How Scanbot SDK has streamlined document scanning to transform insurance


As insurance firms eagerly adopt technology to improve their operations, Max Stratmann – chief revenue officer at Scanbot SDK – believes that digital document scanning is the key. 

German InsurTech company Scanbot SDK has been on quite the adventure to get to where it is today. It was initially built in 2011 to revolutionise personal document management. Spurred on by the positive response to its scanning functionality, within a few years the team shifted its focus to become a B2C document scanning app, Scanbot.  

The app quickly grew and reached around 15 million downloads via iOS and Android devices. This popularity soon caught the eye of several insurance firms who wanted to licence the scanning feature to use within their own applications. On the back of this, the Scanbot team launched the Scanbot Software Development Kit (SDK). 

Once again, Scanbot SDK found itself in possession of an incredibly successful piece of software. Rather than spreading itself thin across both markets, the company made the strategic decision to sell its B2C app in 2019 and focus entirely on the B2B market. Since then, Scanbot SDK has added more functionalities to its scanning toolkit, including the ability to scan barcodes and extract data from IDs, checks and more. 

Today, Scanbot SDK is the market leader in mobile document scanning. European and North American insurance heavyweights, including Aflac, AXA and Generali, are just some of the companies leveraging its tools. The Scanbot SDK platform enables insurers to digitise a host of manual processes, saving valuable time and money. In addition to digital document scanning, the company offers barcode scanning to help firms improve user experiences and data capture software to extract important information from documents. 

Solving the problems in the market

One driving force behind Scanbot SDK is its mission to solve the challenge companies face around document scanning. While the company supports a variety of industries, including retail, transportation, accounting and healthcare, a core focus area is the insurance industry. Insurance is bogged down by a lot of manual workloads, with a lot of these based around completing and reviewing documents. 

Stratmann said, “Many insurance companies offer their customers an app or web portal where they can submit claims and attach scans of the relevant papers. However, the submitted documents are frequently just grainy photographs, poorly lit and taken from odd angles. Many such scans are unsuitable even for manual handling, let alone automated processing.” 

This is where Scanbot SDK can help. Its technology ensures documents are scanned in high quality so that information is clearly visible and can be understood by automated systems. Through this, teams can increase automatic processing rates by up to 30%, reduce manual processing costs for insurers and accelerate payout for policyholders. 

Whilst being one of its defining features, ensuring its technology could consistently generate high-quality scans for all documents proved to be a tricky challenge for Scanbot SDK to figure out. Each document has its own requirements in terms of image quality, text clarity, and data extraction. Scanbot SDK needed to create a solution that could handle any type of documents, as well as the differing levels of quality, including any screwed up or torn receipts. 

“To overcome this, Scanbot SDK invested heavily in machine learning and computer vision technology, “Stratmann said. “The company built robust algorithms capable of detecting document edges, correcting perspective, and enhancing image quality, even in poor lighting conditions. This ML-based approach led to higher-quality scans and more effective data extraction, and today allows Scanbot SDK to handle any document with high accuracy.”

Simplicity is one of the core foundations of Scanbot SDK. Stratmann explained that the platform was built with compatibility in mind. It can support all major development frameworks, is well-documented and can be fully integrated within just a day. On top of this, it also boasts extensive customization options so clients can tailor the SDK to their specific applications, rather than forcing them to build applications around the technology. 

Stratmann described the role of Scanbot SDK in insurance as, “fast, accurate, easy-to-use scanning streamlines operations, and increases customer satisfaction – making Scanbot SDK a vital part of the insurance industry’s digital transformation.”

Why improve the claims experience? 

Consumers have made it clear that personalisation is king. People are happy to drop off from an onboarding process or switch providers if they feel the user experience is not good enough. In fact, customer retention sits at 81% for insurers that offer personalised services. This need for improved customer experience is not a secret, with 85% of insurers working on new customer experience initiatives. 

