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How to Effortlessly Forward E-Receipts from Your Email to SparkReceipt

Updated: Jan 29


Illustrative picture of a Gmail account
In today's modern world, it's not uncommon to receive some or most of your receipts via email.

Introduction: With the digital age in full swing, e-receipts have become more than just a trend. Actually, depending on the region they're now a very common occurrence in modern shopping experiences. From online purchases to eco-friendly in-store options, e-receipts offer both convenience and an eco-friendly alternative to their paper counterparts. In this article, we'll explore the rising importance of e-receipts and the how to scan them like paper receipts in a receipt scanner and expense tracking app like SparkReceipt.


SparkReceipt is a receipt scanner app for small businesses, freelancers and individuals to help them track and manage their expenses, as well as to store and backup other business-related documents. We use SparkReceipt here as an example, but other notable receipt scanners also have email and e-receipt functionality. You can check our comparison article here for reference.


1. The Popularity of E-Receipts


More people are shopping online now and even when they shop in stores, many choose to get their receipts by email instead of paper. Why? E-receipts are easier to keep track of and they're better for the environment. It's like when you buy a shirt online and get the receipt in your email, or when you buy groceries at the store and they send the receipt to your email to save paper. Many companies and shoppers like this method because it's simple and green.


A New Era of Shopping


The checkout counter used to be synonymous with the familiar rustle of a paper receipt, being printed and handed over to customers. Today, more and more consumers are familiar with the phrase, "Would you like your receipt emailed to you?" The answer is increasingly becoming a confident 'yes'. As businesses large and small pivot towards providing digital solutions, e-receipts have emerged as a convenient and efficient method to confirm and record transactions. Whether you're buying a book online or dining out at your favourite local bistro, e-receipts offer a seamless way to keep a digital record without the clutter of physical papers.


An Eco-friendly Alternative


But it's not just about convenience. There's a green angle to this shift. Every year, countless trees are felled to create paper receipts, many of which are promptly discarded, leading to an alarming amount of waste. By opting for e-receipts, both businesses and consumers play a role in reducing their carbon footprint. It's a win-win situation: shoppers get a clutter-free experience while contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly commerce ecosystem.


Benefits to the Digital Consumer


For the modern consumer, e-receipts bring along many benefits even without using any receipt organizer apps:

  • Organization: Digital files are often easier to keep organized than their paper counterparts. Without much effort, you can create folders to organize them by year, month, or other qualities of your choice. On top of this, you should of course make sure they are backed up in case your laptop breaks.

  • Permanent Storage: Paper fades, but digital records can last indefinitely. Whether you need to check a purchase from last week or last year, e-receipts ensure you always have access to your transaction history. Also, since the emailed receipts are often in PDF format, you can even search them by text in many email clients.

  • Accessibility: Being able to access your receipts from any device, anytime, is a plus for many. Whether you're at home on your laptop or on the move with your smartphone, your e-receipts are always just a few taps away.

One thing is for sure though, the prominence of e-receipts is only about to grow. They have the best of both worlds, convenience and responsibility, providing an easy solution for consumers and businesses alike, all while keeping the promise of a more sustainable future.


2. Why You Should Use a Receipt Scanner and Organizer App


E-receipts are great by themselves, but they can be hard to find when you get many emails every day. This is where a specialized receipt scanner and organizer app, like SparkReceipt, can help.


Lost in Emails


Think about how many emails you get daily. Now, try to remember where that e-receipt from two weeks ago is. Hard, right? Many times, we don't sort and categorize our e-receipts right away because we're busy. So, they get lost among all our other emails.


Don’t Miss Out


If you can't find an e-receipt, you might miss a chance to return something, claim a warranty, or track your spending. This is not just about being organized; it's about saving money and time.


A Receipt Scanner App to the Rescue: Here's why using an organizer app like SparkReceipt makes things easier and better:

  • Track Spending: See where your money goes each month. This can help you budget and save.

  • Quick Search: No more scrolling through tons of emails. Find any receipt quickly with SparkReceipt.

