LinkedIn buys online business card scanning service

CardMunch, an online service that incorporates contact information presented on business cards into a user's smartphone contacts list, has been purchased by business social network LinkedIn.

Additionally, CardMunch's fee-for-service payment model is no more, as LinkedIn made the service available for free after the buyout. This could, however, be subject to change, Business Insider noted.

CardMunch was forced to charge for the use of its service because, rather than use an imperfect optical scanning technology, which could have introduced mistakes into the information, it paid actual humans to read the cards and input data, eliminating the possibility of errors caused by, for example, foil printing or other high-end techniques.

LinkedIn and CardMunch had already been collaborating on a service allowing users to quickly add contacts into their LinkedIn networks, and the partnership seems likely to continue.

Given the non-existent entry cost, at least currently, CardMunch and LinkedIn could be a potent partnership for fledgling businesses looking to network effectively and keep tabs on competitors and potential clients, experts say.