THE DEATH OF PAPER BUSINESS CARDS

Written on the 18 March 2015 by Jenna Rathbone

THE DEATH OF PAPER BUSINESS CARDS

TANGIBLE business cards are on the verge of extinction according to Haystack CEO Ran Heimann, who says, along with everything else, business cards are turning digital.

Haystack, a Brisbane-based start-up, is the first company in Australia to provide customers with the opportunity to not only scan, store and share business cards, but also design their own corporate card for free.

Developed by Heimann along with his two younger brothers and former boss, the business this week launched in the US, Canada and the UK and within 10 hours added more than 1200 new businesses to its database of users.

This adds to the 3000 Brisbane businesses that are already actively using the Haystack platform since the launch of the company in October 2014.

Heimann says it was decided to launch the app solely in Brisbane at the end of last year initially to gauge interest and, since then, the company has been developing the app every week based on user feedback to get it to a point where it was ready for the world stage.

"Three months after launching our app in Brisbane we suddenly had more than 3000 unique businesses making use of our system to some degree, and some even completely stopped printing business cards," he says.  "This success led to the launch of the app globally."

Heimann says paper business cards are on the way out and will soon be a thing of the past.

"The arguments for paper cards are wearing very thin - not only are they costly over time, they also quickly out-date, are limited in terms of the amount of information they can convey and don't easily transfer to our phones or  cloud services, which is where we need them," says Heimann.

Haystack automatically updates business card information in the phones of users when someone receives a promotion or transfers to another company.

One of the most noteworthy and new features of the Haystack app is people can now design and create their own business card.

Haystack utilises its patent-pending coding technology to identify a user's logo and corporate colours using only an email address. 

"You input your email during sign-up, then our app finds your logo, gives you a choice of colour schemes and the option to insert your image. Seconds later, your business card is ready to share," he says.

Heimann says he will continue listening to the app's users in terms of feedback and preferences.

The business hopes to expand the app to non-English speaking countries. It will also start offering subscription-based premium services to medium and large companies in an attempt to monetise the app in the future.

The app is available for free through Apple and GooglePlay.

Picture L-R: Ray Heimann with co-founder Brian Gillespie 


Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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