Six top digital business card apps
Handing over a business card to a new acquaintance is now just a swipe, flick or snap away with your mobile device.
In these tech-savvy times, there are apps that design, store and send electronic business cards to other mobiles.
Others take snaps, using the mobile phone’s camera, of printed business cards and sync the information to contact lists or keep the card images in a virtual-style Rolodex.
There’s no need to rummage around in a drawer overflowing with business cards to follow up with new connections. Mobile apps make organising your business cards a cinch.
But despite the availability of the digital technology, physical business cards are still popular, even with the emergence of apps such as Bump and CardMunch.
Business communication and media engagement expert Simon Mossman, of Mossman Media, says there is still demand for the real deal.
He likens predictions about the end of physical business cards to premature calls on the death of newspapers, books and magazines.
“People still like that tangible thing in their hand,” Mossman says.
“It’s the same with business cards. It’s good to exchange something physically.”
For Mossman, the attraction to Bump was the novelty factor. Users simply bumped their phones for the app to share their contact details. It was like the Tinder of networking.
Search giant Google bought Bump Technologies in 2013 for $30 million to $60 million but closed the app four months later, in January 2014.
CardMunch, a LinkedIn application that took photos of business cards, was another early favourite but is also now defunct. Meanwhile, CardFlick, which boasted designer business cards that could be “flicked” to other phones, shut down in 2013.
A search of Apple’s iTunes Store shows there are many more apps for taking photos of printed business cards and storing the information to your phone, than for digital-only cards.
Bizz and Zap are two apps allowing users to design, store and swap electronic business cards, while apps like Cam Card and WorldCard Mobile take photos of the printed cards and convert the information into contact lists.
Kim Mastrowicz, director of events management company The Main Event, uses the app SamCard to store business cards because it is a quicker way to enter information into contact lists than manual data entry. However, she says not many people seem to be using the apps.
“From my experience at my events, not many people do use them. But I think it’s because they don’t know about them,” says Mastrowicz.
“I think the more people that are aware of these types of apps, the more useful they would be.”
“If you are using your phone as a really good business tool, it can save you a lot of time.”
Mossman says exchanging contact details, in digital or printed business card form, is integral to building relationships.
“The exchange of business cards, whether by app or old school, is part of that connection and engagement process.”
Six of the best business card apps:
- Zap – One of the newer apps on the market, Zap is filling the void left by Bump. Create your virtual business card from your LinkedIn or Twitter profile, flick it to other iPhones with the app, or email to phones without. iOS, free (Android version planned).
- Bizz Card – Stylish, minimalist digital business cards that are easy to create and a breeze to send to new contacts by swiping the screen. Recipients can save your contact details to their address book and click through to your social media profiles. iOS7, free, but you pay for templates.
- SamCard – Syncs information from scanned business cards with iPhone contacts, dropping the name, job title, company etc into the relevant fields. For iPhone, free or various paid versions from $3.99-$6.99.
- WorldCard Mobile – Another business card reader and scanner with a nifty function allowing users to flick through stored business cards like a digital Rolodex. Slide to view business cards, find contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, share or back up contacts on cloud services. iOS, Android, Windows Phone. Free, or paid $6.99.
- CamCard – Scan and store business cards, or exchange electronic versions of cards. iOS, Android, Windows Phone. Free, paid version $0.99.
- ScanBizCards – Updates iPhone address book and Outlook contacts automatically after scanning cards. Links directly to LinkedIn and is one click away from sending a LinkedIn invite to any scanned contact. iOS, Android, Windows. Free version, $1.29 version.