Using QR Codes on Business Cards: vCard vs. mobile Website

vcard vs. mobile website

In this article you will learn about different ways how you can create a QR Code for your business card that links to your contact information. However there are pros and cons depending on which method you are using concerning performance, offline availability and size restrictions.

vCard in a QR Code

A simple way to create a QR Code with your contact information is an offline QR Code with a vCard encoded. A vCard is a file format for business cards to exchange contact data. vCards can be easily imported  in e-mail clients like Outlook or to an address book on a mobile phone. By scanning the following QR Code, your mobile phone will automatically suggest to add our company’s contact information to your address book. Almost any phone with a QR Code Reader installed, can handle this QR Code (including iPhones with iOs<7). This QR Code also works, if you are not connected to the Internet, since all information is encoded in the QR Code itself.

vcard offline qr code

A QR Code with an encoded vCard. Only a limited number of contact attributes can be stored in this offline QR Code, since the size of a QR Code is limited to 4.296 chars.

Create vCard QR Code

However since all Information is encoded in the QR Code itself, the QR Code can get really big. The more information you are adding, the bigger the code gets. It will be hard to print the code on a business card while sustaining the readability of the QR Code. Adding an image is almost impossible, since there would be too much data in the QR Code. But the biggest disadvantage is:

Once the QR Code is printed the information in the QR Code cannot be changed anymore.

This is when a QR Code that leads to an editable Mobile Business Card comes in handy:

Mobile Business Cards

You can overcome all the issues by creating a Mobile Business Card. It allows you to edit the contact information anytime in case your phone or email changes. People who scan the QR Code will be redirected to a mobile Website displaying your contact data. They can also add your contact to their address book by clicking “Save Business Card”-Button at the bottom or call and mail you directly through the integrated Call-to-Action Buttons. Moreover you can include your profile picture, logos and your social profiles. Sounds good? The only disadvantage is that the person who scans the QR Code needs Internet access.

mobile website vcard

A Mobile Business Card shows all your contact information including user picture, links to social profiles and Call-to-Action Buttons for direct call, mail or save to contacts

QR Code to mobile business card

Scan this QR Code to view the Mobile Business Card from above on your phone or:

Create your Mobile Business Card

Multiple addresses in one business card

multiple addresses business private and other

Premium users can add multiple e-mails, addresses and phone numbers to a single mobile business card.

Dynamic vCard in a QR Code

If you want to create a QR Code with a dynamic vCard you need to create a Mobile Business Card first. Each Mobile Business Card provides a link to download its vCard.

vCard Download Link

A mobile Business Card with a direct link to its vCard.

Copy the link and create a QR Code with that URL. A user will be asked if he wants to add the contact data to his/her address book after scanning the QR Code. So instead of displaying the Mobile Website with the contact information, the contact is instantly added to the user’s mobile phone. Anytime you alter your contact data, the vCard will be updated as well.

qr code vcard

https://qrd.by/vcard/peter This QR Code leads to a dynamic vCard. Its contact information can be edited directly in the QR Code Manager and is updated automatically in the vCard.

Issues with iPhone iOS<7 and Quick Scan App

frame load interruptedMost mobile browsers know how to handle vCards, but iPhones with iOS<7 installed were not able to handle vCards in Safari. There is also an issue with the App “Quick Scan” from iHandysoft. The App cannot handle the mime type vCard in the internal browser. The user will be presented with a cryptic error message “Frame load interrupted” and he is not able to add the contact to his address book. We recommend to use mobile business cards instead of vCards. The mobile business card implements a fallback strategy in case the iOS or the scanning App cannot handle vCards. Instead of downloading the user can send the contact through e-mail and add the contact to his phone from his e-mail client.

Conclusion

You have learned two different ways of how to include a QR Code on a business card: using a vCard or a mobile website. vCards can be integrated in a QR Code but only with limited information where as a mobile website shows much more details but needs an Internet connection. If you print the QR Code on your business card make sure the QR Code has a proper size (see: Minimum size of a QR Code)

Create your own QR Code or Mobile Business Card by using our free QR Code Manager:

Register a free Account

Batch vCard Import with .csv files

csv vcard qr code import

If you want to create more than one business card as once (e.g. for your employes) you can use the Batch QR Code Generator. You can import contacts from a .csv file (e.g. Outlook) and create static vCard QR Codes or mobile business cards out of them without typing in the contact information manually.

 

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Peter

Peter is the founder of the QR Code Platform qrd.by. He is a QR Code enthusiast and consults agencies with his expertise to launch successfull QR Code campaigns. Get in touch with him on:


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