The 6 best business card scanner apps of 2020

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay / Last updated October 29, 2019

Gone from the modern desk are most paper documents, but business cards feel here to stay. And for good reason: They're still the quickest way to hand someone your contact info and keep a connection going after any meeting.

But they still require some work. Stick a business card in your wallet, and odds are you'll forget it until you finally clear it out months later. You'll probably never get around to typing in everyone's contact info individually either. You need an app that can digitize your paper contacts and help you reach back out in seconds.

That's where business card scanners come in. We tested over 15 popular apps, trying each with simple, complicated, and blurry business cards to see how they worked in real-life use. Here are the six best tools to quickly scan business cards. Click on any app to learn more about why we chose it, or keep reading for more context on business card readers.

The 6 best business card scanner apps

What makes a good business card reader app?

Just taking a photo of business cards isn't enough. Scanning them at your computer isn't much better. That will take away precious time you could spend doing other things, and you'll often still have to type in text yourself or copy and paste it from OCR (optical character recognition) software.

A good best business card scanner app will cut that workflow down to just a few quick steps. Open the app on your phone, snap a quick picture of the business card (often without even tapping the camera shutter button), and the app will automatically recognize the text and add the contact to your address book.


Best business card scanner app for staying in touch with new contacts

ABBYY Business Card Reader (Android, iOS, Windows)

ABBYY Business Card Reader

For a fast, reliable way to scan and save business cards, ABBYY Business Card Reader is the app to pick. It was the quickest and most accurate at recognizing text in our testing. It also helps you reach out to new connections and save your new contacts to your address book.

To scan a business card, open the app, tap the Camera icon, and, if ABBYY recognizes a card, it'll auto-snap a picture and recognize the text—no need to tap the shutter button. You'll see the scanned contact info in seconds.

It splits out first and last names, tags the location of where you scanned the card, and includes fields for every bit of text the app recognizes, including non-standard fields for social media profiles, quotes, or slogans. And if it's unsure about a character, it'll highlight it in blue—you can then tap the i icon to edit the text or see a zoomed-in view of the scanned card to confirm the text is correct.

When everything looks perfect, tap Save to add the contact to ABBYY's contacts list, your phone's address book, and/or Salesforce. Or you can get in touch with your new contact directly from the app by searching for them on LinkedIn or Facebook. It's everything you need to do with business cards in one place.

ABBYY Business Card Reader Price:
Free plan: Yes
Paid plan: From $29.99/year

Best business card scanner app for events

ScanBizCards (Android, iOS)

ScanBizCards Business Card Reader

If you've ever been to a conference, trade show, or networking event, you've probably come away with a stack of business cards. But between post-event fatigue and getting back into your regular work routine, it can be challenging to find time to sort through them and add them to your contacts—much less follow up.

Enter ScanBizCards, a business card scanner specifically designed for events. Not only can you scan traditional business cards, but the app also works with conference badges with a paid plan. Easy CRM integrations allow you to seamlessly add new leads to your system—or update existing leads if there's new or additional contact information. That's a great feature if you go to a lot of events and meet a high volume of leads because otherwise, data in your CRM can get messy quickly.

The app also allows you to assign a new contact to a specific owner before you export it to a CRM like Salesforce—a huge plus if you're looking to use business cards to send targeted, personalized follow-ups.

ScanBizCards Price:
Free plan: Yes
Paid plan: From $100 user/year

Best free business card scanner app

Wantedly People (Android, iOS)

Wantedly People

Wantedly People feels too good to be true. Open the app, and it's in the camera mode by default, ready to scan your business cards. Yes, cards—it can capture up to 10 at once. Lay out your cards where they're not overlapping, and after a few seconds, you'll see a circle appear over each card. Tap the camera shutter button, and Wantedly People will import all of those cards at once.

Of all the apps we tested, Wantedly People (written W People on your phone's home screen) took the fewest taps to scan business cards—which is why we'd rate it as the best free card scanner app. While its accuracy isn't quite as good as ABBYY's, it did quite well and even picked out text from our blurriest, photocopied business card when few other apps recognized anything.

There are only two downsides. First, Wantedly People only recognizes default contact fields, including name, email, address, and phone number. If your cards include extra items like social media profiles, it's less likely to save them.

Also, Wantedly People doesn't save your business cards to your address book or other apps. Instead, you have to open Wantedly People (or its companion web app, if you sign up for the optional Wantedly account) to look through your scanned contacts. You can then tap to call or email them from there—or copy the info and add to your address book manually. But for a free option, its benefits outweigh the downsides.

