What is Optical Character Recognition?

What is Optical Character Recognition?

Gabija Stankevičiūtė

Optical Character Recognition is revolutionizing the businesses of almost all types. In every industry, it plays a crucial role in improving productivity, accuracy, customer experience, and data security. Wondering what exactly it is? Read this post!

With emerging technologies, online fraud vulnerabilities are limited to digital assets of businesses. Still, they also target the sensitive data of customers. No matter what industry you’re in, online identity frauds can negatively impact your business. Consequently, organizations must have an advanced identity verification system to keep the risks of fraud at bay. However, an identity verification system should verify users against their information within a few seconds. Fortunately, OCR technology can play a significant role in it. The technology equips identity verification solutions with instant capture features, improving their capacity to recognize and validate more IDs in little time.

Let’s get to know what exactly OCR is? Where it is used and why it is an excellent source for ID verification?

What is OCR?

If you ever worked in an organization equipped with a document scanner, you are probably aware of OCR basics. OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a technology that helps you recognize text inside images, photos, and scanned documents. This advanced technology is used to convert almost any image having text (printed, typed, or handwritten) into machine-readable text.

The OCR technology traces its roots back to telegraphy. Physicist Emanuel Goldberg had invented the first OCR machine during the 1st World War that could recognize and convert characters into the telegraph. In 1920, Goldberg went one step further and developed the 1st electronic document retrieval equipment. At this time, recovering records from film spools were not possible. 

Today, Optical Character Recognition technology is used in several industries for various purposes. Let’s see some popular use-cases for OCR technology. However, before that, let’s take a quick look at some of its benefits.

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Advantages of OCR Technology

Advantages of OCR


OCR technology is helping individuals and businesses minimize manual steps in data managing. Nowadays, companies receive a large number of documents every single day. Working with them manually is not only time-consuming, but you often end up with some errors. OCR-enabled equipment lets companies collect and verify consumers’ data readily; therefore improves overall workflow.

Better Customer Satisfaction

A lot of businesses don’t realize, but Optical Character Recognition technology also improves customer experience that naturally contributes to customer loyalty and retention. Customer support staff can access customer information/data and process it quickly with the help of OCR. Also, OCR processing enables support staff to give clients rundown when they call to make inquiries.

Superb Translation

As we’re living in an interconnected world, every small and big business needs translation tools to manage a broader range of languages. Well, OCR is capable of doing that. It can translate different languages and give you accurate information. Not only it saves your time but also money on hiring a translator.

Improvement in Security

Security is a significant concern for all businesses that manage digital information of their consumers in any form. The good thing is that state-of-the-art OCR technology is programmed to stop fraud attempts by comparing the provided data with data stored in the database.

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Uses of OCR Technology in Different Industries

Uses of OCR

Banking & Related Industries

Banks and financial institution are the primary consumers of OCR technology. They use it to verify customer records, monthly statements, and signatures by scanning them through a tool or an app using OCR technology. Technology also played an essential role in modernizing (from paper-based to entirely digital) the banking industry.

Hotel Industry

OCR technology is helping the Hospitality industry in plenty of ways. It allows restaurants and hotels to speed up response times, improve productivity, and enhance customer satisfaction. There are many uses of OCR in the food industry from the check-in process to generating bills.

Traveling Industry

We don’t notice, but Optical Character Recognition technology is also making our travels more comfortable than ever. Today, the majority of airports use OCR for security & data storage. From booking a flight to scanning a passport, the technology has been used to make the traveling experience frictionless.

Healthcare Industry

The healthcare sector is also taking advantage of OCR technology to accomplish various time-taking jobs within a few minutes. With a few clicks, medical staff can access essential patient data such as past illness, treatments, and other records. Besides this, the technology has also been used to keep up-to-date with logistics and consumables.

These are not the only industries and sectors where OCR technology has been used. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that technology has become part of daily life. Even our smartphones also feature OCR that helps us convert pictures and images into editable documents.

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OCR technology for ID Verification

Like other industries, the identity verification industry is also leveraging OCR to make their verification process fast, accurate, and smooth. The technology has turned into a prime source for ID verification because of its remarkable data extraction feature. OCR can extract customer information such as name, date of birth, ID card number, address, gender, and other personal details in no minute that automatically reduces processing time. Besides this, it demands very little information from the end-users – they need to show their ID card in front of the OCR device only.

As soon as the information is captured, the process for verification gets started. Since there is very little human involvement, the chances of errors are quite low. However, if you find an error, you can manually correct it.

We can say OCR is an amazing AI-enabled technology that is automating the identity verification process to a great extent as it auto-fills from documents to a verification system.

Many reputable identity verification providers have employed OCR in their ID detection system to automate their process. Lithuania-based iDenfy is one such provider. Our ID document detection system is equipped with OCR technology that can scan, and auto-fill all the vital information from an ID document such as name, document number, nationality, gender, etc. in less than a second. Not only does it make the process smart, fast, but also 100% accurate.

Suppose you require an advanced verification system that can speed up the process of information collecting and verifying it. In that case, you can seek a partnership with us. To know more about services, you may contact our team.


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