While a lot of things have gone digital these days, the same can't be said for business cards. Perhaps you need a business card to refer to a specific person at a local business, or you're at a conference again and need to network with other people in your industry. Regardless of the situation, a business card is just a convenient thing to have or give out so that others know how to reach you. Plus, some of them just look amazing.
But what do you do once you have collected a bunch of business cards? You'll want to add these contacts into your current iPhone, like the iPhone 13, but it's a pain in the butt to do it all one by one. Here are the best business card scanner apps for your best iPhone and iPad.
ABBYY Business Card Scanner
ABBYY Business Card Scanner is one of the leading apps in the industry because of its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. With ABBYY, users are able to scan and store contact information directly from business cards, and there's support for up to 25 languages. With the OCR tech, it'll accurately find and recognize names, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses.
As you scan cards in with ABBYY, the app intelligently detects the edges of cards and crops out unwanted backgrounds, so all you have is a clean copy of the business card itself. ABBYY also fills in missing bits of data, such as country codes, extensions, and typos. All data that you scan and save into ABBYY may also be backed up automatically or manually, and data can be shared via email as VCard or JPEG files.
For the most part, you can try out ABBYY's powerful features for free. There is a limit of 10 cards though, and you'll have occasional ads. To get the most out of ABBYY, you'll need to pony up for a Premium account, which starts at $8 a month. You can also buy features a la carte, with prices starting at $3 and up.
CamCard — Business Card Scanner
CamCard gives users access to an expansive feature set for free, though there are some extra bonuses if you opt for a premium subscription, starting at $5 a month or $47 a year.
With CamCard, users are able to scan in business cards either one at a time or in batches. All of the contact information is stored and saved on your smartphone, and you can even add notes and reminders to these contacts to help jog your memory. And if you have your own secretary, you can even invite them to scan and save contact details on your behalf, which is a truly nice feature.
If you have your own business card, you can store that inside CamCard as well. When you run out of paper cards to hand out, just send them an e-card version through CamCard. The app also intelligently keeps track of stored contacts so that when a contact gets promoted or changes jobs, you'll get a notification about it. CamCard also keeps all of your data securely stored in the cloud, so you can access everything from multiple devices when necessary (no limitations with a Premium account).
Scan cards in one at a time or in a batch. All data is stored securely in the card and you can even send a digital card to others from the app.
If you work in a company that uses SalesForce or SugarCRM, ScanBizCards is the app you'll want to use. While you can use ScanBizCards for individual use, it is mostly geared toward enterprises.
With ScanBizCards, you get unlimited scans for business cards and the contact information pulled from these can be either added to existing contacts in the system or new ones. The information it pulls is transcribed via the app's OCR tech and if there is any detail that's incorrect, you can manually fix it.
Again, the biggest pull for ScanBizCards is the enterprise use case. It integrates seamlessly with services like SalesForce, SugarCRM, and more. Two-sided business cards may also be scanned without issue into ScanBizCards, and forwarding pulled information to other users is an easy task. There are also no in-app purchases for ScanBizCards — just pay once and you're done!
This is a great business card scanner app if you use SalesForce or SugarCRM, and there are no in-app purchases.
When you have to deal with hundreds of business cards, you definitely do not want to be scanning those in one by one. For that, you'll need to check out Wantedly People, which allows you to scan in up to 10 business cards at a time.
The best part about how Wantedly handles batch scanning is that you don't even need to lay out the cards in a certain way for it to pick them up. Just have them all scattered on a flat surface, tap the button, and Wantedly handles the rest. The app utilizes OCR tech and artificial intelligence to analyze and detect text and contact information on every card to generate new contacts for you. Over time, the AI improves accuracy so it just gets better the more you use it.
As you accumulate saved contacts in Wantedly People, you can search for a specific contact via the search field, which lets you look through any field. Call and message contacts in just a few taps, or even communicate with them through Wantedly's own business chatting platform. You can also make your own profile and share your information with others right in the app.
Scan up to 10 business cards at a time with this completely free app. You don't even need to organize them, just scatter them out and scan!
SwiftScan - Document Scanner
SwiftScan, formerly known as Scanbot, is probably best known as an app that scans documents you want digital copies of, but it's fairly versatile and also works great for business cards.
I've personally used SwiftScan for years, and it's fast with getting the camera up and ready for scanning what you need. Just hold it over the document or business card and SwiftScan automatically detects what you're trying to scan, giving you hints like "Move closer" or "Don't move" when it is capturing the document.
For business cards, SwiftScan uses OCR to extract text for you, and then you can copy it to your device's clipboard to import the data or use it to search. SwiftScan integrates with a large selection of third-party cloud services, so all of your scans can be automatically uploaded to the service of your choosing.
The only issue is that since SwiftScan is not a dedicated business card app, contacts from business cards aren't automatically saved — you'll need to do a bit of legwork yourself. But it's a great overall scanner app that should be on every device for plenty of other reasons.
SwiftScan is an all-around, versatile document scanner that can even scan your business cards. It has OCR to extract text, and you can integrate with third-party cloud services.
Microsoft Lens: PDF Scanner
Microsoft Office Lens is another one of those multipurpose scanner apps, but it has a dedicated mode just for business cards, so it sets itself apart from other apps like SwiftScan.
With Office Lens, the app can automatically detect business cards, whiteboards, documents, and more in the viewfinder, and then it will trim, enhance, and turn those images into easy-to-read scans. For the business card mode, the app extracts contact information from the card and saves it automatically in your device's Address Book as well as OneNote.
Keep in mind that the business card functionality of Microsoft Office Lens works best with the following languages: English, German, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. Microsoft claims that support for more languages is coming in the future.
All scans with Office Lens are saved as images, but you can convert them into Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx), or PDF, and everything is automatically saved into OneDrive as well. If you are invested in the Microsoft Office suite of products, then Office Lens is a great option to consider.
Microsoft's versatile document scanner has a built-in business card mode, which extracts contact info into your Address Book and OneNote. It syncs nicely with your Office 365 account too.
BizConnect Card Scanner
BizConnect Card Scanner is one of the best in the business. With this app, you'll get near 100% accuracy in pretty much any language. It can even make sense of blurry or unusual fonts and typefaces, which may fool other apps. BizConnect Card Reader can even find and link all proper social media accounts, scan QR codes and add them as contacts, and more.
All data that is scanned with BizConnect Card Scanner can be exported out to Excel, Google, and Outlook, and you can import from Google and Outlook to consolidate contacts in one place. There is Salesforce and Hubspot integration, intelligent CRM, and team support, so you and your entire team can share and collaborate. The app is free to download and use, but some features do require a premium subscription, which starts at $10 a month.
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There are quite a few apps out there that are specifically designed for scanning business cards, but these are some of the best we've seen, and then some. With these apps, you'll be able to scan, import contact info, and even organize all of those business cards that you've acquired pretty easily, and it'll all be on your best iPhone.
Even though most things have gone digital these days, business cards will always remain a staple for a lot of people. Whether you're using an iPhone 13 or a base-level iPad, these apps will help make your life easier.
Updated March 2022: Added BizConnect Card Scanner to the list.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.