The entrepreneurs behind a new virtual business card have adapted their technology to create a free track and trace system for hair salons and independent pubs, cafés and restaurants in England which are preparing to reopen at the weekend.

Keith Robinson and Paul Smith, of Bury, have seen subscribers from the UK, the United States and Australia sign up for their Zappify virtual business card since they launched it last month.

The Zappify platform captures and exchanges contact information on mobile phones using contactless technology.

Now the duo have created Zappify Cov-ID, a free-to-use digital track and trace system which enables small businesses to meet COVID-19 requirements.

It links establishments with consumers through the Zappify platform.

Consumers who register with Zappify instantly receive a personal Cov-ID QR code to their smartphones.

They only need to register once, as they can scan in and out of the same establishment multiple times or any other Zappify-registered location.

For businesses which sign up to Zappify Cov-ID, the system provides a record of customers attending their premises.

Once a business registers, staff will be able to use their smartphones to scan customers in and out. The business will also receive a unique QR code which it can choose to display at its premises, providing an alternative method for customers to scan themselves in and out.

All data is held securely, is GDPR-compliant, and will be stored and deleted in line with government guidance. It is expected that businesses will have to keep a register of customers for 21 days.

Keith said: “Paul and I run our own small companies which have been affected by recent events, and we empathise totally with those establishments which have been forced to shut since the coronavirus crisis unfolded.

“We feel very strongly about giving back to these smaller businesses. Now they will soon be able to open, albeit with restrictions in place, we have come up with a simple solution to one of the many problems they are facing.

“It’s been quite straightforward to adapt the technology and to save independent businesses from having to invest in expensive systems or revert to pen and paper to meet the track and trace guidelines.”

Salon owner Claire Gaskell is among the first to sign up for the system.

Claire, who runs Avanti, in Ramsbottom, said: “I’ve been using my Zappify virtual business card since it was launched because my salon has been closed.

“Opening on Saturday is really exciting and I am delighted that the track and trace requirements will be no burden at all using the Zappify Cov-ID system.”


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