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What is a Business Card Scanner?

Malcolm Tatum
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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In an age where many of us rely on electronic information sources to keep us going, having a business card scanner just makes sense. Here is some basic information about the business card scanners, how they work, and why the business card scanner can be a very helpful tool around the office and the home.

As the name implies, a business card scanner is an electronic device that allows you to scan the information that is found on a business card. There are actually two types of scanners for business cards. One type simply creates an electronic image of the card, so you can store it for future reference. Essentially, the equipment has taken a snapshot of the card and saved the whole likeness for you.

The second and more common type of business card scanner is more concerned with the data on the card. The key elements, such as the company name, the individual’s name and job position, address, phone number, email address, and fax number will be captured and arranged into an address book format. When you scan a business card, the system captures the vital data and then downloads it into either a delimited file that you can then download into your address book of choice.

Given the different arrangement of the information on many business cards, you may find that there is a need to go in and move some data around on the address book entry for a particular individual. However, this is still a big time saver in that the scanner makes entering all the data by hand obsolete.

Business card scanners tend to work with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and will interact with just about every email program as well. In addition, many business card scanners will create file formats that will load into the more popular sales databases, as well as several popular spreadsheet programs.

The business card scanner is a great help to sales and marketing people, who tend to collect a number of business cards as they visit current and potential clients, participate in trade shows and job fairs, or just exchange cards with people they meet on the street. Often, a good sales person will return from a convention or show with hundreds of business cards. Using a business card scanner to get the data into an address book will allow the dutiful salesperson to quickly generate letters back out to everyone he or she spoke with during the trip.

A business card scanner can also be a big help around the house. You can scan in the business cards of friends, vendors that you use for home repairs, businesses that you like to frequent, and the cards of anyone else you want to include in your address book. Whether at home or in the office, a business card scanner can save you a lot of time and effort.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By siddle — On Feb 04, 2012

Being a businessman I also use business cards, but I was not aware of two types of scanners. I have learned something from your article which is really helpful to me.

By anon167447 — On Apr 12, 2011

Great stuff. I have one of those myself. It's a pity that not many people use it.

By cardscanner — On Mar 25, 2010

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the lookout for such information.

business card scanner

By anon72937 — On Mar 25, 2010

Very very interesting post.I like this one. Have to bookmark this one.

business card scanner

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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