At networking events and meetings people can usually be seen fumbling around in their bags, wallets and back pockets for business cards. We keep hundreds of these cards in storage and hand them out at every opportunity to connect with like minded individuals and business partners, but with the way technology is going, why are we still swapping cards?
When networking at a business event you may receive a wallet full of business cards and information you then need to sort through and manually process into your phone or computer. It’s a process that technology still hasn’t properly transformed and with data these days collected in the cloud a piece of paper is worthless.
Sure there are smart cards already on the market that enable the transference of business and personal information into the cloud, but how functional are they really? swivelCards is a smart card designed with a QR code and inbuilt chip to store information, but now QR codes seem so last century and there are better ways to collect and process information. With inbuilt chips and codes information can’t be changed, so like regular business cards if a business changes any sort of information those cards become redundant and end up in the bin.
Entrepreneur Matt Gazzo was frustrated by the limited capabilities in the smart card market and decided to really engage with technology to change the way people transfer information. His soon to launch startup Cardect is a digital business card that looks and feels like a credit card and transfers information straight onto a person’s phone via an app.
“Looking back through old folders I noticed how many business cards I had, and between myself and my business partner we had hundreds and hundreds of cards to throw out. I thought with the technology we have today there must be an easier way to share,” said Gazzo. “I did my research and saw there was nothing really on the market and that’s how I developed the card.”
The smart card works similar to the tap and go style of bank cards. One tap on any iOS or Android phone transfers customisable business or personal information onto the Cardect app.
“When you tap the card against a phone it brings up your own personal, digital page,” explained Gazzo. “Instead of having hundreds of cards, you have the one smart card and you can design that however you want and then you design your detail page however you like through the app.”
Cardect cards have an inbuilt Bluetooth microprocessor that triggers digital sharing when tapped against a smartphone. The security behind the card is the same integrated system used for debit cards to ensure a user’s personal information is only transferred by choice.
All information can be stored on the digital card including contact details, bios, and links to relevant social media sites. For example when you meet someone and want to give them your business details with Cardect, you tap the smart card against a person’s smartphone and the card sends your own personal page to the app. If the person you want to connect with doesn’t have the app, the card will open up the app store and the details will wait to be transferred upon download.
At any time information can be changed on the app’s personal page, which can be customised to add as much or as little information as a person desires, while still keeping the same smart card.
To create a card design users go on to the Cardect website and design the card the same way they would their paper business card. Cards retail at $16 each and come with a three year warranty and free purchase of the Cardect app. Once the app is downloaded users activate their card and build up their personal or business profile. If a card is lost, users can deactivate it through the app and order a replacement.
Other features on the app give Cardect that extra bit of functionality, including the ability to send quotes, reminders and bookings with people you have connected with, the option to have more than one profile, and the choice to pre-approve all contacts before details become visible.
Cardect will officially launch in Australia in August and is currently crowdfunding $50,000 on Indiegogo to offer its product at a discounted price of $8 to all who donate. Gazzo says he is also looking at offering business and personal packs, which will roll out towards the end of the year.
With an immediate vision for growth and scale in Australia Gazzo said connecting with business people all over the world is the ultimate goal.
“We want to have a Cardect smart card in their back pocket of every business owner and employee in the world. It’s a world first product so we want to get it to as many business people as we can.”
Image: Matt Gazzo. Source: Supplied