How to Ditch the Paper Trail and Store All of Your Business Cards on Your Phone

Business cards were first adopted between the second and third century BC. Chinese officers used red paper to print their business cards. A card had to contain information about the name of the owner and their occupied position, there was no room for imagination. They couldn’t choose the color of their card either. The color had to correspond to the owner’s rank.

In the 17th century, business cards were already widely spread across Europe. Generally adorned with a family crest, it was an inherent part of the middle to high-class person. A silver plate for business cards was an essential part of any hosting household. This way, the house owner knew for sure who he had been visited by and whom he should pay a return visit.

A business card is one of the very few things to stick around for so long. The concept is more than 600 years old and people still use it today. But even this ancient construct adjusts itself to fit in the modern life pace. We have already familiarised ourselves with the QR code data transfer method and learned how to send information using smartphone applications and scan it with a business card reader.

Business Cards Require A Throughout Approach

Time and place

Don’t just hand out your cards to everyone. Everything has its time and place. If you push your business card onto a potential client right after introducing yourself, this person will form a strong expression that they are being forced to do something they don’t really want. And we all know how obnoxious it can be at times, especially now when every other passer-by does it to us.

A decent-looking business card

The card is like a reflection of the owner’s soul, so to say. It has to be printed on high-quality material. It is weird for a company director’s business card to be printed on the cheapest paper. It is always a good idea to keep your cards in a special cardholder, so they can stay nice and clean.

However you look at it, it’s the most practical way of interchanging contact information. You don’t need to worry about dictating the information, wondering whether your counterpart has written down your contacts correctly or not. Using a business card, you can rest assured that your potential client will get all the info they need.

But what do we do with all the cards afterward? And why does it matter?

  • First of all, there are a lot of cards. You may be working with a huge amount of people at a time and you get business cards from all of them.
  • Secondly, a card can be lost or worn down.
  • Thirdly, it can get really inconvenient carrying all those cards on you.

There is a solution to this: business card scanners.

How Do Business Card Scanners Work?

The scanner is not a physical device but an application for your smartphone. With its help, you can exchange contact information, scan and save the info of your colleague, and organize it in any way suitable for you. The card scanner can be installed on iOS and Android.

Best Business Card Scanners 2019

Let’s compare business card scanners that are popular in the market and discuss specific features of each one.

ABBYY Business Card Reader

One of the features that make this business card scanning software stand out among the others is the ability to distinguish between 25 different languages while scanning a card. This thing can recognize emails, addresses, phone numbers, names and company names. The application easily detects the borders of a card, cropping the unnecessary stuff and leaving only the card itself on the picture. You can copy the information manually or tell the program to do it in the automatic mode.


ABBY’s functionality includes auto-filling data that is not on the card: country phone code, additional number, etc. Should the scanner fail to recognize some of the data, it will be highlighted in blue. You have the option of sharing all the scanned contacts in .jpeg or Vcard later on.


Software is available for download on AppStore and Google Play. The program has the function of scanning the back of a business card if required. CamCard can crop the edges of a card as well, whether it was shot horizontally or vertically. Additionally, you can add a text comment to a card, and after tapping on the save button, all the information will be transferred into your phone memory.


This means you won’t have to do any extra work. The business cards can be sorted by groups for convenient management. This scanner can also sort the cards by the contact upload date or by company. But the most unique feature of this software is the option of exporting all the card data into an Excel file. Unfortunately, the application has some downsides: it doesn’t cope with colorful business cards very well, or with complicated fonts that differ from the standard ones too much.

Wantedly People 

This is yet another great piece of software with a unique feature that increases the scanning rate substantially: it can scan up to 10 business cards at a time. To do this, you need to place the cards in a line. Wantedly allows searching a card in the phone memory by a contact number, name or position.



This is a notepad that can be employed both for business use or as a personal notebook, dictionary, etc. In this program, you can create bookmarks and attach photos of business cards, or just take photos from within the bookmark. You can also attach audio and video files, or clip a document in PDF and Word formats.


Sansan biz card

its main and only function is scanning business cards. You can access the application via a smartphone or via PC as a desktop version. After signing up for Sansan you will be able to share saved contacts with your colleges. You can even connect your profiles to know right away when one of you adds a new contact to the list. This scanner knows 6 languages and can scan business cards at the rate of 55 cards a minute. It can also synchronize with mail services, contacts book, and Salesforce service.



This scanner knows 22 languages and can integrate with such services as Salesforce, Sugar CRM, and Jigsaw. It can process an unlimited number of cards, synchronize with your other devices and save information to your contact book. The cards can be organized by folders. It can also scan two-sided business cards.

business card scanner

Microsoft Office Lens

This is a utility made by Microsoft that allows you to transform your physical business cards and documents into their digital equivalents. Office Lens saves business cards into OneNote. Here are the main functions of this scanner:

  • You can search for cards in your app with the OCR function;
  • Automatic image cropping and quality enhancement;
  • Card export to Outlook or the contacts book in VCF format;
  • Works with English, Spanish, German and Simplified Chinese. Some other languages will be available soon as well.


This is the best business card scanning app among the free-to-use ones. It can scan however many cards you need, several at a time, and even create backup versions of them. It recognizes text very well and in many languages too!

Zero Keyboard 

This application charms users with its simplicity. Zero will scan your business card and add it to your contacts list. The scanner has the essential functions to do the trick: sorting and online sharing.


This is a both-sides business card scanning application with the ability to make bookmarks at the last meeting. Plus, you can add a photo of a person who gave you the card, so you won’t forget their face. This scanner integrates with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM, Pipedrive, SuiteCRM,, Weclapp, and Zapier.

How To Choose The Best Business Card Scanner For Contacts?

Such applications will be of great help for anyone dealing with business cards since keeping your contacts at your fingertips is now crucial as never before. It may be painful to realize that you have missed an opportunity because of disorganization in your contacts, or because you had simply lost some important card. 

To avoid such situations, give a business card scanner a try. Keep an eye on the number of cards you usually get, the language they are written in, your scanner’s ability to recognize this language, and so on. Having collected all the essential specifications, you will be ready to decide on the best business card scanners suitable for you.

Nimble CRM Business Card Scanner

If you lead a business, you know firsthand how hard it can be to sort out all the business cards, put them into operation and profit from them. 

The Nimble Business Card Scanner allows a user to delegate all the routine work to the program: all you need to do is take a photo of a business card and watch it do the rest for you. The app can read the name, position, company name, email information, and automatically create a contact in the phone book. 

Try the full range of functionality Nimble CRM offers, and never lose an important contact again.