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Japanese Provider of IT Services for Various Stores Smaregi Has Adopted Mobile OCR by Smart Engines

Smaregi, serving more than 98 thousand stores in Japan, has integrated the OCR module by Smart Engines into its mobile applications. Automatic extraction of passport data allows streamlining VAT-refund procedures in tax free shops for foreign citizens in Japan. This solution is available for retailers using Smaregi cloud services which is iPhone/iPad-based registers.

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Two mobile applications, Smaregi and Plugram, developed for retail automatization, were equipped with Smart Engines technology for scanning of ID documents machine-readable zone (MRZ). New option allows speeding up input of customer’s data when filling in VAT-return declarations for foreign customers in stores with Smaregi cloud POS-registers. Instead of filling in a declaration by hand, shop assistants just need to show the MRZ page of the customer’s passport to a POS-register camera or iPad or iPhone and all necessary data automatically appears in VAT-refund declaration which is then printed out.

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Recognition is done in video flow in real time and takes about 1 second without special skills of a shop assistant. Smart Engines solution guarantees a high-quality MRZ recognition notwithstanding lighting conditions, different angles and passport position in front of the camera. Recognition process is completely autonomous on mobile devices and does not transfer ID pictures to third services or servers.

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“MRZ recognition module by Smart Engines expands the possibilities of our applications for POS-registers automation across Japan. Streamlining of clients’ data input improves the quality of retail service so our clients can serve their customers more quickly. This is important for travellers since they are always short of time for shopping, especially at tax-free airport stores. We are happy that tourists in Japan can save their time on VAT-refund procedure,” remarks Smaregi CEO Hiroshi Yamamoto.

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“We are proud that our Japanese partners, who are famous for their perfectionism, have chosen Smart Engines. We have a lot to offer to our Asian clients since our symbol recognition technology works exclusively well with documents in traditional Japanese characters. So we have a vast perspective for growth here,” comments Dr. Vladimir Arlazarov, CEO of Smart Engines.

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