To many people the idea of using a fax machine sounds out dated. With all the technology we have today, it’s a wonder that we still need them, right? However, there are still many businesses that rely on fax for one simple reason – their customers demand it. Not only can fax machines operate in parts of the world that do not have strong internet accessibility, but they can also provide security for those who do not trust their important documents in the hands of modern technology. Here are some examples of businesses that still rely on fax.
Banks and Financial Institutions
Along with handling customer information and customers who may be uncomfortable with new online processes, banks and financial institutions require signatures, which require faxing. They also need high security protocols when dealing with customer/account/monetary information, as any breaches could result in a lot of public scrutiny and loss of business.
The law is tricky business, and dealing with it often requires a lot of signatures AND a lot of drafts. This makes faxing a better option as it prints directly from the machine, thus saving time – rather than the receiver having to open and/or save the document and print it themselves. Lawyers need to provide the option of faxing to their customers to inspire confidence when dealing with serious matters.
Some marketing companies report that they continue to use fax to back up their other campaign methods, such as e-mail marketing. Many of us receive an abundance of e-mails on a daily basis, much of it being junk mail. Half the time, people just click delete when they are too busy to read check through all their unread mail. By faxing out duplicates, marketers improve the chance of their campaign being noticed. The faxed document has less competition than the e-mail, because it is a hard copy that isn’t tucked away in an overflowing inbox.
After the recent SONY hacking scandal, it’s safe to say that many important documents in the entertainment industry are being sent via more secure methods like fax. In a business where media and public scrutiny is commonplace, it is essential for communication mediums to be secure. Fax machines aren’t “hackable”, an iCloud or e-mail account is. Sometimes it takes a big security breach for businesses to remember why they used fax in the first place – this goes for any large business that may be controversial or in the public eye.
The government continues to use fax for a multitude of reasons. Government departments are constantly sending and receiving documents with important information (e.g. tax). If there is ever a dispute, there needs to be evidence that a document was actually sent or received. Think about it – although you can select to have government documents sent over e-mail, they will often send a copy in the mail too. Faxing provides physical proof, much like a letter in the mail would. This also applies to other industries where information is private, such as the legal and health care systems.
There may only be five businesses on this list, but the use of fax extends into most industries, despite being considered “old fashioned”. Most businesses nowadays will have a fax machine built in to their printer, or have begun using online fax services such as eFax to send their documents. Online faxing combines the best of the traditional fax machine with modern technology to create a service that lets you fax anything, any time. eFax even allows you to add your digitised signature, making it easier and less time consuming than ever to send back signed documents. Sign up for their free 30-day trial to test it for yourself and see why businesses feel secure using online fax.