Wantedly People Price:
Free plan: Yes

Best business card reader app for keeping your info updated

CamCard (Android, iOS)

CamCard

Why not embrace the old while building the new? That's what CamCard is trying with its business card scanner app. When you first open it, you'll be asked to add your own contact details to make an eCard, which you can then share with others nearby or with a QR code if they also use CamCard. Update the eCard, and your new contact info will be shared with everyone you've shared your card with in the past.

CamCard also recognizes business cards and scans them automatically—and can even batch scan multiple cards. Just tap the Camera Icon to start scanning a card. Each contact will then include all the data CamCard can find, with new fields automatically added for items like Facebook pages.

New scanned cards—and shared eCards—are saved to your CamCard address book by default, where you can group contacts, add notes, and set reminders to get back in touch. You can also manually add contacts to your address book or have them automatically synced to Salesforce with its business plans.

CamCard Price:
Free plan: Yes
Paid plan: From $5/user/month

Best business card scanner app if you already have too many apps

Evernote (Android, iOS for scanning; Windows, Mac, Web for viewing)

Evernote

The popular notebook app Evernote happens to also be one of the best ways to scan business cards. Once you're signed in on its mobile app, press-and-hold the + icon, then select the camera to add a new photo as a note. Evernote will usually automatically recognize documents and business cards and will snap them with its document scanner mode.

Want to scan more cards? Just keep pointing your camera at new cards, and each new scan will show up on the bottom of the camera interface. Then, tap a card to see how Evernote recognized it. It may notice it's a business card automatically; if not, tap the Saving as button, select Business Card, and Evernote will pull the data out of the card. You can even then email that person your own contact info. Just select Email my contact info from the Business card saved pop-up window or from the Options menu at the bottom of the note.

Save that card, and it'll be stored as a Business Card note in Evernote, with fields for the contact info along with a picture of the card and any notes you want. You can then save the contact to your address book or have Evernote remind you to stay in touch.

Evernote Price:
Free plan: Yes
Paid plan: From $9.99/month

Automate Evernote with Evernote's Zapier Integrations.

Best business card reader app for companies

Sansan (Android, iOS, Web)

sansan

Sansan aims to manage your whole company's business cards, not just your own. That's reflected in its pricing and its dedicated scanner devices.

Sansan combines the features of many of the other business card scanner apps. You can scan cards individually or in a batch and save both the front and back of the cards. Or, you can use Sansan's desktop scanner device to quickly scan cards in your office without using your phone. Sansan will then quickly use OCR to recognize text—as accurately as the other apps we tested—and then their human team will double-check the OCR to make sure it covered everything and is accurate.

Sansan will then share the contact information with everyone else in your company, and combine contact profiles to have the most up-to-date info on everyone your team works with. From its web app, you can search through and filter your cards or send bulk emails to contacts using info from their cards to personalize the messages. It's a full-featured contact service built around the best possible business card scanning with both automation and a human touch.

Sansan Price:
Free plan: Yes
Paid plan: Custom pricing available depending on your needs

Automate Sansan with Sansan's Zapier Integrations.


Other ways to scan business cards

Only occasionally need to scan business cards? You actually might not need a dedicated app just for cards. Instead, you could use the scanner tools built into an app you already use to capture cards and copy text—and then manually save contacts to your address book.

One of the best options is OneNote, Microsoft's alternative to Evernote. Using its companion Microsoft Office Lens app, you can scan business cards and other documents and save them to your OneNote notebook for free. On your Mac or Windows desktop, you can then right-click on the business card scans in OneNote and copy the text, then add it to your address book. It's not as automatic as dedicated business card scanner tools, but it's free and quick for one-off scans.

You could also use a dedicated scanner app like Prizmo, Scanbot, or the OCR tool built into Google Drive. Those apps can work well at recognizing text—though again, you'll need to do the hard work of copying the recognized text and putting it to work.

Or, if your team uses a CRM app to manage your contacts and customers, its mobile app may have business card scanning built-in. HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, Insightly, Nutshell, and NoCRM among others include business card scanning in their mobile apps. Those might be more trouble than the dedicated business card scanner apps if you only need to scan cards, but if you need to manage details about your customers, a scanner built into your CRM might be the most convenient.

Originally published in November 2017, Hannah Herman most recently updated this post with each app's latest features and pricing, plus great new apps.

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