I remember years ago in a financial start up I was in with two other guys, when one of them spent $1,000 (!) on a device to scan business cards onto his phone contact file. He was the sales guy and organised contacts were hugely important and it was an awfully cool gadget at the time. But the business card has now gone to the big dumpster in the sky (also known as The Cloud) and it now exists instead in a new incarnation - on a bunch of cool apps and linkedin.Once you get past your personal sense of worth attachment to having a business card, you realise that not having one is way more advantageous as it pretty much sets up for an exchange of details that are also digitally accounted for immediately. (In all fairness, this can be a little tough for introverts or anyone who does not like asking for information or 'selling themselves'.)
Most business cards (88% of them) are thrown away within a week. If you really are dead keen to talk to someone then ending up in their trash can, is probably not the best way to ensure you connect.
Everyone on linkedin now has a QR code that links you within seconds. It's easy to do and allows you to connect without giving more data away than your profile. And follow up later. To access, just open the Linkedin App on your phone and you will see 4 little squares in the SEARCH bar. When you tap these squares, a screen opens that allows you to either scan someone else's code or have them scan yours. Of course you can simply take a pic. This will send a request to connect.
There are a number of Contact Apps around that I confess to not using, but one that was recently shared with me, which many people might find useful was 'Hi'. It shares all info in your contact and also adds a really useful feature - where you met!
Despite their shrinking usage, there are still around 10 billion cards printed each year. With 8 billion will be tossed within a week, the math is pretty clear on the sustainability of a business card - especially if it is plastic coated.
One of the biggest single reasons people ditch your business card, even if they like you, is because they don't need your services right now. And right there is another reason to connect digitally.