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Defining the digital business card

In a publication last week, a Co-Founder of Doorway digital business cards eloquently took us through the paper business card as a social memento and in doing so, sought to define what is the meaning of a digital business card.

This publication will highlight some of the most popular vendors in the digital business card market to help the corporate audience of tomorrow in making a selection for their new medium of networking and corporate identity.

The Digital Business Card Market

Digital business card, virtual business card, electronic business card etc; the market is looking for a term and a solution to traditional paper business cards. From metal and plastic NFC cards, digital business card apps, and app-less digital business cards held in the Apple Wallet, this publication has ranked the best digital business cards on the market to help you in your selection based on your vision of what kind of digital business card will fit your company best. 

First and foremost, what are these different types of digital business cards? How do you create digital business cards? And finally, what are the best digital business card providers in the market?

NFC Business Cards

Most do not consider these to be true digital business cards, as they are indeed physical, but we have included them in our list of best digital business cards as they are the oldest products on the market and are suitable for some use cases. Usually made of plastic, metal or bamboo, these products use NFC technology to share contact details via a webpage. We would best term these as e business cards, as they inherently rely on the internet for use.

NFC technology is what powers contactless payments, and has been appropriated by several vendors discussed below for the business card use-case. We would like to term these products as electronic business cards, rather than digital business cards, for they are physical but do use the power of the internet to function.

NFC cards

The Digital Wallet Business Card

The most popular offering for businesses is the digital wallet that is stored in your Apple Wallet or Google Pay. Why is it the most popular for businesses? It is the simplest – no app download, no physical card, and only one option!

Doorway is the only digital business card provider that is solely designed for the digital wallet, and fortunately, Doorway has an exceptional product. Using a card in your digital wallet, you can instantly share your contact details via your Doorway, which is branded with your company logo. Digital wallet business cards are particularly safe because your contact details will only be shared when your actual card is scanned, rather than having your basic contact information stored on the internet.

The many brands using Doorway

The digital business card app

A great digital business card alternative for individuals who have an affinity for the app store, digital business card apps can be downloaded to your phone and used to share your contact details. They are a fun tool and come with lots of features within the app, but are not usually preferred by businesses given the need for an app download and the inability to customize branding to any great extent.

The Best Digital Business Card Providers

Finally what you have all been waiting for, our list of the 7 best digital business card providers based on your needs as a company or individual. We have given a brief overview of the top five digital business card options.

1. V1CE: NFC Business Card

V1CE is an NFC digital business card offering that has been extremely successful with social media influencer marketing, promoting their sleek black design and likening their product to a credit card.

They are quite expensive at around $50 per card, but definitely worth a try if you are looking for an NFC digital business card! V1CE does offer a bulk creation feature, wherein a business or group of people can order their V1CE NFC cards en-masse.

V1CE is the most visited electronic business card sight on the market, which has earned them the #1 position in our ranking of the best digital business cards. V1CE was also the first digital business card, and for that reason, they earn a gold star in our book.

2. HiHello: The Business Card App

HiHello has an app that is available for download in the App Store and allows users to share HiHello cards with others via the internet. HiHello’s digital business card has a strong brand with various lovely shades of purple, and is a really fun tool for individuals looking for another app in their phone’s collection.

Nevertheless, HiHello remains a popular digital business card vendor for freelancers and social users. HiHello charges about $5 per digital business card, which places it in the midmarket position for pricing.

Creating digital business cards with HiHello unfortunately isn’t as easy, because anybody who wants one needs to download the app. For this reason, HiHello is better positioned for individuals, as company reviews have stated a reluctance in having employees download an app that is not reflective of their respective company’s branding.

HiHello does allow you to link your social media account, which is again a bonus point for any individual looking for a digital business card offering.

3. Doorway: Built for your Apple Wallet & Google Pay

Doorway is uniquely built for businesses, with digital business cards that are held in your digital wallet (Apple Wallet & Google Pay). Though Doorway is #3 on our list, we would rank Doorway #1 for the best digital business card position for businesses.

Doorway provides its clients with custom branded digital business cards and a variety of administrative capability to manage your company’s card design, your employees’ details, and to integrate with incumbent HR management software.

Doorway is designed to show your company logo and share your contact details with a QR code that requires no internet connection to use. Data encryption is key to Doorway and they are SOC2 certified, which is a huge bonus for any enterprises looking into the digital business card space.

Doorway’s dedicated B2B focus has taken the corporate landscape by storm for digital business cards, and Doorway’s pricing comes in three tiers depending on the service offering your business requires. The most popular option is Doorway’s Enterprise Tier which tailors your corporate identity solution around your unique business requirements.

Lastly and most importantly, Doorway offers an instant function to create digital business cards. Any designated employees will receive an email to save their digital business card to their digital wallet – no app download, and no physical business card needed!

