Virtual business card Zappify breaks records in milestone year

The entrepreneurs behind the Zappify virtual business card are celebrating a record-breaking year as they embark on their next phase of expansion.

Keith Robinson and Paul Smith launched Zappify during the first Covid lockdown in the spring of 2020 as a fully digital and green alternative to traditional printed business cards.

During 2023 they achieved several milestones, as businesses continue to seek ways to strengthen their environmental credentials.

Zappify is now being used in more than 40 countries across six continents, and over 250 companies employing 75,000 staff worldwide have adopted the technology.

The final quarter of 2023 saw Zappify actively used more than 30,000 times by businesspeople across the globe, representing a year-on-year increase of 273 per cent and up 149 per cent compared with the previous three months.

Zappify’s client base ranges from individual freelancers and start-ups to multinational companies. Users include accountants and solicitors, architects and property developers, and companies involved in sectors such as manufacturing, consulting, leisure and hospitality, oil and gas, creative and media, fashion, jewellery and telecoms.

Clients range from chartered accountancy firm Saffery, law firm Gateley, food wholesaler Bidfood and specialist lender Leumi UK to valve manufacturer Severn Valve, Bazooka Candy Brands, the maker of the famous bubble gum, and energy and marine consultancy ABL Group.

The Zappify card is contactless and enables users to swap contact information in person or over video conferencing platforms, email and messaging apps on their smart phones via a unique QR code or personal URL.

Clients pay an annual subscription to use the Zappify platform, and all data is held securely in compliance with GDPR requirements and with endorsement from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Keith said that with increased functionality, including the options to share promotional corporate videos and generate personal video introductions, plus links to websites and platforms such as LinkedIn, social media accounts and YouTube content, Zappify is evolving into a powerful digital marketing tool rather than being solely a business card.

Zappify’s research shows that it takes almost seven litres of water to create 10 business cards. Each year, 10 billion business cards are printed globally, and 88 per cent are thrown away within a week. Over six million adult trees are destroyed each year to produce paper cards.

The upsurge in activity for Zappify, which is based in Bury, Greater Manchester, meant more than a million litres of water were saved in 2023.

Keith said: “Last year was a record-breaker for Zappify. Awareness is growing as companies and individuals everywhere put greater emphasis on the need to implement more sustainable practices and see the benefits of adopting ways to go digital.

“We saw exponential growth in the number of active users, and our global reach now stands at 265 companies operating in 41 countries.

“Our clients understand that virtual business cards are a cheaper and greener option than printed ones, with the added advantage that digital contact information can be shared more extensively using modern technology and devices, and can easily be updated when people move locations or positions.

“We have invested to further develop the platform by fully integrating Zappify with Apple Wallet, introducing an offline mode so that contact details can be shared on smartphones even where there is no signal, and enabling contact information to be displayed in any language, which increases our global appeal.

“Recently we have introduced a Platinum product offering a fully bespoke design experience, covering the virtual business cards, administration platform and user app. This is being rolled out after a successful trial late last year with a major UK-based property development company.

“Our growth means businesses are able to save more trees and water and conduct their affairs in a more digital, convenient and cheaper fashion.

“This year we are delighted to be launching an important initiative to encourage people to recycle their old, printed cards.

“By actively promoting recycling, this will further emphasise the sustainability message in business and demonstrate that every individual can make a difference, even if only in a small way.

“The ‘Zappify Pledge for the Planet’ will highlight that every contribution is valuable and will facilitate further savings of trees and water by putting back into the production process for alternative recycled paper products.

“This year is hugely exciting for Zappify as we continue to grow rapidly and see the digital card and platform become a one-stop digital marketing tool for our users.”