Moo and Arjo team up to offer smart business cards

Web-to-print company Moo has launched its long-touted NFC-enabled business cards after partnering with Arjowiggins Creative Papers on the venture.

Moo is using Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ Conqueror Alive NFC-enabled paper, in conjunction with its own Paper+ NFC platform to produce the connected and interactive business cards.

The companies said their development would "revolutionise" the way people use business cards.

Named Business Cards+, the interactive products deliver a potentially unlimited range of 'digital actions' and smart functionality, defined by the customer.

Moo has been developing NFC-enabled business cards for a number years, with the firm initially aiming for a 2013 launch.

The business secured funding from Barclays’ £100m Fast Growth Tech Fund in June, some of which it had earmarked for R&D, including further development into NFC-enabled business cards.

The interactive nature of the physical cards is made possible by Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ patented PowerCoat technology and its Alive range of connected papers.

The company launched PowerCoat, a paper developed specially for the printing of electronic circuitry, in 2012 while the Alive range of NFC papers was launched last year.

To create Alive, electronics are pre-printed onto a PowerCoat paper base by using silver inks.

A tiny silicon chip is embedded into the circuitry and thin grades of the company's fine paper are laminated onto both sides, completely hiding the circuitry. The final product is then ready for conventional printing and finishing.

Business Cards+ are driven by URLs that can be changed even after cards have been handed out, using Moo’s Paper+ platform. To activate the interactive functionality, users tap the Business Cards+ to an NFC-enabled device, such as a smartphone.

Arjowiggins Creative Papers managing director Jonathan Mitchell said: “We’re convinced that these connected business cards will revolutionise the way people interact and will become the new norm.”

Among various possible uses, NFC-enabled cards could be used to allow networkers to keep their contact details and portfolio up to date, enable fashion designers to constantly update their latest collections or allow musicians to share playlists and exclusive tracks.

Moo founder and chief executive Richard Moross said: “We wanted to bring something more to the business card, do something different in this modern age, to update it and to revolutionise what this product can do for customers.

“This was the first time where we saw a technology in NFC where we thought we can do something different, something magical. We’ve basically taken the most proven and successful networking tool of all time, bar none, and improved it.”

He added: “Of course we love print, but because we also love the web we wanted to bring those two worlds together, making paper more useful than it’s ever been.

“As soon as we saw this technology we knew we had to develop it. It’s taken us over two years to get it right, but loving technology and being design-minded people, this was something Moo was meant to do.”

Business Cards+ are available worldwide with immediate effect in Moo’s matte finish and the packs come in a neon and white gloss relief patterned box.

They are priced at £20 for a pack of 20 with the Paper+ platform included and initially available in a run of up to five different backgrounds for every pack of 20 cards ordered.