Reinventing the business card: what is it all about?

Swapping business cards is as close to a universal custom as you can find in the corporate world. But with more people exchanging social media handles than handshakes these days, is the longstanding business etiquette truly off the cards?

As we shift towards a world of digital goods and virtual interfaces, the DNA of a tactile business card is quickly unravelling. Augmented reality (AR) tags are emblazoned on cards so that 3D objects — either the face of the employee or the products being promoted — emerge when viewed with an app. In China, the practice of card swapping is almost obsolete as business people now scan each other’s QR codes, directing one to the profile of their WeChat app, which can also be used to book hotels and transfer money. Professional social network service LinkedIn makes it easier to share contacts in person using Bluetooth while newer sites like Hashable and Contxts allow users to create virtual business cards.

Contrary to tradition, “It’s time to change people’s mind,” says Sansan Global regional CEO Edward Senju, who was born to Japanese parents but raised in Mexico. Unicorn tech start-up Sansan (whose name is a play on the honorific Mr or Ms in Japanese) creates broader digital infrastructure to completely utilise connections companies make.

JPMorgan Japan Small Cap Growth & Income plc (LON:JSGI) targets Japan income without compromising on Japanese growth opportunities. This Japan income investing opportunity gives investors access to a diverse and fast growing sector managed by local managers. The Investment Trust offers a regular quarterly income without compromising on Japanese growth opportunities, by paying a higher dividend funded part by capital reserves as well as revenue returns.

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