Is it time to kill off the traditional business card?

Business card mock-up image for The Digital Guy

The Evolution of Business Cards in the Digital Era

Is it just me, or does the traditional business card feel a bit old-fashioned now? (Sorry, Patrick Bateman).

Despite the availability of Virtual Contact Files (VCards) since 1996, we still cling to the design and printing of stacks of small rectangular cards to exchange contact information in our digital era.

VCards allow you to store your contact details in a widely recognized digital format. Thanks to the power of QR codes, VCards can be easily generated and transferred. It’s hard to find anyone nowadays who doesn’t have a QR code reader with contact-saving ability within arm’s reach at all times (Hint: it’s your phone).

Try pointing your phone’s camera app at the QR code below, and you should be instantly presented with all my business card details. This information can be easily saved to your phone without the hassle of printing physical cards or manually typing in my details.

How to create your VCard QR code

Many QR code generators attempt to charge for their services or use URL shorteners linked to their systems, aiming to retain control over your content and generate hits through redirection. Avoid such websites, as it is entirely unnecessary.

Here’s the one I used, which – at the time of writing, is completely free and doesn’t attempt to retain your data or links on their system. It allows you to download the direct QR code:

Simply fill out your details and use the options to the right to download your VCard in your required format. You could even consider getting it printed or etched onto metal or other premium materials, creating a single physical business card that can be scanned and kept easily.

Embrace the digital shift, streamline your networking, and say goodbye to the cumbersome traditional business card. The future of exchanging contact information is here, and it fits snugly in the palm of your hand.