  • Automatic Sorting: When you get an e-receipt, you might not always have time to sort it. With SparkReceipt's email forwarding feature, you can forward your e-receipt to the app, and it'll sort and tag it for you in seconds. So, you can be a bit lazy but still stay organized.

  • Smart Categorization: When you add a receipt to SparkReceipt, the app uses its smart tech to figure out what type of purchase it is and tags it. For example, it knows if you bought food, a gadget, or clothes. This makes it easy to review where you're spending most.


3. How to Manually Forward E-Receipts from Email to SparkReceipt


a. Identify Your Unique Forwarding Address in SparkReceipt


Screenshot about how to find the personal receipt forwarding address on SparkReceipt to scan your email receipts.
Your personal forwarding address can be found from "Email Documents" option in the app's main menu.

To forward emails to SparkReceipt, first identify your unique forwarding address in the app under "Email Documents" in the main menu. Save this address to your email contacts for easy access. When you receive an e-receipt, forward it to this personal forwarding address. SparkReceipt will process the receipt, whether it's an attachment or embedded in the email, and you'll receive a confirmation email once the receipt is successfully scanned and added to your account.


To streamline the process for future use, copy this address and save it to your contacts. If you're a Gmail user, the client usually auto-saves such addresses, making it easier the next time you want to forward a receipt. To ensure quick access, add this address to your email contacts. But typically, at least for me, just typing the first few characters of "valorbyte" will bring it right up in your email client.


b. Forward Receipts Directly from Your Email Client for Scanning


Series of screenshots from the SparkReceipt receipt scanner app describing the process of forwarding the e-receipt with attachments..
From the email you want to scan, select Forward, then Include Attachments, and just send everything to your personal forwarding address.

When you receive a new e-receipt in your email inbox, forward it to the personal forwarding address you obtained from SparkReceipt. Regardless of whether your e-receipt is in the form of an attachment or it's embedded within the email body, SparkReceipt is equipped to process both.


c. You Should Receive a Confirmation Email


In under a minute you should receive confirmation about the receipt's addition to the SparkReceipt app.
Shortly you should receive a confirmation email that the receipt was succesfully scanned and added to your account. The ChatGPT AI will extract information from the receipt automatically.

Once you've forwarded your e-receipt, you can expect a confirmation email within 10 to 20 seconds. This email signifies that the receipt has been successfully scanned and added to SparkReceipt. Behind the scenes, the app uses its advanced algorithms to extract main details from your e-receipts, such as the merchant's name, total expenditure, tax, currency, and other relevant data.


By adhering to these steps, you'll be able to effortlessly integrate your e-receipts into SparkReceipt, ensuring they're systematically organized and readily accessible.


Auto Forwarding Receipts to SparkReceipt


While manual forwarding usually only takes seconds, setting up automatic forwarding can really help you save time and mental effort. It is usually easy to do with custom filters in most email applications.


Setting up auto-forwarding rules differ a bit with each email provider, but here are instructions for the most common ones:



Use these instructions to set up your unique SparkReceipt address as an auto-forward address. Most of the email providers will require verification of the inbound address, and the instructions are sent to the forwarding address. In SparkReceipt, this verification email will end up in your "Documents" folder in the app. Use the instructions in the email to complete the setup.


 

IMPORTANT: Always make sure to include appropriate filters so you do not accidentally and unnecessarily forward your whole inbox to SparkReceipt. A good filter is usually composed of both the sender address e.g. billing@example-merchant.com, and a "subject includes" rule e.g. subject includes "[Billing] Your billing statement for...". The formats depend a bit on the merchant in question, but are nearly always identical from month to month.

 

Conclusion


E-receipts are more than just digital slips; they're a sign of how shopping is evolving. They're not only better for our planet, but they also make it easier for us to stay organized in this fast-paced digital age. But to truly benefit, we need a handy way to manage these receipts. By sending them straight to SparkReceipt, you keep all your personal or small businesses purchases in one place. This makes it easier to keep track of your money and ensures you're ready for the future of organizing and scanning receipts.


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