Need bill processing OCR in mobile banking? Here are 6 main requirements

Do you plan to implement the OCR technology in mobile banking and simplify bill payments for your customers? Make sure you have the following components in this OCR.

Mobile banking has come a long way from being an information channel, i.e. service for checking your balance and viewing the transaction history. Today it is mainly a transactional tool, which means that customers reach for the phone while paying for Coca-Cola in a store or giving back money for lunch to their friends (P2P transfers).

Although most financial institutions offer advanced mobile applications, paying various kinds of bills in the paper form, e.g. for electricity, telephone or other utilities still poses a problem. This is because filling out transfer forms on a smartphone keyboard is a tedious and unnecessarily time-consuming task. It does not differ much from filling out a paper transfer form at the post office.

To make matters worse, more and more invoices are now sent by email, in the form of a PDF, which makes it even harder to rewrite the data in the bank’s application.

A bank that wants to offer its customers a digital and mobile banking that makes life easier should be able to solve this problem. It is high time we expanded the senses of mobile banking! A camera eye equipped with the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology will facilitate the recording of customer reality.

Below we present 6 must-have functionalities for OCR in a banking application if we want to facilitate payments for paper and PDF invoices for the user.

1. Open your camera’s eye to paper invoices

This is an obvious point. The primary purpose of the OCR technology is to improve the execution of transfers which require mobile banking users to fill in the data manually each time a transfer is made.

Transcribing a lot of data from a paper invoice to the application transfer form is time-consuming and the small phone screen does not make this task any easier. OCR eliminates the tedious rewriting of information and the risk of entering incorrect data. Advantages for the bank customer? A tremendous saving of time and nerves.

How does that work? With OCR built into the banking application, all the bank customer has to do is point the phone camera at the invoice. This way, the data necessary to execute a payment is simply scanned from the document, while the technology transfers it to a mobile or online application to perform the transfer.  

2. Read QR Codes from sales invoices

The constantly increasing importance of QR codes comes as no surprise, as they are a solution with almost unlimited possibilities, inexpensive to implement and user-friendly. A perfect example is China, where QR codes are the basis of the payment system. 

QR codes can also be found more and more frequently on sales invoices with encrypted invoice payment details. The customer can read the code using the OCR built into their mobile banking application – simply by pointing their smartphone camera at it. All data encrypted in the QR code concerning the transfer or its beneficiary are automatically completed.

3. Invoice as a PDF? Scan it with OCR

Why is it so important to be able to read data from a electronic invoice? The reason is that e-invoices are going to become more and more common, eventually replacing paper solutions. Currently, the global market accounts for 550 billion invoices a year, of which around 55 billion are exchanged electronically. According to projections, in the next 15 years the number of invoices will quadruple with e-invoices becoming the predominant solution. The OCR module responds to these changes by enabling the scanning of invoices received by email using a smartphone and sending them to a mobile banking application in several different ways:

•    The customer can send a PDF document directly from a mail client to the banking application using the system “share” option.

•    With the dedicated email address feature, the customer can send any invoice they receive either manually or using the rules in their email client.

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4. What counts is here and now. Real-time view of scanned data

Many OCR solutions implemented by banks require that the end user take a photo each time a field is scanned. The user has limited influence on whether the data is read correctly. The component enables the customer to view the scanned data in real time – simply by pointing the camera at a given field to get a live view without pressing the button.

Importantly, at any time during the scan, the user can change the scope of data processing, i.e. scan only one or several fields, interrupt the entire process without making any changes to the form or cancel it altogether.

5. OCR will spot the error sooner than customers

The OCR technology should also ensure the accuracy of data entered into the transfer form in the mobile application – its important function is to verify those data.  

The information processed is subject to automatic verification of the accuracy of recognized data, such as:

  • NIP (tax identification number)
  • Bank account number  
  • And other

Should any irregularities be detected, depending on requirements, the customer ordering the transfer may receive an adequate warning or the system may prevent the execution of such a transfer.

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6. Off-line? OCR is still working!

The key advantage of the OCR solution is working offline, which means that photos of the scanned text do not need to be transferred by network to third-party services in the cloud. OCR should work fast, without the need to communicate with the server, because all processing takes place in the mobile banking app. 

Owing to the fact that the solution works offline, the bank does not have to invest in infrastructure development. This results from the fact that the component uses the computing power of the user’s device and therefore relies on a distributed infrastructure. This is undoubtedly an asset compared to solutions offered by the market, which rely on a server infrastructure.

The bank has to keep up with the customers’ needs by responding quickly, innovatively and by enhancing its senses. As can be seen, the OCR module can make mobile banking something more than just an application displayed on a small screen.  

Implementation of the OCR component in the mobile application gives banks a double advantage. Firstly, it modernizes the functionality of the mobile application. Secondly, the implementation of OCR solutions makes banks more attractive to their customers by increasing their comfort, customer service efficiency and the transactability of their mobile application.


Written by
Ela Rabczynska
Ela Rabczynska
Specialist at FINANTEQ Insights
Contact us and find out more about OCR Technology