Whether record keeping, balancing a budget, or registering a warranty, maintaining and tracking printed receipts is a disorganized practice. The process can involve searching for crumpled papers in a pair of jeans, sifting through a stack of documents in a glove compartment, or scouring through old emails.
Whatever the method or wherever the document is located, it’s an imperfect, manual system.
“This terminal paper – it’s easily damaged and easy to lose,” said Nikola Arsovski, founder of the Serbian software company FamIT Solutions and Technologies. In some Eastern European countries, certain public and private companies print QR codes on receipts that communicate purchase history and warranty information.
The problem of tracking warranty information and receipts in Serbia has intensified as laws recently went into effect requiring certain public and private entities to send and receive electronic invoices.
In addition to typical scanning issues such as damaged codes and imperfect surfaces and lighting, QR Codes on receipts in Serbia are large, high-density images that are inherently difficult to scan.
Arsovski realized that the rising adoption of receipt scanning without addressing common pain points would only discourage wide-scale scanning implementation. Soon, he developed a smartphone application to scan QR Codes on his receipts and invoices that better track financial and warranty information.
“The idea was to have that information on your phone so you can easily share or print it,” he said.
The app, Moj Račun (“My Bill” in English), also generates spending reports and analyses. The application proved so valuable in his everyday life that Arsovski published it on the Google Play® and Apple® app stores. However, initial users of Arsovski’s app faced significant challenges.
When people started to use it at first, they had a lot of negative comments, Arsvoski said. “The scanning wasn’t good enough, they needed to hold their phone for a few seconds or even a minute to scan the code.”
One customer even had to flatten a receipt in a book and implement external lighting to scan a QR Code.
Arsovski was determined to fix his app. He downloaded nearly every scanning application. He tried creating new scanning components from scratch using machine-learning kits. He examined different mobile phones and camera settings. He even tried other image manipulation software, but nothing was working.
“When we had that problem, we thought ‘OK, this is the end of the app,’” Arsovski said. “I wanted to quit testing, but then I found [Cognex’s] software development kit, the solution to our biggest problem.”
Using the Cognex Mobile Barcode Software Development Kit (cmbSDK), Arsovski developed a scanning function for Moj Račun that surpassed all expectations.
Utilizing the cmbSDK to create scanning functionality for Moj Račun enabled the app to scan damaged barcodes in low-light and low-contrast conditions. The speed and intuitiveness of the app were so powerful, Arsovski was scanning codes faster than he could get receipts into the field of view.
A seasoned software engineer, Arsovski couldn’t create an application or find an out-of-the-box solution that competed with the cmbSDK. The speed of the app’s image acquisition and ability to read complex, high-density QR Codes left Arsovski and his colleagues in awe.
After successfully testing out the cmbSDK with Moj Račun and learning more about Cognex, Arsovski purchased a license for 20,000 users.
Throughout the process, he found value in Cognex beyond the ability to scan QR Codes.
The development kit contains a rolling mechanism wherein Cognex removes inactive users after a certain number of days, ensuring Arsovski only dedicates resources toward active users. And, Arsovski added, Cognex’s documentation and support staff helped him overcome technical issues.
Since implementing the cmbSDK in September 2022, Moj Račun’s average rating on one app store soared from two to four stars. This boost had a positive impact on Arsovski’s business as his company relies on word-of-mouth advertising and online reviews.
The cmbSDK has transformed Moj Račun. As of early 2023, the app has more than 4,000 downloads.
As a small business owner with nine employees, Arsovski admitted purchasing licenses for the cmbSDK was a significant investment.
“To pay for something when you don’t know how it will turn out is challenging," he said. “But when you see results like this, that's worth anything because it's doing an amazing job."