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App Review: ABBYY business card reader

Simple and straightforward solution for all business card scanning needs for Android users


Compatibility with Tablets



Even though technologies like NFC and Bluetooth are there which can help users easily transfer their contacts with other people, physical visiting cards are still the preferred way to initiate a contact. But the problem with business cards is that in today’s fast moving life no one is ready to carry a ton of visiting cards with him while on the move. So there is a simple solution – business card reader.

These applications scan the business cards and make digital copies of them which can be updated in the address book straight away without having to worry about the losing the physical card itself.

ABBYY, one of the most renowned names in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology based products, has recently come out with a business card reader application for Android devices.

The ABBYY business card reader is available in both paid and free versions on the Android marketplace, which is now known as the Google Play Store and it requires a high speed internet connection to download the big 27 MB file package. On WiFi the application takes about 5 minutes to download and install on the device which of course is not such a big pain even for the busiest person considering the kind of utility this application offers. But make sure you look at all the terms and conditions before downloading the application.

Post installation, the application will be in the first few names on your device, all thanks to the name which starts with ‘A’ which makes it easier to access especially if you have a lot of apps installed on your device. The app opens up with three broad options on the page – take photo, open photo and options.

To start using it all you need is to go to the options tab and select the preferred language, which by the way are in plenty. The application has support for 19 international languages. After that select the storage for contact which is between Google and the device and that takes care of the setup part for the application.

Now all you need to do is place a business card on a table or hold it in your hand and select the option take photo. The app takes less than 10 seconds to capture and process the photograph. Indeed, it is one of the fastest card reader app we have seen so far.

Depending on the number of fields on the card, the app will then allocate details and present the final image before you. Another cool feature of the application is that on the characters where the app has any doubt it will highlight them in red so that it draws immediate attention and user can edit that before saving the contact. The scanned image or the captured image is also shown along sides the field that is being edited so that correction can be made accurately.

We tested the application with 15 different cards and the error margin was less than 10 characters; in some cards there were even fewer errors. And all of this is done at lighting fast speed so that user does not have to spend more than a minute to process and save a visiting card. The app also supports addition of Twitter, Facebook and Linked in data with the contact and also allows users to locate addresses on the mapping application as well but that is only supported in the paid version.

Users can also take simple pictures of the visiting cards and process them later as the application also supports previously taken pictures and takes the same amount of time here as well minus the picture capture time.

All in all, we find the ABBYY Business card reader a great utility application. It works flawlessly on both tablets and smartphones but all depends on the camera quality so make sure you at least have a smartphone with an auto focus camera.

The application as we said has a neat and very easy to use interface making it very fast to be worked upon. The app is available in paid version for around Rs 540 approximately but with the kind of performance and features, the application offers and considering its simplicity it is worth spending that money although many more users will join the bandwagon if the prices get a little low.


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