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September 7, 2015

5 business card apps to bring your rolodex into the 21st Century

Up your networking game and take your business cards digital.

By Ellie Burns

How many piles of business cards do you have on your desk now? Or do you collect them feverishly at conferences and networking events only to lose them or misplace them at the bottom of a bag?

Going digital with your business cards not only helps save a few tress, but it opens up the possibilities of collaboration and new business.

Tidying up and organising your desk, CBR has looked at 5 apps which could transform your networking game.


1. CamCard

Boasting 100 million users, CamCard promises to clear the business card clutter on your desk. This app is tailored to those professionals who swap business cards on a daily basis – salespeople, marketing experts, professional networkers and business developers.

Available in two versions, one free and one paid, this app offers a host of extras beyond the simple scan and store capability many apps feature. Catering for the international business traveller, the app has 17 recognition languages, while any information can be accessed from across multiple devices.

The intuitive interface offers easy navigation, with users able to add information and notes to contacts and also exchange e-cards with people nearby. If you want to try this app out, the free version allows you to scan up to 200 business cards.

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2. ABBYY Business Card Reader

This app goes one better than CamCard when it comes to those who travel for business, boasting 22 recognised languages. Similar to CamCard, ABBYY also allows users to sync cards across different mobile devices via cloud, with users being able to save contacts to BCR’s ‘CardHolder’ storage.

Contacts can be shared via email, SMS or Wi-Fi, with users being able to gather more info on contacts by connecting with contacts’ social media platforms.

Although the app boasts all the standard card reader functions, there is one downside – the free version only allows you to scan and store 10 business cards, after that you have to upgrade to the BCR Pro.


3. Business Card Reader

Business card Reader, or in its short form ‘BCReader, promises to make it easier for you to focus on your job by simplifying the process of reading new cards. Although this app initially was lacking in functionality when compared to its competitors, the app has been updated so that you can call, email and SMS from any business card, as well as exporting cards in both image and vCaRD formats.

It seems that the developer of this app takes criticism well, responding to issues with the crop button by moving it to the action bar and streamlining the user interface to boost user experience. It also boasts an astonishing 66 language supported through the OCR engine, and better still, it’s free.


4. Haystack Business Card Reader

No ads, unlimited scans and completely free – Haystack is a new app to keep an eye on. Not only can you scan, store, share and update contact info with an easy scan of the card, but you can also create your own fully branded digital business card with the app.

This takes away the cost of printing business cards, taking your rolodex fully digital. The app also boasts a learning algorithm which fixes scanned cards automatically, while any problems can be dealt with via the contact support directly from the app.

While the number of languages supported was not available at the time of writing, this app has two major pluses – you can create your own digital app and there is no need to upgrade as there are no limits to the number of card scans.


5. Business Cards

Similar to Haystack, this app lets you create and store business cards. Interestingly, recipients of any business card created can see and save your card without having the app – banishing worries about compatibility when you are networking and swapping details.

You are also not constrained when sharing cards, as this app not only allows sharing via the standard SMS and Email, but through social media, QR and Twitter too. On the business cards you create, you can feature video, LinkedIn CV’s, websites and other social media details, while also being able to track who does and does not view your cards.

Insights from the history and analytics feature could generate leads for the business or salesperson – insights which would not be gained from traditional embossed card.

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