Using QR Codes for Contact Info

QR CodeWith increasing popularity of QR Codes (Quick Response Codes), we are seeing different uses of them pop up all over the place from Foursquare locations to even Calvin Klein billboards. But have you considered the possibilities of using QR codes in other useful ways like providing your contact information?

QR Codes are very versatile and can hold all sorts of different types of valuable information from your name, an email address, a phone number, a URL, or a street address. One of the more useful applications of QR codes is for providing all of your contact info at one time to someone scanning it.

There are several types of formatting options for contact info. From our testing, MECARD was the most recognizable format for QR readers. However, there are a few other types of formats that you can try: AU format, BIZCARD, and vCard just to name a few.

How to generate the code

  1. Visit Google’s Chart Wizard
  2. Click the Editor tab
  3. Select QR Code from the Chart type
  4. Reformat the sample below to and input your code
  5. Click outside the input field to have it render the QR code

Sample code

MECARD:N:Joe Morales;ADR:2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101;TEL:6191029501;EMAIL:[email protected];

What to do with your code

  1. Making the QR code larger makes complex codes easier to read by scanners
  2. Take a screen shot of the finished image
  3. Add the image to whatever object you plan to show people (business card, background on your phone, t-shirt, store front, billboard, etc.)

Code Readers

Now get a QR reader for your smart phone so that you can read other QR codes out there.

For the iPhone we use a free app called i-nigma. We also came across a list of apps tested by that seemed helpful if you would rather fork out some cash for an app.
Sep 15, 2010: AT&T Scanner was released for free and it is far better than i-nigma as it brings up the actually iPhone contact add/edit screen.

For Android phones we use a free app called Barcode Scanner. Some readers will be smart enough to transfer the contact info from your QR code directly to your smart phone.

Happy coding!


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Leave a Reply

  1. Hi Chaunce,
    Is there a way of having training clients check-in to a 3rd party training facility by scanning a QR code which records date and name of provider within an app?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Not to my knowledge unfortunately. If you happen to come across a solution, I would be excited to know about it

  2. Is there a way to add the phone number’s extension when creating the qr code?

  3. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well as the content!

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  5. Is there a way to enter multiple phone numbers?

  6. We use a lot of direct mail for audience development. We’ve included QR codes for a year now, but the code takes you to a blank mobile page where users can then populate with name, address, etc. I’d like the code to populate that page with all user information dynamically when scanned. Has anyone seen this in practice?

    1. I haven’t come across anything like what you are describing. The QR code is simply meant to store data for reading/scanning.

      However, this is a great idea that I could see the future of QR/Bar codes going. The challenging part would be incorporating some type of security with it though for the people that don’t want to send their info.

  7. Everything works as expected, but is there a way so that the info comes in as “Work” instead of “Home”? Or is it possible to have both work and home contact info?

    1. I don’t believe so, but it seems that the page that used to be up for the MECARD has been taken down and wasn’t replaced. So researching the attributes for the code will be difficult now.

  8. Are you able to reuse a QR code and change the information for it? Or is that impossible?

    1. When you change the info, the code design also changes. So to answer your question, no you wouldn’t be able to reuse the code.

  9. I have mine set up on my iphone “lock screen.” Just turn my phone on and have had many people scan it and “add contact.” Works great.

    Excellent post! Thanks.

    1. This is a great idea. We had one on the back of our business cards