Microsoft Lumia and Windows Phone users can now scan business cards and save them straight into Outlook

Andrew Sadauskas /

Microsoft will update its Lumia and other Windows Phone smartphones to allow small business owners to ‘scan’ business cards with their camera and automatically save the details to Outlook or OneNote.

The additional functionality is being added through Office Lens, a free app that complements Office 365. It allows users to ‘scan’ documents using their smartphone camera, using optical character recognition and other techniques to clean up the document before saving it as a OneNote, Word or PowerPoint file.

Before accessing the new business card feature, users need to install or update Office Lens through the Windows app store. After updating, they need to open Office Lens and select business card mode at the top-right hand of the screen.

Once in business card mode, taking a photo of a well-lit business card and then tapping the save icon will then lead to the app automatically recognising contact information on the cards, allowing it to be saved into OneNote or Outlook.

Microsoft warns that the feature currently only works with English-language business cards, although support for other languages will be added in the future.

Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.