Project Description

5 Uses of OCR That Instantly Improve User Experience

The rise of mobile OCR is being driven by a few core industries. The banking sector in particular has adopted OCR to improve processes. Their main focus until now has been IBAN scanning. But what are the other uses of OCR?

Outside of banking, Mobile OCR is being used to improve user experience. Many industries have replaced typing in their processes with solutions like Anyline. This has resulted in improved UX and smoother processes for the early adopters of Mobile OCR.

Below, you’ll find some great examples of how to upgrade the UX of your app with Anyline. These uses of OCR are practical in nature and also benefit the companies putting them in place. Mobile OCR has technical and business benefits besides the UX improvements it can offer too. Computer vision is capable of returning more accurate scans than humans. This makes mobile OCR one of the best ways to reduce your processes while improving the quality of your data.

Check out these uses of OCR and find out how to improve your UX:

Feel free to download the Anyline SDK and test these implementations for yourself.  You can also get in touch with our team if you’d like to discuss your ideas. Just send us an email at [email protected].

Hotel Self Check-in

Uses of OCR - Hotel Self Check-In

Hotel check-in can be one of the most stressful moments of any trip away from home. Finding a complication with an accommodation reservation is a nightmare scenario. Few things are as disconcerting as not having a place to stay in an unfamiliar location.

With the advent of online reservations on sites like and airbnb, most of these fears have been relieved. You can check reviews for all your options before you book. You can even message the staff about any special requirements you have in advance. On top of that, these services send booking confirmations to make sure you’ve made the correct choice. But, there can still be roadblocks to making your stay as pleasurable as possible.

Are you arriving after reception hours close? Have you been delayed on your way there? What if your stop at the hotel is just a quick pitstop before getting to a conference or concert? Will you be assured of a quick check-in if other guests are arriving at the same time?

Successful hotel check-in is still a process that depends on hotel staff and other guests. And it won’t change until your hotel of choice enables self check-in with mobile OCR.

You’re required to check-in in most countries so hotel staff can record your passport details. They usually do this by typing your details into their hotel management system. Or by creating a photocopy scan of your passport. In both cases, the average completion time of these processes is 5 minutes.

You can complete this process in an instant with Anyline and get perfect results. This reduces the length of your check-in time. It also reduces the workload of hotel staff that need to pass this info onto local authorities.

With mobile self check-in, guests are in charge of when they arrive. They can provide a digital version of their passport and complete all other check-in processes at the same time.

Clizz used Mobile OCR from Anyline to make this happen. You can see a short video of how they handle check-ins here:

Tax-Free Shopping

Uses of OCR - Tax-Free Shopping

Once you’ve completed your own hotel check-in, you might feel like doing some tax-free shopping. Of course, you can only benefit from tax-free shopping if you claim back the taxes that are supposed to be free.

For those of you with the accounting or financial smarts to do this, it’s no problem. Unfortunately, we’re not all blessed with this knowledge. For most of us, educating yourself on something as boring as tax refunds is a huge obstacle. It can even cause us to leave these tax-free savings unclaimed.

One of the options for claiming your allowance on tax-free shopping is to use a service such as Global Blue. Global Blue gives shoppers all the info they need for tax-free shopping abroad. They also enable you to make successful claims on tax-free allowances. Many luxury stores display the Global Blue logo on their doors. It acts as a beacon to attract those looking to take advantage of their tax-free status while on vacation.

While they’ve been doing an amazing job, there’s still a lot of manual data entry involved. So even if you know your tax law, you still need to give an accurate and detailed account of your tax-free shopping. Bummer.

Of course, Global Blue knew there must be a way to improve this experience for their shoppers.

Once they added Anyline’s Mobile OCR to their app, they were able to offer shoppers a way to remove manual data entry from tax-free shopping. Our Mobile OCR solution is able to scan passports to identify shoppers. It can also scan barcodes to record the purchases they made. This has made the tax-free shopping experience much smoother for Global Blue shoppers. Not only are they saved from monotonous data entry, they know that the data they scanned is correct.

The introduction of Mobile OCR has turned tax-free shopping into a seamless experience. What was once a minefield of red-tape and international tax agreements, is now a simple mobile transaction.

Self-Service Utility Meter Reading

Uses of OCR - Utility Meter Reading

Having one of your utility meters read has traditionally been a pain for those of us not at home during the day. At best, you need to work from home. Then you wait for a technician to arrive and perform a task that takes less than 10 minutes. In the worst case scenario, no one ever arrives to read your meter and you’ve wasted a day sitting at home. While the importance of meter reading is clear to us all, the way that it’s managed leaves many of us scratching our heads.

