Just like in the evolution of smart wallets that integrate technology to make our life more seamless, many people and companies are attempting to do the same with a modern-day version of traditional business cards; the so-called smart business cards, which stops the need for printing hundred and thousands of paper business cards for distribution for one digital card that has your personal and business information, allowing for an easy way for prospective business clients to get hold of your information at ease.
If you’re looking to exchange business cards with other people then the chances are you’ll have to carry a large amount with you on a daily basis —thus, smart business cards are simply more efficient and comfortable.
Even though smart business cards have been around in their modern form for a while now, they are just starting to take off in Africa. In Uganda, I have seen two companies making these cards and one of them is Malticard.
I caught up with Joshua Mulwana Muhumuza, or Pirate Mulwana as he goes by on Twitter, the CEO and founder of Malticard a Digital Agency founded majorly to transform and digitalize contact information sharing through the utilization of NFC (Near field communication) technology. Our discussion spanned several topics, including, what a Malticard really is, his inspiration behind it, affordability, security, and how it can be used, among other topics —here’s what he had to say.
What is a Malticard and the impetus behind it?
Well, Malticard is a Digital Agency founded majorly to transform and digitalize contact information sharing through the utilization of NFC technology. Our focus lies on simplifying contact share processes while developing seamless experiences for our users. However, our product is multipurpose and it cuts across various sectors in that it can be molded to solve a client’s challenge. The card can also be used as clock-in/clock-out cards at offices, restricted access, and as company IDs —so an organization has ONE CARD that does over 5 things, reducing their expenditure by over 90%.
With our cutting-edge technology and integrations, we are reshaping how people, small businesses, and the corporate worlds connect. Each card costs UGX45,000 and you can easily create one via malticard.com. Once the card has been set up, we then deliver to you.
About the impetus behind it, it actually just came as a wild thought of creating a marketing tool that uses NFC technology to give people more leads as they network but along the way, the ability of NFC technology to be used for many various things has led the company into coming up with various products for the various sectors.
With this abundance of data stored on one handy microchip, how do you guarantee to the user that their information won’t be used for the company’s personal gain or any other illegal activities?
We basically collect the information one wishes to share out there as they network. In relation to data protection, we are certified by the National Information and Technology Authority (NITA) Uganda to collect data and store it so we can guarantee that people’s data is safe with us.
Who is your competitor in this market and how is/are their cards different from the Malticard?
Locally, our competitor is Imani tech but our advantage over them is the multipurpose-ness of our card that I have laid out before. So unlike theirs, our cards can be used as clock-in/clock-out cards at offices, access restricted places, and as company IDs, to mention a few.
Does one need an app or internet to be able to access the information embedded on the card?
You don’t need an app but you do need an internet connection for the details you have scanned from the card to be able to load on your phone.
The Malticard just like any other smart business card transforms the paper (traditional) business card into a mobile digital identity. Do you believe Ugandans can adapt to using it?
Oh yeah. We very much believe Ugandans can adopt it because mathematically, our product is CHEAPER than regular paper business cards and it’s more of a marketing tool rather than just a mere business card — so it has MORE VALUE for money for all individuals out there looking forward to selling their businesses as they network and Malticard generally enables one to spend less and market more thus better business leads and return on investment.
A majority of people don’t have phones that support NFC technology. How do you intend to have this group use this product?
Our cards also use the QR code technology which caters to users whose phones don’t have NFC technology, so market-wise, we are CONFIDENT.
Does the Malticard provide valuable analytics in the form of monthly reports which give direct visibility of card usage, website interest, and social media visits?
For now NO! But we have this in mind, and these features are all being worked on, and soon, you will get to experience Malticard 2.0.
What security measures are in place to ease the use of these cards?
When a person scans your card, they only get access to your social media timelines. We have built a couple of firewalls and are still building more security features to ensure the security of all individuals’ data and the safety of the card.
Do you have backup data retention in place in the event of card information or history is deleted?
Yes, we have a backup for all data and our servers are in the USA.
Malticard won $20,000 in funding from NSSF. How do you feel about this and what are your plans for the fund?
We are really glad to be among the winners of Hi-innovator from NSSF and Mastercard. We plan to use the fund to strengthen the product and to refine it as well by getting better human resources and machinery.