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 there! The very first code on the page ads Chaunce Dolan to my contacts. How can I have this feature (Automatic detection and download to contacts?) I had no problems creating MECARD, but the one I created does not have that option. What’s the trick??

    1. The auto-adding feature isn’t part of the code, it comes from the app you are using to scan the QR Code. You may want to double check the code to see if you accidentally omitted something like a “;”. The code is very sensitive and if some part of it is malformed it won’t work correctly. I hope that helps

  2. is there anyway to add additional phone numbers when preparing a MECARD for the QR code? If so can you please provide me with the proper formatting.

    1. Supposedly you should be able to follow the phone declaration with another one. Some readers have been known to only accept one declaration per code though. Try that and see if it works.


  3. Have a look at Qr’t on the app store. Does standard reading and generate of qr codes and some fun with styles too

  4. The QR code works but for some reason, i cannot get the Tel part to show up when i try and add as a contact. Im using google goggles on android. It display everything from the name to the website but no phone number. What am i doing wrong?

    1. I wrote the number with the “+” format and it works great !!
      for example, I live in the Netherlands (+31), so I typed:

  5. I have created a QR code for my contact info (I have an iPhone) but I’m not sure how to bring it up so that others can scan it other than keeping the code on my Camera Roll as a picture. Any thoughts?

    1. You could place the graphic as one of your wallpapers as well.

      1. Hello Chaunce, is there any way you can deactivate/terminate my account and remove all my posts and replies in any forum topic? I have cancelled my Twitter account so I am not albe to login on MoG anymore, so would you pleae help me out? My profile is: mishiak. If you need any more info please contact my on my email address. Thanks.

  6. Blackberry Messenger supports QR codes & that was my standard QR app til I switched over to the Android.

  7. Do you guys know of a good QR Code app for Blackberry?

  8. I am trying to add twitter and skype information on my card.

    vCard does not work well for iPhones so i am on the MECARD spec.

    However i cannot use multiple URL’s for embedding the twitter url (

    Is there something i can do with this or should i use the generic MEMO field?

    Thank you

    1. Try using this code for a MECARD:

      MECARD:N:Matters of Grey;ADR:16885 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA 92127;TEL:7077333667;EMAIL:[email protected];

      1. Hey Chaunce! Thank you for the reply!

        This QR Code should work but crashes my app instead… let me share my experience so far…

        I downloaded 3 apps (iPhone 4), the first was not even working properly so i dumped it…

        The second one was ok, scanned MEMCARD spec as contact (crashed with this QR Code)

        The third one was ok, scanned any spec as plain text (!)

        All in all i understand that it is not at all safe to embed your info in a QR Code as the various QR Scanner Apps may screw you… + The size of the QR Code really takes up most of your biz card real estate which is a design no-no for me

        The smartest solution would be to point to a private URL so i can control what type of card i will serve, i will be able to update any time and the QR code will be minimal (+ i’ll have analytics) … don’t care about connectivity, im a tech person networking with tech ppl, everybody has connectivity on their smart phones…

        So if you have a reliable advice for this kind of QR code hosting i’d be happy to hear it…

        Thanks again

        1. What phone and app are you using. We here on iPhones use i-nigma and those of us on Android use Barcode Scanner. The code provided works flawlessly on both apps.

          You could just provide the node for the URL and point it to your web page with a more detailed QR Code as you described and then make the code as large and or complex as you want. However, in our testing over other devices including some BlackBerry phones, the code we used was adequate and didin’t pose any scanning issues. Remember that other users out there have different phones than you and might not have the challenges that you have faced.

          Let us know what you decide to do and how it works out for you.

  9. I scanned it and it directly saved MoG in my contacts, neat idea!

  10. I just put a QR code on my new business cards and it links to my website and shows my performances page so people can see where I’m DJ’n at a moments notice! Sick technology!