What Is ICR Technology?

Intelligent Character Recognition is the upgraded version of OCR technology. OCR reads hand-printed/typed characters from document or image files whereas ICR software is capable of learning several writing styles and fonts for enhancing text recognition and accuracy. ICR technology is used for extracting handwriting styles from image documents. ICR technology is in the development phase as it can be improved to provide better accuracy and recognition results. The improvements and changes in this technology are continuous which incorporates possibilities to make it more reliable with time.

When we compare OCR with ICR technology, it is observed that the results delivered by the ICR solution lack accuracy. The reason is that the ICR handwriting recognition services are consistently learning artificial intelligence-based neural network models. The greater amount of data available, the more effectively the ICR software will be capable of extracting and processing handwritten documents. Any error can result in misinterpretation of data. ICR engine can read an array of different handwriting styles and fonts with the help of an AI-driven neural network model with which the system ensures self-learning of every new document format and font. When a model learns a new/different document format the ICR engine adds it to its system database. Hence, it becomes easier for the ICR software to forecast the handwriting styles more effectively. The new, as well as previously saved data used for training the AI-based neural networks model, is utilized for the prediction of different writing styles and fonts.

Intelligent Word Recognition Technology

It is used to extract and identify handwritten and printed information along with cursive handwriting. ICR handwriting recognition software interprets full phrases and words based on the level of characters. It can process unstructured information and is more detailed when compared with ICR. Intelligent Word Recognition (IWR) cannot replace ICR and OCR mechanisms as it is the improved technology used for processing documents that don’t have the desired format and are not well written. The documents that contain data fields that are difficult to detect might not be interpreted through the ICR engine. But, the IWR technology is used for automating the data entry tasks and identifies the text in more detail.

Working Of ICR

The ICR software is integrated with the system that takes the input of handwritten documents. It scans the documents and extracts the information from them.

Let’s explore how ICR software works in the case of digital document verification performed by banks:

  1. The customer is requested to show his identity documents to the camera. The ICR software performs scanning of ID documents and extracts relevant information (name, Dob, address) from them
  2. After extraction of ID credentials, the customer is required to upload a picture of his handwritten consent note. The text in the consent is scanned and extracted
  3. The extracted information from the ID document and consent note is authenticated while the results are being delivered to the bank

ICR technology automates the data extraction process. It removes delays in the lengthy and inefficient data entry tasks carried out by banks. It saves time and costs for hiring employees for data entry duties.

Applications Of ICR Services

In 1993, Joseph Corcoran designed the ICR technology. To automate the form processing techniques, the process has three phases. First, the image of the document is captured and scanned by the software. After that ICR engine extracts the relevant information and in the last phase, the results are processed to verify that output automatically.

With time, the technology proved to be beneficial for different business operations. Nowadays, the latest business software utilizes ICR technology for automating form-filling procedures. Before the emergence of ICR, the interpretation of unstructured data was a difficult task. But, now advanced technologies can automate data collection and extraction processes irrespective of documents structured or unstructured.

Following are the industrial applications of ICR technology:

  1. It is used for automating manual data entry processes at an industrial scale
  2. Authentication of handwritten consent on a digital platform
  3. Collection of data in an electronic environment
  4. Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) mechanisms are used for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) globally
  5. To improve business workflows, ICR is integrated with the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) applications


ICR technology based on AI text recognition is used for extracting a huge amount of data from structured and unstructured documents. ICR application provides swift and effective means of processing the customers’ data. It also eliminates errors when extracting data from handwritten notes. It helps many industries to input higher volumes of data without errors.