On Monday, March 6th, our representatives Chad and Luka took the stage at Finovate Europe to present BlinkReceipt, an SDK (software development kit) for real-time extraction of all purchase data from retail receipts. They also shared a bit of Microblink’s journey of development and growth.
The first showcased mobile scanning solution was Photopay - an SDK for payment slip scanning. Photopay was our first actual product and since then, we have moved on with our quest to find new areas to eliminate typing and improve UX in apps.
Our mission led us to developing several text recognition solutions, and we now provide real-time text recognition for a range of use cases: bills, checks, payment slips, various identity documents, and retail receipts. Our tech is used by a worldwide customer network, which includes banks & financial institutions, telecoms, retailers, insurers, system integrators, startups, and other service and production oriented companies. The audience at Finovate also got to see our identity document scanner BlinkID in action.
The dive into deep learning
Some time ago we decided to move away from the traditional approach to OCR and invest our time and resources into exploration of a new area: deep learning. We’ve built a dedicated research team who are in charge of designing state-of-the-art neural networks, and developed a new OCR engine which we appropriately called DeepOCR.
OCR powered by deep learning techniques yielded great results: lightning-fast recognition with astounding accuracy on many kinds of text. The audience at Finovate Europe had the chance to see how it works live. First they got to see the Photomath app, a math assistant and camera calculator used worldwide to help school kids with learning. With help of DeepOCR, Photomath offered a major upgrade: it could recognize and solve handwritten math problems.
Finally, this brings us to the main star of the show. The solution that finally unlocks the value of receipts and may be our smartest product so far - BlinkReceipt.
Built on extensive machine learning knowledge, BlinkReceipt is able to capture complete information from retail receipts of all sizes and extract valuable data: the merchant info, product list, prices, and total amount of each particular purchase. There is also a neat option of visualizing the products on the list.
That’s not all, folks: by matching products with our catalogue, BlinkReceipt provides you with useful additional information, such as product category, SKU number, or brand name, which are not listed on the receipt itself.
The advantages of this solution are many: it gives you instant insight into valuable consumer purchase data, but doesn't require manual data input, costly back-end labor, or any kind of integration with retailers. It has great potential in a range of use cases, such as digital wallets, cash back, rewards and loyalty, expense tracking, personal finance, and many others.
All the marbles
After two days of fintech presentations and demonstrations, the audience at Finovate Europe has shared its opinion on which ones really stood out from the rest.
We’re very happy to announce that the audience was delighted by our OCR showcase and we were presented with the Best of Show award! This isn’t the first time, either: we have also received one at FinovateSpring 2017 in San Jose. There’s no doubt that BlinkReceipt belongs among the latest game changers in the fintech industry.
Speaking of the latest in fintech, here are some insights our team has picked up from the show:
- Data - if we had a penny for every time someone mentioned this word... Capturing and using customer data to build supreme customer experience seems to have been the main theme of the show. From personal finances, investing decisions, and risk assessment to personalized marketing campaigns, we’re now even more certain that AI will have an important role in changing the industry from the ground up.
- New players in the game - the barriers to entry in the banking industry may be crushed by PSD2 on the one end, and technologies like blockchain on the other. Non-banking companies may get a chance to grab a big slice of the pie as they provide additional services built on the banks’ APIs. It will be interesting to see how banks will go about blockchain and the new emerging non-banking competition.
- A personal touch - we saw a lot of chatbot and AI solutions that provide highly personalized experiences and tailored offers across multiple channels, including support for IoT devices such as smart speakers or watches. It’s hard to make any specific predictions on what might work and what not, but what is definite is that the success of each of these innovations will largely depend on lots of customers’ data.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t get the chance to fly to London to experience the latest fintech buzz. Instead, take a look at our winning presentation from the show and interview at our booth:
We hope you liked this recap of Finovate Europe. If you’d like to get more info on our OCR tech, feel free to contact us below. Our team is always happy to have a chat!