact information, organize your contacts by group, add notes, and find contact addresses on maps.
What ABBYY Is Missing
ABBYY does not have manual transcription, which is usually the most reliable form of transcribing business cards. OCR is an automated process, and while ABBYY’s is top-notch, it can still get confused with unusual fonts or nontraditional card designs, resulting in the need for users to correct the contact information manually.
What Users Think About ABBYY Business Card Reader
Users like that ABBYY is easy to use, and the scanning is more accurate and reliable than other options. Users also like that the paid version includes sync with Salesforce. The biggest negative comments are related to the fact that ABBYY has limited other export options and does not include sync with other customer relationship management tools (CRMs).
Best Business Card Scanner for Mac Users: FullContact
FullContact is a fully-featured contact manager that includes a business card scanner. In addition to iOS and Android Apps, FullContact has a native Mac OS app and integrates well with other Mac software like Apple contacts and mail. FullContact is, therefore, best for Mac and users who want to send scanned contacts directly into Apple apps or contact management tool as leads.
FullContact can be used for free after downloading from the Apple App Store or Google Play store. Free plans are limited to 10 total business card scans. The paid plan is $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year and includes 1,000 business card transcriptions per year and a total of 25,000 contacts.
FullContact is a full-featured contact manager that includes the ability to manage all of your contacts across multiple devices and keep them in sync. The business card scanner built into the mobile app allows you to take a picture and submit cards for transcription by humans who enter your contact’s information into your database. Your contacts are then kept in sync by the app across all of your devices and are backed up to the cloud.
Ease of Use
From scanning business cards to managing contacts, users can navigate and find the information they need to get work done easily. FullContact is intuitive and easy-to-use on both mobile devices as well as in a browser. The native Mac software means that users can access their contact information even when they aren’t online, and business card scanning is as easy as taking a photo. The app identifies the edges, straightens the card, and transcribes the photo.
FullContact uses actual people to transcribe the image you upload. While this means that the transcription is slower than software like Evernote or ABBYY, FullContact is very accurate since two people always transcribe your uploads. Human transcription can help keep your contact list clean as it eliminates transcription errors that can result from unusual fonts or card designs.
Because FullContact uses human transcription, only cards that are in English can be transcribed and imported into your contact list. While human transcription is highly accurate, FullContact is more limited compared to other options in that it is only designed for individuals who collect business cards from English-speaking contacts.
One of the areas that sets FullContact apart from some options is the expansive library of integrations available to users. FullContact integrates with HubSpot, Marketo, Freshdesk, Zendesk, AgileCRM, and Automate.io. It also works with Zapier to connect to even more apps that don’t have direct integrations. This makes it a valuable tool for sales representatives who want to import contacts directly into the sales software they use every day.
Like several options on this list, FullContact searches publicly available information as well as social profiles and automatically populates this information into your contact profiles. Users are given the option of reviewing information and accepting or rejecting it. In addition, FullContact keeps all of your contacts in sync across all of your computer and mobile devices in real time, making sure you always have the most up to date information in the office or on the go.
What FullContact Is Missing
Unlike ABBYY and services like Evernote and Dropbox, FullContact does not use OCR. Instead, actual humans transcribe your information. This means that business card import is not instant and can take 30 or more minutes before the contact is added to your database.
What Users Think About FullContact
Users generally give FullContact positive reviews, especially for its accuracy and integrations with other software like Salesforce, Dropbox, Evernote, and social media apps. However, some users express frustration that the transcription takes far longer than apps that use OCR to transcribe images automatically.
Best Built-in CRM Card Reader: Card Scanner by Zoho
Zoho Card Reader App is a built-in feature of Zoho CRM, a robust, well-known CRM that includes contact management, deals, and operational features like invoicing, product management, and HR. Its business card scanner app directly imports contacts making it easy to convert new in-person connections into leads and contacts. This makes it ideal for businesses needing an all-in-one CRM and business card scanning solution.
Zoho Card Scanner Pricing
The Zoho Card Scanner is a built-in feature of Zoho’s mobile CRM app, which includes contact management, sales opportunities, and social media integration. Paid plans begin at $12 per month, per user and add advanced CRM features like advanced customization, lead scoring and workflows, which is comparable to other similar CRMs.
Zoho Card Scanner Features
Zoho card reader allows you to take a photo of a business card or quick response (QR) code easily and save the contact information in your phone or as a new contact or lead in Zoho CRM. Because the card reader is a part of Zoho CRM, it is connected to the fully featured contact management functionality used by thousands of businesses every day, although it is limited in import capabilities compared to other independent apps.
Ease of Use
Zoho is relatively easy to use, although users need a Zoho CRM account to use the scanner app. The scanning is relatively accurate, and users can change information in the contact database when errors occur. Finally, because the scanner is a part of the CRM mobile app, it is more limited in its ability to share contact information with other database software.
Zoho CRM uses OCR to scan business cards and import the information into your database. The OCR is reliable, although it seems to be more likely to introduce errors than some of the options we reviewed, like ABBYY and Evernote, especially when scanning more complex card designs. Zoho does save some time and steps because your card automatically imports into your CRM, instead of a third-party database that requires an extra step to export.
