In the age of smartphones and social media, the process of handing out a physical card with your name and information on it can seem remarkably antiquated. Yet the appeal of the business card as a simple and efficient networking tool persists. Moo, the online retailer for custom-print business cards, has given the age-old business card an upgrade by connecting digital with the physical in one easy tap.
Their Business Cards+, releasing today, are embedded with the same Near Field Communication technology used in tap-and-go services like Apple Pay. By just holding it up to an NFC-enabled smartphone, the card will allow users to exchange contact information, websites, and online portfolios. “It removes all of the friction of having to type in this URL” says Richard Moross, Moo’s founder and CEO. “And you still get the beauty of the physical card that everyone gets and knows how to use.”
To allow users to customize the information on their cards, Moo developed the platform Paper+, which Moross likens to a dashboard or app store for the physical product. The platform allows users to control where the card links to and to see who clicks on their card and when. Potential applications can be as simple as adding your contact details to someone’s phone automatically, or it can include actions like pulling up a song, or an app download, or the latest posts on your Instagram account. Since it’s all URL-based, you can easily update or change the preprogrammed information.
The technology isn’t without its limitations, however; the most obvious being that the user will need to have an NFC phone to access the preprogrammed material. Right now, the cards are only compatible with Android and Windows phones. While newer iPhones do have NFC readers, at this point they can be used only for Apple Pay (though in theory, Apple could unlock it, and these could work on iPhone in the future).
Moross is confident that the technology will be expanded—especially, he says, if something like this becomes popular. Since the company started developing and testing the upgraded cards in 2012, they’ve received positive feedback from early users. If it’s a success, the company hopes to roll out Paper+ onto different platforms. It could be adapted to paper invitations, for example, allowing people to RSVP digitally or check in at the door with their NFC invite.
“That’s the sort of stuff that excited us as a business, and what we’ll continue to invest in,” says Moross. “We hope we’ll discover how else it can be used—we’re leaving it to customers to tell us what’s next.”
Moo’s Business Cards+ launch today and are priced at $30 for a pack of 20. To purchase, check out their website here.