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Are Faxes Still Used? Understanding the Modern Day Uses

Are Faxes Still Used? Understanding the Modern Day Uses

How Businesses Are Using Fax Technology Today

Communication has always been central to effective business practice.

Whatever form of business you’re in, the ability to efficiently communicate with your team, customers, stakeholders and even the media is paramount. Finding the perfect form of communication for your company can be tricky. While email is the obvious choice, there are some instances where it’s inappropriate — for those in the legal or medical profession, for example, where sending private data via email can be problematic.

There was a time when all businesses relied on fax machines to get their documents where they were going. But in the digital age, we have little patience with such antiquated devices as fax machines, beyond appreciating their slightly kitsch charm.

Young people often ask the question “Do people still use fax machines?” In reality, there are still many ways sectors of the economy that utilize fax technology. 


What Are The Business Uses For Faxes?

While the norm in digital communication may be texting, messenger and using email, there are still plenty of things that can be better achieved by using a fax 

Physical Records, Particularly For Medical And Legal Purposes

In a lot of contexts, a fax is a legally binding and valid document. If you’re creating a paper trail then, from a legal standpoint, faxed documents are far more viable than an email chain. Huge swathes of the medical sector in the U.S. still rely on faxing as their main form of communication, while it’s a common choice for lawyers and attorneys. 

There is a lot of red tape surrounding the sharing of medical records, largely due to the need for HIPAA compliance. One particularly strict rule concerns documents traveling between two or more medical centers or hospitals. Faxing is a HIPAA-approved method of sending patient information, particularly between specialists. As a result, many doctors make use of faxing. The same is true of lawyers, attorneys and other legal professionals. While they’re not bound by the rules of HIPPA, they have their own code of principles to abide by.

Hackers, Malware And Viruses

The traditional fax machine takes advantage of a phone line to transmit documents, making it impossible to tamper with messages or have them hijacked by third parties while they’re in transit. There’s no digital network used by a traditional fax machine, removing issues presented by hackers, who are unable to access any fax sent or received. 

eFax skips out the telephone lines and uses the internet to transmit faxes, rather than a landline. While this may not come with all the benefits of security gained from a true fax machine, there is an inherently reduced risk. 

Updated Technology And Email Integration

The rise of the eFax movement has ushered in a brand new, golden era of faxing. As fax machine technology has seen significant progress in recent years, you can now reap the rewards of smart fax machines that are WIFI enabled that easily enable you to send your faxes via a laptop or smartphone. And of course, the integration of other cloud-based technologies enables you to send faxes without any fax machine at all. 

While there are inherent security benefits in continuing to use physical fax machines, digital integration adds extra levels of compatibility and convenience that make it worthwhile. 

Older Businesses And Legacy Users

For many established businesses, faxing is a deeply embedded method of communication that doesn’t require change. Even in the modern digital age with all its advances, the use of the fax is maintained because it works. 

Many business owners are so reliant upon faxing that they see no need to shift to a new form of communication. It still works for them. This may be a resistance to change, but it can also be due to the desire to maintain a system that has always worked and can now be improved on further with modern technological advances.

You Only Need A Number

Unlike the alternative forms of sending paper signatures — i.e. snail mail or courier — the ability to fax vital documents means you need a lot less information to reach your intended recipient. Unlike traditional mailing methods, which require a name and full postal address, all you need to send a fax is the fax number of your intended recipient plus their area or country code if needed.

This adds another layer of security, as you can make your fax number public and allow anyone to contact you without divulging your physical location. This prevents unwelcome visits.

Long Distance Signatures

Trying to obtain authentic signatures over long distances can be incredibly tough. Faxing and eSignatures make it effortlessly simple. With eSignatures, there’s no need to physically carry a hard copy of your paper to the recipient’s location. 

If you’re looking to seal a deal or finalize a contract in the fastest, most efficient way possible, faxing is a sure bet. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it’s also far harder to forge a signature through a landline than via an email transaction.


Where Fax Is Still Used

While email may be the most popular form of digital communication for businesses, faxes are still going strong. Many organizations worldwide still depend on faxes for the transmission of critical documents.

Fax machines these days

You may not see many fax machines these days; the sending and receiving of a paper fax is somewhat old school. And yet, faxing still exists in the workplace, particularly among medical and legal professionals, but also in banks, realtors, insurance companies and more. They all rely on fax to send important documents. 

Businesses use fax

The reason so many businesses are still using fax is that it has some built-in advantages when it comes to verification and identification that simply are not achievable by email. While email is reliable, it is susceptible to security issues, many (if not all) of which can be neatly avoided by using fax instead of email. 

Digital fax in seconds

Add to this the fact you can now send a digital fax in seconds rather than it taking long, seemingly endless minutes, and the fact that you don’t have to print physical copies of your faxes if you don’t want to, and you start to see that faxing has retained its positive attributes while shedding those factors that the modern digital age will no longer accept — like the use of a physical fax machine, rather than any smart device with WIFI.

Effective fax technology

With 70% of American companies still using faxes, the big question shouldn’t be ‘do people still use fax machines?’ — that’s a resounding yes. The real question is ‘how are businesses using fax technology effectively.’ 


Why Is Fax Still Used?

There are many ways faxing is still being used. One of the biggest advantages is that it enables you to gain a signature on paper more rapidly than any other method currently available. Faxes also don’t carry the risk of malware and viruses. Faxes can also be legally binding, making faxing a fast and valid way of sending contracts and other legal documentation. 


How Faxing Has Adapted To The Digital Age?

While sending a fax used to be quite a chore, the digital age has changed all that. Faxes can now be sent faster than ever. While a physical, stand-alone fax machine was often utilized by a whole office, leading to queues and long waits, network faxes are now flexible, allowing you to send fax to fax, fax to desktop, fax to IP fax or even send your fax to a cell phone that’s compatible. 

Faxing now also enables you to filter out junk fax numbers, cutting down wasted time and paper (if you’re printing hard copies). Even in the age of email, faxing endures — perhaps because the two technologies have been combined in such seamless ways. The downsides of queuing for hours to fax, endless errors, blurry pages and stacks of junk faxes piling up in your in-tray are long gone using digital faxing technology from eFax.

Modern faxing now allows you to reap all the rewards of faxing while saving time and money, for example, multiple faxes can now be sent simultaneously. 


Getting Started With eFax

If you’re looking to reap all the benefits of faxing in your business but don’t want to be limited by a physical fax machine, eFax is the perfect solution. Its combination of faxing and digital technologies means you’ll be able to instantly send and receive important documents, obtain signatures and create legally binding contracts at the click of a button. And if you’re still using traditional fax machines and think it’s time to upgrade to one that incorporates all the modern advances, we can do that too.

To try online faxing or switch to a cloud fax model, sign up for eFax today.

Send and receive faxes in minutes.

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