4. Mobilo: NFC Business Card & Paper Business Card

Mobilo offers NFC digital business cards, as well key-fobs and buttons for the back of your mobile device. Mobilo also offers custom designed paper business cards/traditional business cards, which takes away from the “digital business card” allure that most in the space are looking out for. Nevertheless, Mobilo has invested heavily in their marketing and is one of the most digital business card sights in the internet, earning them the rank of #4 in our ranking!

5. Blinq: NFC Business Card & Digital Business Card App

Blinq is another that offers a dual digital business card offering, with both NFC business cards and a digital business card app for its users. Blinq hasn’t gained a huge amount of popularity in the market, but their pricing of $3 per digital business card is attractive to some individuals who don’t want to cough up the extra $2 for HiHello – and quite understandably! Blinq offers a very similar functionality within their app and provides a perfectly adequate user interface.

6. Linq: NFC Business Card

7. Haystack: Digital Business Card App

Digital Business Cards from a Historical Perspective: The end of the traditional business card

Its 2022 and companies have realized that the traditional business card is over. In a post-pandemic world, contactless connecting is key, and physical business cards are a relic of the past. Further, the global corporate landscape is getting serious about sustainability.

Among the myriad of tasks in a company’s path toward net-zero carbon, going paperless and dematerializing seems to be low-hanging fruit. Step 1: get rid of your physical business cards.

Solution? Digital Business Cards

Currently masquerading under a variety of names, the digital business card, electronic business card, virtual business card etc is the solution to the ever-demanded replacement of those endless pieces of rectangular cardstock that once filled our pockets and desk drawers.

For simplicity and accuracy, we will group the electronic business card, virtual business card, NFC card, QR code card et al under the umbrella term of digital business card. Ultimately, we will provide a ranking of the best digital business card depending on your needs as a business or as an individual.

The first search many engaged is that for a digital business card creator. Individuals may not be aware of the various digital business card options – perhaps they only know of a QR code, a virtual business card app, or a smart business card with a QR code that lets people scan your paper card to get your details. 

Digital business card solutions are many, and one must not forget the option of a free digital business card, or e business card that allows you to simply share your social media accounts. 

From our perspective, the best digital business card makers are those who focus either the individual or the business. There are several beautiful digital business cards or QR code generators that enable digital business card creation for an individual on a free plan, but might not be perfect for a business. The virtual business card apps are similarly great for individuals but for a business may seem unpopular – will everybody at your company actually download this new app just to replace their physical cards with an e business card that requires both an app and internet connection to use? 

Digital business card generators that forget the role of branding in physical cards also miss the boat. Do you want to exchange electronic business cards with no concept of brand or personal identity attached to your digital card? 

The digital business cards worth noting for businesses are those that are particularly built for businesses. Bulk creation capabilities, an easy to use dashboard, and a focus on networking and corporate identity are the key features to look out for. 

Networking and Corporate Identity

Beyond your contact details, there are two crucial legs on which the business card runs: your name, and your company logo. Ultimately, your business card is the authorized link between you and your company – a credential given to you by your team to show the world that you mean business when you network, and more specifically, you are greeting the world with the powerful combination of your name and your company’s logo, welded into one force via your business card.

NFC Business Cards

Most do not consider these to be true digital business cards, as they are indeed physical, but we have included them as they are the oldest products on the market and are suitable for some use cases. Usually made of plastic, metal or bamboo, this digital business card solution uses NFC technology to replace the physical business card.

NFC technology is what powers contactless payments, and has been appropriated by several vendors discussed below for the business card use-case. We would like to term these products as electronic business cards, rather than digital business cards, for they are physical but do use the power of the internet to function.

A Quick How To: Using NFC Business Cards / Electronic Business Cards

You hold your physical card (plastic, metal or bamboo) near to somebody’s mobile device, and it will power a webpage to open in their internet browser. From the webpage, you can save that person’s contact details.

This is a very fun to use solution but comes with many limitations, the first being that you still need to have a business card with you that is very physical. Unfortunately, your contact information is not stored in the card itself, rather the card is storing a webpage link to save your contact information. That means the person you want to share your contact details with needs an Internet connection. This is not suitable for events inside buildings, on a golf course, on the underground or while flying on a plane.

Finally, NFC cards pose a risk as they expose your personal contact information online and anyone with the link would be able to access your phone number, email and all other pieces of information you shared. Nevertheless, for people wanting a savy looking card to carry around, NFC cards pose a nice option.

In Summary

Digital business card solutions can assessed when looking at which vendors have all the features you might need as a small business, an enterprise, or as an individual. We can all agree that paper cards are of the past, but what about physical cards in general? NFC cards do have an easy to use interface to share basic contact details, but might lack the key features needed by small businesses.

Some digital business card apps have a paper card scanner, analytics and tracking capabilities, but lack any sort of business plan or bulk creation feature needed by larger companies. Ultimately, we think the best digital business card is that which is held in the digital wallet and uses a QR code to replace traditional paper cards. It is our recommendation for anybody looking for a B2B solution to get Doorway. Doorway has a user friendly interface that is unparalleled and allows you to create digital business cards, electronic business cards, or virtual business cards seamlessly and instantly. 

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