Zoho Card Reader can read and transcribe cards in 17 different languages and can identify multiple languages and switch between them instantly. This is especially helpful for international users and account reps who regularly work with companies outside of their country or region.
In addition to Zoho CRM, the card reader can integrate with many of the other Zoho products including Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Mail, or even Salesforce or Google Contacts. Zoho makes it easy to create contacts and then send them to the appropriate application based on your specific needs.
Because the card reader is a part of Zoho CRM, you can set up workflows to be triggered automatically by new contacts created by the business card scanner app. You can even set up workflows to keep your database clean by merging duplicate records. Zoho CRM makes it easy to send a templated, preplanned email automatically to a new contact created from a business card scan or schedule an email to be sent later.
What Zoho Card Scanner Is Missing
Zoho Card Reader cannot scan multiple cards at the same time, and it does not have the option for manual transcription. In addition, Zoho Card Reader requires using either Zoho CRM or another Zoho product, unless you are going to export to Salesforce or Google Contacts.
What Users Think About Zoho Card Scanner
Zoho CRM users love how well the card reader works with their existing contact management software. Users comment on how simple and easy it is to use, and how intuitive the entire process is. Users especially like the integration with Zoho products as well as a few third-party tools. Some users comment that the OCR transcribing is quirky and sometimes inaccurate.
Best for Capturing Contact Information From LinkedIn: Evernote Premium
Evernote is a powerful note-taking and organization tool with a premium plan that imports LinkedIn profile information from scanned business cards for $7.99 per month. It also allows you to organize and store your ideas and documents, create notes, to-do lists, and share information with your team. Evernote is especially ideal for individuals that want to link contacts to their LinkedIn profile like B2B sales reps, recruiters, and consultants.
Evernote Premium Pricing
Evernote Premium is an upgrade from the free version of Evernote. The Premium Plan costs $7.99 per month and adds the ability to auto-detect and scan business cards. A Team version is available for $14.99 per month per user and allows you to connect Evernote with CRM tools like Salesforce.
Evernote Premium Features
In addition to productivity features Evernote Premium includes business card scanning functionality that includes the ability to detect when you’re scanning a business card automatically as well as powerful OCR technology. Additionally, Evernote Premium allows you to save all of your notes, to-do lists, receipts, files and documents in one place as well as clipping pages from the web to save in Evernote, making it a great all-in-one solution.
Ease of Use
When using the camera to take a photo of a business card, Evernote knows what you are trying to do automatically and captures the resulting image as a business card. Evernote stores the information in a notebook called “business cards,” and import all of the contact data. When you finish, Evernote is also unique in asking you automatically if you want to send an email with your contact info to the email address imported.
Evernote is one of the best OCR scanners on the market. It’s almost always accurate and does the best overall job of identifying nontraditional contact fields and importing them correctly. For example, Evernote knows when social media handles are used and can label them and even make them linkable within Evernote.
Currently, Evernote supports the indexing of 28 languages, plus 11 handwritten languages. Unlike ABBYY, Evernote doesn’t detect languages automatically. Instead, the user sets the language to be indexed in the app settings. One advantage is that it can detect and index information written down on paper in addition to typeset business cards.
When users create a new contact from a business card in Evernote, it imports information from the contact’s LinkedIn profile automatically. This is especially useful for sales professionals who regularly use LinkedIn for prospecting and want to connect their in-person networking with their online efforts.
Evernote has long been known for its powerful search within PDFs and images and will suggest related notes. This allows you to find notes and relevant content from previous meetings quickly or articles you’ve saved that relate to your contacts. Evernote also includes a separate app called Scannable that makes the scanning process even simpler and allows you to save and share completed scans.
What Evernote Premium Is Missing
Evernote Premium does not save resulting contacts in your device contact lists automatically or to your address book like some of the other options on this list. Additionally, Evernote is not a CRM and lacks many of the contact management features found in those software options. If you need a CRM, try Zoho.
What Users Think About Evernote Premium
Generally, reviews of Evernote are overwhelmingly positive. Users love the search capabilities, the highly accurate OCR, and the intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Users also like that Evernote is flexible and able to handle note-taking, document creation, and scanning tasks. Some users do comment that the upload limits on the free plan can be restrictive.
Best Free Business Card Scanner App: ScanBizCards
ScanBizCards is a free business card scanner app for iOS and Android by CircleBack that includes unlimited card scanning, unlimited contacts in your address book, cloud-based backup, and CRM export. While ScanBizCards lacks some of the features found in other options on this list, the fact that it is free for unlimited card scanning makes it a good choice for individuals who need a simple solution to import a collection of business cards.
ScanBizCards is free and includes unlimited scanning and contacts. A Premium version is available as an app download for $2.99, adding Salesforce and comma-separated values (CSV) file export. Manual transcription credits can be purchased at a rate of 50 for $10 or 200 for $25, which can be used when the app has a hard time transcribing.
With the exception of the additional export options in the Premium version, the two apps are the same. Both include unlimited OCR scanning, limited CRM export, unlimited contacts, and cloud backup and sync. ScanBizCards is ideal for individuals or teams who need a reliable card scanning app at a very low cost or free.