With so many areas of insurance ready for digital transformation, it can be hard for firms to know where they should start. But for Stratmann it is quite simple, insurers should focus on improving their claims process. 

He said, “A painless claims experience is key to an insurer’s success. When customers can easily compare different insurance options, a smooth claims process becomes a major differentiator. A positive experience builds trust and loyalty, and can even lead to customers recommending the insurer to others. On the flip side, if customers are left unhappy, they may decide to switch providers. Therefore, improving the claims process is vital to retaining customers and staying competitive in the industry.”

The claims process is arguably the most important from the customer’s perspective. They are already in a difficult position and forcing them to go through clunky and laborious user experiences is likely to make them even more frustrated or agitated. Whereas, having a streamlined experience can relieve some of the burden and potentially increase their brand loyalty. Claims experiences even prove to be the cause of most unhappy customers, with 68% of complaints involving the claims process.  

Scanbot SDK helps to make submitting a claim a breeze, Stratmann said. The high-quality scanning solution enables customers to upload the relevant documents quickly and easily, which accelerates claims processing, reduces payout time, and improves the overall policyholder experience. 

“Scanbot SDK ensures that customer-facing document scanning processes are rapid while maintaining high data protection standards. The Scanbot SDK runs 100% offline, meaning it operates exclusively on the end user’s device, without any servers. No Wi-Fi or internet connection is required, which ensures stability and strong data security. Since no data is ever processed on a server, the risk of data leaks in the scanning process is eliminated. 

“The on-device approach ensures a smooth and safe customer experience while preserving the insurance process’s integrity.”

Standing out from the crowd

The InsurTech sector continues to grow each year. The market size was estimated to have grown from $10.44bn in 2022 to $13.49bn in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.3%, according to data from Reportlinker. This growth is expected to continue, reaching a market size of $39.4bn by 2027. 

With such a huge market potential, the sector is overflowing with InsurTech solutions, all of which are fighting to stand out from the crowd. A result of this is that differentiating factors are vital. 

Scanbot SDK sets itself apart in several aspects. One of these is its offline scanning functionality. This empowers the highest level of data security as it allows sensitive documents to be scanned without any data leaving the device, thus completely eliminating the risk of data breaches. Stratmann stated that this not only boosts security but ensures policyholders can capture documents reliably without the need of a stable internet connection. 

Stratmann added, “Scanbot SDK’s intuitive user interface was improved through feedback from millions of users. Moreover, Scanbot has accumulated over a decade of expertise in using machine learning for edge detection and image optimization. Overall, Scanbot SDK offers an unparalleled scanning experience for users and delivers the sharpest scanning results in the market.”

Scanbot SDK has countless happy customers that can testify to the technology. One of these is Swiss insurer SWICA. The firm implemented the Scanbot Document Scanner SDK into their app so they could establish a reliable and user-friendly document submission process. This enhanced customer experience and processing capabilities resulted in less administrative overhead, faster payouts and a better insurance experience. 

Why work with Scanbot SDK?

With such a competitive market it is easy for a company to be left behind. To ensure that doesn’t happen, they need to always be on the lookout for ways to grow and improve their solution. This is something Scanbot SDK excels in. Looking ahead, the InsurTech company plans to further expand in the North American finance, banking, and insurance sectors. It is also planning to add new data extraction formats and improve the speed and accuracy of its technology. 

Stratmann concluded, “Scanbot SDK is the market leader when it comes to document scanning in the apps of European insurance. We’re the go-to choice in Germany for most insurance companies’ mobile applications. In Switzerland, nine of the ten largest health insurers use our technology

“In the United States, we’ve established partnerships with industry giants such as Aflac and DocuSign. Working with Scanbot means gaining a reliable, well-established partner in the insurance industry. Our excellent track record, gained over ten years of experience developing mobile scanning software, showcases our commitment to quality service, innovative solutions, and client satisfaction.”

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