Self-reporting has existed for a while now but has a few drawbacks. It’s simple to read your meter. But getting to the post office to send your results is a chore that slips the mind of even the most organized people. On top of that, handwritten reports can vary in quality and legibility. This can result in follow-up phone calls and even an on-site reading by one of their technicians. At this point, reading your meter has included a trip to the post office, a few phone conversations and a technician call-out. This is what you wanted to avoid in the first place.

Mobile OCR is the perfect tool to remedy this situation. You can configure Anyline to scan all types of utility meters. It’s been used with great success to report utility readings. One company that has enabled users to scan utility meters with Anyline is Symvaro. Symvaro’s Waterloo System lets you manage water usage with your mobile phone.

Their app has made the management of home water systems a breeze. Better yet, many of their customers have saved money while watching their water usage. In the past, you could only do this by keeping a written or typed log of water usage on a regular basis. Few people are able to keep to such a regular routine of reading and recording their water meters. With Mobile OCR enabled, they can point their phone at their water meter and get instant feedback on their usage.

Voucher Code Scanning

Uses of OCR - Voucher Scanning

Voucher campaigns are one of the most tried and trusted methods of customer retention. In theory, they’re simple for customers to understand and easy for businesses to put in place. Yet, with improvements in mobile technology, the pain points of vouchers have been exposed.

For example, if a customer loses their voucher, they’re no longer eligible to take part in the promotion. Even worse, if they forget their voucher at home while visiting a store, they’re also ineligible to take advantage of promotions. Most modern voucher and coupon campaigns have an end date. Not being able to avail of an offer when they want can lead customers to feel like they’re missing out on a deal.

You can never blame a business for the carelessness of their customers. But businesses can prevent these feelings of frustration for their customers. They can give them the option of storing all vouchers and coupons on their phones. All they need to do is include a scannable code on their vouchers.

Letting customers scan voucher codes frees them from caring for printed vouchers. This makes it easier for them to take part in your promotional campaign. They can carry your vouchers everywhere they go. A dedicated app can also alert customers to expiring vouchers. This promotes further engagement with your company.

Red Bull have already seen success with mobile voucher codes on their drink cans. The Red Bull Mobile Collect campaign encouraged customers to become involved with the Red Bull lifestyle. Mobile OCR empowered customers to engage in this campaign.

Mobile OCR also improved the success rate of code entry for this campaign. The manual entry of codes can be quite error prone. Customers can misread codes for many reasons. Anyline has a much higher accuracy rate than human data entry. This leads to more meaningful campaigns for businesses too.

The UX of mobile vouchers is much the same as normal vouchers except it’s even more convenient. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why companies such as Red Bull were quick to install Mobile OCR in their app.

Scan Your Top-Up Code

Most of us know how it feels to top up a phone. You go and buy your credit. You call the number for the automated top-up service and enter the 12-15 digit code to verify your new credit balance. Or if you’re lucky, your provider lets you text your top-up code to them. It’s a foolproof system. Unless you get one of the digits wrong and have to start the process again.

It happens to the best of us and there’s nothing worse when you’re rushing to phone a friend or important contact. On top of that, dealing with an automated phone service or texting a special service number is impersonal and monotonous. Even a successful top-up can leave you feeling underwhelmed.

So what is the solution? Well, one way to improve the process would be to remove the chance of error when typing a top-up code. Top-up codes are usually too long to memorize and need to be entered in installments. Another factor that can be mitigated, is the amount of time it takes to complete the process. From the time you buy a top-up code, until the time you enter the code and receive confirmation of your new balance, at least a minute has passed. And that minute was most likely spent checking and typing and double-checking your top-up code.

Mobile OCR can remedy both of these issues. Anyline’s mobile OCR has a +99% scan accuracy rate under laboratory conditions so it’s the perfect tool to scan top-up codes. Better still, mobile OCR can process codes up to 20 times faster than manual data entry. This can make topping up feel instantaneous.

Yesss! is a discount mobile phone service provider that has already implemented this feature for top-ups. They’ve seen great success with this method of top-up enabled. Their mobile app for processing top-up codes has more than 50,000 downloads.

Their mobile OCR top-up service drives engagement with their app, which they use to deliver other services and promotions to users. The improved UX is a large part of this.


You can scan all kinds of text data with Anyline. Our customers have used it to improve customer onboardingincrease engagement and eliminate typing in their processes. The SDK includes dedicated solutions for our most common uses cases and you can even train it to recognize new text formats.

Download the SDK and begin your 30-day free trial now. The trial SDK lets you try all the following use cases:

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Finally, if you have questions, suggestions or feedback on this post, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact us via social media or else send us an email at [email protected]!


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