How to Evaluate ID Reading Software

by | Sep 24, 2020

How to Evaluate ID Reading Software

When I started working in the ID capture business in 2004 there were only a few players in this field. Now there seem to be around a hundred when there were only around 10 and new ID reading companies are popping up daily. There are several players in this field that have amazing websites, they show a product that looks like it works fast and smooth on their website videos. The problem is how do you know the software is fast, accurate and stable? We have all lived the scenario where we see one thing but get your hands on the product and you find that many just don’t work as well.

So what do we need to look for?

Technology Support

  • Many companies are small startups that are trying to break into the market. OCR is a niche industry, you must make sure that the technical team knows your needs and is well qualified. For example you can ask who are your main developers and what are their qualifications? A good programmer in this area will be a PHD level mathematician like we have at OCR Solutions. This shows the emphasis on quality any company would have.
  • Its important to compare ID reading solutions and test their accuracy and speed anything over 3 seconds today is considered very slow. Its very important to compare the performance for various solutions.
  • How many releases per month does the company support? There are constant changes and additions of IDs into the global market they change on a monthly basis. If a company only has sporadic releases when needed usually it shows their solution is not growing  or scalable.
  • For international companies or just companies that use the system and are close to the border you need a solution that can cover a large amount of country IDs. OCR Solution’s idMax covers over 200 countries and thousands of ID formats.
  • If you are integrating this into your solution its very important that you have the option of using various operating systems. An ID system should support Windows Linux Mac Android iOS Cloud. These abilities are very important especially for a multi national global company.

Customer Service

Is there a dedicated customer service representative that is your advocate within the company?  Any issues or problems that arise, its important to have a direct number to call any time of day or night. Each customer is very important no matter how big or small these are after all mission critical applications.

OCR Engine

A good system will use a good OCR engine to extract data, a great system will be built from scratch like idMax and be customized to work on ID data extraction. It gives the system superior performance and speed. At OCR we have invest years of work into our engine and this alone has proven itself to greatly differentiate our product from others on the market today. Clients comment on the capability especially the ones that have migrated from other solutions. The true test is taking IDs using various lighting and backgrounds to see how a system performs.

Passport Reading

This is a very important aspect of a passport reading system. Most OCR systems read the Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) its the part on the bottom of a passport that has looks like this “>>>>>>>” they do not read the Visual Inspection Zone (VIZ). Our software will read both and compare the data to help validate and authenticate the documents.


Many companies say they cover a country, region or state however the main question is do they have all the various IDs supported in that region or just one. You do not want to implement a solution that is lacking ID and Passport support in various regions. It creates a lot of work and takes up resources from both sides. Cheaper solutions support 1 ID type and say they support a region or country. Always make sure you test this aspect.

Language Support

The software will support various accents in Spanish, Hungarian etc. but also support different dialects such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic and more. This is something that is difficult to add and not all companies are able to support.

Additional Functionality

Not mandatory but very helpful is when the software has additional capabilities that may not be needed immediately but allow you to scale with a click of a button. Some examples are:

  • Credit Card Reading
  • Medical Card Capture
  • Ability to read in low light environments
  • Face Recognition (coming in version 4.0)
  • Document verification (coming in version 4.0)
  • Ability to read other documents such as car registrations, Tax Forms and more
  • Ability to customize the solution to read unique images such as embossed car parts, Industrial parts and other products


This is the hard part. OCR is not a simple technology and you pay for what you get. Just look at the various OCR Engines on the market. Google’s Tesseract is a good basic OCR but when you need something that works well its important to use one of the leading OCR engines on the market such as ABBYY or Kofax. The accuracy and results are very obvious. Don’t look for a cheap deal here, the system you use is likely for compliance or payment one mistake and it could cost you. Quality is everything in the OCR world don’t take that for granted if you want a good system none of the good ones are cheap.


Need more advice? Contact us to say hello we are always happy to help –  Phone 727-202-9335   Email- [email protected]