Are you dealing with a large number of receipts? Are you still processing these receipts manually? Are you drowning under piles of papers? Is fraud also a concern for you?
If so, then you’re one of the many companies dealing with receipt-based processes. You might run a loyalty program for the new product that you launched, or have many employees declaring their travel expenses.
The problems that often arise from such processes are long turnaround times, which impact customer experience or employee satisfaction, and the occurrence of fraud, which impacts your business. The amount of receipts to be processed represents the biggest bottleneck.
Fortunately, there are many receipt scanning software out there that you can use to overcome these challenges and automate your business processes.
This article explains what receipt scanning software is, how automated receipt scanning works, and gives the five most important reasons to start using receipt scanning software.
What is receipt scanning software?
OCR is a technology that extracts data such as text from images or scanned documents with its ability to identify individual characters. AI then extracts meaning from the text and recognizes what each part of the receipt actually is. For example, it determines which part contains the total amount, merchant name, VAT percentage, line items, and so on.
The process, from receiving the document to the data extraction and classification, is done within a matter of seconds.
Now that you know what receipt scanning software is, we will introduce you to the five most important benefits of using one.
Why should you use a receipt scanning software?
There are many reasons why you should use automated receipt scanning software. Below, you’ll find the 5 main benefits of using such a solution.
- Minimize fraud with automated fraud detection
- Shorten turnaround times
- Limit human error to a minimum
- Lower costs by up to 75%
- Ensure security and GDPR compliance
Minimize fraud with automated fraud detection
The first benefit to gain from using receipt scanning software is fraud prevention and security. This should not be underestimated. The cost of loyalty program fraud, for example, is above 1 billion dollars worldwide, according to a survey by the New York Times. You need to be able to identify these fraudulent receipts and remove them from your program.
Some receipt scanning software automatically detect if a receipt has been submitted before. In addition, the software can check if the receipt has been altered: it looks for Photoshop activity, checks the Exif data for anomalies, and can detect whether elements have been changed, such as the total amount.
If you want to know more about this topic, we recommend reading one of our latest blogs about catching document fraud.
Shorten turnaround times
In a world where everything goes fast, your clients and employees expect their reimbursement as fast as possible. A receipt scanning solution offers a solution here, as it helps to significantly shorten turnaround times.
For the best receipt scanning software, the data extraction happens within 3 to 5 seconds. Just compare this to a manual process of sorting receipts, reading and checking the data, and entering it into a program. That’s a big difference, right?
In case of a loyalty program, customers no longer have to wait for weeks on an answer about the eligibility of their receipts. Therefore, they have more trust in your brand and your campaign.
For expense management processes, it can also represent a big change. If employees have to wait for weeks to get their travel expenses back, they can get frustrated. A faster turnaround time takes away this frustration and helps to improve employee satisfaction.
Limit human error to a minimum
We all make mistakes, whether you like it or not. Error rates in manual data entry typically range from 0.55% to 3.6%, with outliers to as high as 26.9%.
Luckily, receipt scanning software can significantly lower these error rates by eliminating the risk of distractions, keystroke errors and other mistakes commonly found in manual data entry. This translates into better, more accurate data that can be used to make well-informed business decisions.
Most software ensure an accuracy rate of over 90%. If you require an accuracy rate as close to 100% as possible, you can choose to include an employee in the process. This is called Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) automation.
With HITL automation, the majority of the work is automated. Based on business rules, such as a confidence score threshold (e.g. lower than 70%) or all receipts from a certain store (e.g. because you know they are problematic), you can direct documents to an employee to be checked manually.
In this way, you combine the best of human intelligence with the power of AI and achieve an even higher accuracy level.
Lower costs by up to 75%
By freeing your teams’ time with receipt scanning software, you can reduce costs by up to 75%. How? Because your employees save time on tedious data entry tasks and have more time to focus on core operations.
There’s no magic formula for this, but studies found that intelligent automation typically results in cost savings of 40% to 75%, with the payback period ranging from several months to several years.
As an example, consider the time needed for manually processing a single receipt. On average, experienced employees process 50 receipts per hour (i.e. 1.2 minute per receipt). With an average hourly wage of €35, this means that processing just one receipt costs approximately €0.70.
That same employee using receipt scanning software is able to process at least 200 receipts per hour (≈ 18 seconds per receipt). This leads to a processing cost of approximately €0.18 per receipt. Add the price of the software of €0.05 per receipt and you get a total cost of €0.23 per receipt. That’s a direct improvement of more than 60%!
Ensure security and GDPR compliance
On certain types of receipts, you can have sensitive data from your customers, such as an extract from card numbers. You can also have names or mailing addresses on it.
When processing such sensitive data, you have to comply with GDPR. In case of infringement on the processing and management of personal data, you can face a fine of up to 2% of your annual revenue.
Infringements can take many different forms. Store personal data that you do not need to use or retain, for instance. This is related to the right to be forgotten you owe to your customers.
Receipt scanning software can define sensitive data fields such as fields with personally identifiable information (PII), and use data masking to redact them or apply data anonymization. This helps companies ensure compliance with data privacy regulations like the GDPR or HIPAA.
Thanks to these five benefits, processing receipts will never be the same again!
The best scanning software for your receipts
The best receipt scanning software for you may be different from the software for another company. You might be looking for an app that scans your receipts. Or maybe you have an app yourself, that you want to enhance with OCR and receipt scanning capabilities.
In that case, Klippa has the ideal solution for you. Klippa’s receipt scanning software takes care of the receipt scanning and allows you to extract, validate and process all the data you need. It can easily be integrated into your existing software via the Klippa API or SDK.
What is the difference between Klippa APIs and SDKs?
Our API is the service of sending a document to our OCR software and receiving a structured data format back within seconds. It is well documented, so it is not too difficult for a developer to implement it. You do need to have a receipt-capturing solution, such as a mobile app, which can capture the receipt.
Our SDKs are a better option if you are looking for an end-to-end solution to scan receipts. Our Camera SDK, for example, is a complete camera module that ensures a good picture is captured. It gives real-time feedback to the user, enhances the image quality (e.g. by optimizing the brightness), and thereby improves recognition accuracy.
It is possible to link the Klippa Camera SDK to our OCR API. After scanning the document, a request is automatically handled through the API and structured data is returned to the application.
The main advantage of the SDK is that your developers don’t have to build all the components themselves. They can easily “use” other people’s work. This leads to huge developing costs- and time savings.
How does it work?
The video below shows how receipt scanning with Klippa works:
Automate your receipt scanning with Klippa
Throughout this article, we have discussed the benefits and functionalities of receipt scanning software. But understanding how it can be adapted to your specific use case and smoothly integrated into existing operations is another thing.
This is where we can help you out. Our product specialists are happy to think along with you and answer all the questions you have. Get in touch with us by filling in the demo form below or contact us directly.