Ease of Use
ScanBizCards is relatively straightforward to use, although it lacks many of the advanced features of other options on this list. The scanning app is as easy as using a camera app, although I noticed it did not reliably auto-detect cards and required me to take the photo manually. The scanning is relatively quick, although not as fast as ABBY or Evernote.
ScanBizCards is generally accurate and reliable and, in my experience, it transcribed almost all of the cards I tested without errors. Only hard to read or unusual fonts caused any issue, and the interface allows you to correct information before finalizing the import. The Lite and Premium plans do offer two manual transcriptions for hard-to-read cards in the event the OCR is unable to transcribe the contact.
ScanBizCards supports scanning of cards in 22 languages, which is similar to other OCR options on this list. The manual transcription add-ons are available in English since they use humans to transcribe card data. Support for languages like French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, and more make it a strong choice for international sales reps who want a free option for scanning occasional cards into their contact list.
ScanBizCards integrates with several popular CRMs including Salesforce, SugarCRM, Constant Contact, and Evernote. In addition, you can export cards by emailing them to other contacts as well. ScanBizCards will also add contacts to your iPhone address book and keep your contacts in sync across all of your devices.
ScanBizCards includes the ability to connect your email account and capture email signatures into your contact database. This is an especially helpful feature for individuals who frequently find themselves searching their email for contact information. Users can export the imported information in the same way they would a business card, sending it to supported CRMs or your contact list.
What ScanBizCards Is Missing
ScanBizCards does not have the same level of integrations as FullContact, Evernote or ABBYY. It also does not scan multiple cards at the same time like Wantedly People. It also does not it have its own browser-based contact database like FullContact. However, it does a good job of adding contacts to your iPhone address book and iCloud contacts.
What Users Think About ScanBizCards
Users generally like how easy ScanBizCards is to use, and how reliable and accurate it is at transcribing information. Many users comment on how fast the process is and how intuitive it is to create contacts. Some users comment that the app has a hard time recognizing unusual fonts or elaborate designs.
Best for Bulk Business Card Scanning: Wantedly People
Wantedly People is a free business card scanner app that uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and scan up to 10 cards at a time. Users can lay the cards on the table, open the app, and it will recognize and transcribe the information from the cards automatically. Wantedly People is the best choice for individuals who need to capture multiple cards at once.
Wantedly People Pricing
Wantedly People is a free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Users can also create a free profile on the Wantedly People website for networking and communicating with their contacts and professional peers.
Wantedly People Features
In addition to the Wantedly People App, which includes the business card scanner app, Wantedly people allows you to call and email contacts, search by name or company, leave notes about your contacts, and share business cards with others. Wantedly People also includes a professional social networking site where users can create a profile and connect with their contacts.
Ease of Use
By far, the signature feature of Wantedly People is the ability to identify and scan up to 10 cards at a time and automatically transcribe each at the same time. Using smart AI, the app detects the card edges and treats each card as a separate contact, transcribing the information for each into your contact list. I tried it with a variety of different cards and a variety of numbers of cards, and it identified each card successfully every time.
Wantedly People uses OCR for transcribing information from your cards and, while it’s reliable, it’s not quite as fast as ABBYY or Evernote but is more accurate than ScanBizCards. The OCR did a reasonably good job of identifying different types of cards but was not as successful at identifying or transcribing cards with a dark background.
Wantedly People is available in multiple languages. However, unlike apps like ABBYY, the scanning software does not detect languages. Users must set the global language preference in the app settings. Based on our research, it also appears that the Android version of the app is only available in English, making it less versatile for international users or those who travel frequently to non-English-speaking locations.
Wantedly People allows you to search contacts by name, company, job title, or phone number. Even if you can’t remember a contact’s name, you might remember where he or she works or what his or her role was. The app allows you to search by these fields to find the person you’re looking for. Because Wantedly People also includes a professional social network, it allows users to communicate with these contacts via instant messaging.
What Wantedly People Is Missing
Wantedly People does not include the ability to export contacts to CRMs or other outside tools. Additionally, while I found Wantedly People to be reliable and accurate, it had a difficult time detecting a dark-faced card with white text, and it failed to notice that I scanned a card a second time, creating a duplicate contact.
What Users Think About Wantedly People
Users give Wantedly People relatively high ratings for its ease of use and ability to scan multiple cards quickly. Users also gave it positive marks for accuracy, finding that the software does a good job of recognizing text on most standard card types. Some users comment that nonstandard fields like social media profiles are not always captured or imported accurately.
The Bottom Line
Business card scanner apps provide sales reps with a valuable tool for importing contacts and leads directly from personal connections. While there are a variety of options available, they generally work by taking a photograph of a business card, transcribing the contact information, and allowing users to export contacts to a CRM or other contact database.
ABBYY is our recommendation as the best overall because of its highly accurate OCR scanning, wide range of integrations, ease of use, and overall value. ABBYY is ideal for sales reps and other professionals who regularly meet new contacts and want to capture their business cards into their CRM or other contact database. You can download the app in the Apple App Store or Google Play today.