Breathing New Life into the Dying Business Card

Mobile payment technology is about to save you from having to carry around so many business cards — your own, as well as those you collect from others. Near-field communication (NFC) allows electronic devices to securely communicate with others close by.

“Your phone has an NFC chip that uses a very small electromagnetic field to send your credit card information to an NFC chip in the checkout’s reader,” Gizmodo Australia stated recently. “It only works over a distance of a few centimeters, so you have to hold your phone very close.”

What works for credit cards can work for business card too, according to SAP’s Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Becher. He illustrated this point with a smartphone and an NFC-enabled business card — which is virtually indistinguishable from a regular business card, except that it’s a little bit thicker.

“Through the magic of near field communication, when I put my business card underneath [the smartphone], it recognizes who I am,” Becher said, following a demonstration of the SAP Store at the SAP Digital kiosk at SAPPHIRE NOW earlier this month. “That’s the digital business card.”

The digital business card won’t mess with your sensitive credit card numbers. But it can convey an individual’s contact information, or it can launch an organization’s Web site.

You may have noted that the device Becher uses in the video isn’t an iPhone.

“NFC is already supported on most leading Android and Windows smartphones, whilst Apple is yet to open up the NFC chips in the Apple Watch and iPhone for third-party application use,” BetaNews stated earlier this month. “It is expected to do this in the near future, which would make NFC authentication possible for Apple devices as well.”

SAPPHIRE NOW attendees likely exchanged plenty of paper business cards, but keeping track of them all can be tough. The digital business card is another way that SAP will help people and organizations Run Simple.

The digital business card demonstration starts at 2:16 in the video here:


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Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Top image: Shutterstock