Despite the rumors, the use of fax machines has not become obsolete. This century-and-a-half-old technology still has a long life ahead, even in the era of e-signatures and online file sharing. So, why do businesses continue to send faxes? And is faxing beneficial to your company? Let’s just say that online faxing services have revolutionized the game.
What is the reason for modern fax usage?
In 1968, experts reached a consensus on international technical standards for fax transmissions. These standards have since undergone updates to enhance fax delivery speed and improve image quality. Fax machines and other compatible systems adhere to all current and past standards. As a result, a fax machine from 2023 can both send and receive faxes from as far back as the 1980s. Therefore, these devices demonstrate exceptional reliability, even if they are decades old.
The need to work with physical documents
Recipients in numerous scenarios view faxed documents or messages as legally valid and binding, making them a more reliable paper trail compared to email chains in the eyes of lawyers or firms. Despite the sincere intentions of the presidential administration, the US medical sector relies heavily on fax for communication.
HIPAA-compliant practices introduce a substantial amount of bureaucracy in sharing medical records, especially when exchanging documents between multiple hospitals or medical centers. It is not solely a matter of security. Even with end-to-end encryption, there is still a risk of sending medical records to the wrong recipient.
Faxing patient information, particularly among specialists, is permitted under HIPAA regulations. Hence, many doctors continue to use fax machines in their offices. This also applies to numerous practicing attorneys. Fax communication is instantaneous and convenient for on-site filing. Moreover, it serves as a time-stamped piece of evidence in court. In contrast, emails or text messages may not carry as much weight.
Minimal connection difficulties
Fax technology is initially associated with some cost for implementing the technology due to the need to purchase a fax machine. Another drawback is that the cost of maintenance is considerable if we are talking about a large office. However, faxing benefits force people to continue using this technology. A solution has been found and this is the ability to send fax with iPhone in a matter of seconds. All you need to fax from your iPhone is to install the application on your smartphone. You can receive and send faxes with the same level of control and security. That is, a business receives all the advantages of a fax, but loses its disadvantages: the need to purchase equipment and the high cost of maintenance.
When considering whether fax machines are outdated, it’s essential to remember the importance of documents like confirmation pages. Fax machines are far from obsolete, and confirmation pages play a crucial role in maintaining the popularity of fax as a preferred method of business communication.
A confirmation page serves as a document that verifies the receipt of your message by the intended recipient. This document holds legal significance in certain situations and serves as a reliable means to create a tangible record of your business interactions. The confirmation page includes valuable information such as the fax numbers of the sender and recipient, as well as the date and time of message transmission.
Signing paperwork at a distance
Obtaining an authentic signature becomes convenient and simple when signing papers over long distances. E-signatures lack the same legal weight as a traditional pen-and-paper signature.
Sealing the deal and ensuring the legitimacy of the person you’re dealing with are assured through the faxing of a signature. Forging a signature through a landline connection is considerably more challenging than a straightforward email transaction.
Sending a fax, which doesn’t utilize the internet, involves direct peer-to-peer communication. It’s a direct connection between two machines, making it the preferred method for transmitting sensitive information by healthcare providers and legal firms. Unlike email or web traffic, faxing is considered secure from interception. However, the security of e-faxing is increasing with online fax vendors providing encryption and HIPAA compliance.
Extensive fax network in the USA and beyond
Fax technology has gained a well-established reputation over its long existence. Chances are, you’ve come across it before, perhaps through word-of-mouth recommendations. Almost everyone knows someone, be it personally or in business, who still relies on a fax machine. Utilizing fax technology is more common for businesses than not, giving rise to the Bandwagon Effect. With so many companies already using this technology, others are drawn to it to fit in and stay up-to-date. Ultimately, it boils down to the fear of missing out: if others are doing it, it’s likely worth giving it a try yourself.
Fax technology lives on and there is no argument that it will become a thing of the past in the coming years, if not decades. Why? It’s simple, safe, accessible and widely used. The only change is that now you don’t have to use a fax machine, because one application on the iPhone completely replaces it.