Fax machines revolutionized the world of business communications when they first hit the market. Faxing allowed businesses to quickly and easily send and receive documents. As such, communications processes that once took days, weeks, and sometimes even months could be completed in mere minutes. This certainly brought numerous advantages to companies in a range of industries. Their clients undoubtedly benefited as well.
Though fax machines didn’t really go mainstream until the 1960s, the technology actually dates back to the mid-1800s. Quite a few advancements have been made in the realm of faxing since then. At present, the standard fax machines of decades past have given way to online faxing capabilities, eliminating the need for the conventional bulky machines and dedicated phone lines that were once the norm.
With the evolution of faxing comes several benefits. These latest advancements have made faxing more affordable for businesses of all sizes while bringing greater convenience and versatility into the mix. Online faxing has eliminated the need to consume ream after ream of paper, constantly replace ink cartridges, and stay close to the hardware that was once required for this type of communication as well.
On top of all that, online fax technology has made sending and receiving documents a great deal more secure. Businesses no longer have to decrypt sensitive documents, create hard copies of them, and send them over potentially unsecured phone lines. Physical documents don’t sit idly by waiting to be disposed of, so the information they contain isn’t as likely to fall into the wrong hands. Those are only a few of the key benefits of online faxing.
Companies in virtually all industries can benefit from online faxing. In fact, any business that needs to send and receive documents, have paperwork signed by various parties, and carry out certain other tasks can use faxing. No matter what your faxing needs may be, they can be fulfilled via online faxing. Having said that, some industries take advantage of this technology more frequently than others.
Banks and other financial institutions constantly have to send and receive sensitive information. From transferring money between accounts and facilitating purchases to authenticating documents and verifying account holders’ identities, they’re required to conduct numerous exchanges each day. If any of that information were to slip through the cracks or fall into the wrong hands, serious problems could ensue.
That was an ongoing issue for financial institutions with traditional faxing. In some cases, the faxes appeared to successfully reach their intended recipients but never actually went through to their destinations. There was always a chance that the fax would be intercepted by the wrong parties as well. At the same time, all the sensitive information being transferred via hard copies could end up being seen by almost anyone if it wasn’t properly disposed of.
All those issues left financial institutions and their clients vulnerable to identity theft, fraud, and other serious problems. That’s not the case with online faxing, though. This latest faxing technology keeps people’s financial information safely encrypted while ensuring institutions remain compliant with current security protocols.
Government is another sector in which online faxing is essential. An endless barrage of sensitive documents is exchanged through government agencies. Having any of that information seen by the wrong parties could be disastrous on numerous levels.
Some of the government organizations that use online faxing are the Department of Homeland Security, the United States military, court systems, and the Internal Revenue Service to name a few. Imagine if random passersby were to get their hands on documents from any of those agencies that were sitting in outdated fax machine trays waiting for someone to retrieve them.
Keep in mind, those documents could also be intercepted through the phone lines required for traditional faxing during transmission. Sending and receiving those documents could be delayed when using original fax technology as well. Considering the time-sensitive nature of much of that information, any delays could potentially be detrimental for those sending the documents as well as those receiving them.
Online faxing isn’t nearly as vulnerable to hackers as other means of communication, such as conventional faxing and email. Since documents don’t have to be decrypted before being sent, there’s virtually no chance the information therein could be deciphered and used for malicious purposes even if it were intercepted. Additionally, online faxes contain date and time stamps, so they make for simpler and more reliable authentication.
Law firms routinely use online faxing as well. Consider all the sensitive documents they send on a regular basis. These range from business contracts, divorce and child custody papers, and wills to details about lawsuits, evidence that can make or break cases, and even bankruptcy paperwork.
All those types of documents contain information clients and law firms wouldn’t want just anyone to see. That makes the enhanced security of online faxing especially important. In many instances, those documents are time sensitive as well. They require signatures from multiple parties and need to be completed in a timely manner. Online faxing significantly speeds up the process of collecting signatures and completing paperwork.
Furthermore, online faxing adds yet another layer of security to legal documents. The possibility of various parties making unauthorized changes to legal documents has long been a concern. Those fraudulent revisions have been responsible for serious problems in the past.
Imagine if you were to request full custody of your children to prevent them from being exposed to your former spouse who’d proven to be a danger to them. You signed the paperwork detailing the custody arrangements, indicating you’d approved them. When that paperwork made its way to said spouse, he or she altered it to reverse the situation, signed it, and sent it back through the proper channels.
Through email, hard-copy paperwork, traditional faxing, and other methods, there would be little way to prove that the spouse made unauthorized changes. It would simply look as though you agreed to give him or her full custody. After all, your signature would be on the paperwork. This situation could certainly end badly.
With online faxing, the paperwork being transferred receives a specific type of coding. If any changes are made to the information it contains, those alterations are flagged. As such, unlawful changes can’t be made without being noticed. Then, they can be corrected as needed.
Forging signatures on legal documents is virtually impossible with online faxing as well. This is true even in cases where electronic signatures are used. Each party is granted a specific encrypted code that proves he or she was legitimately the one who signed it and pinpoints when and where the signature originated. In light of those measures, the risk of fraud is essentially eliminated.
Healthcare is yet another industry in which online faxing is essential. Large volumes of vital and sensitive data are shared in the medical field. Documents are exchanged between various healthcare facilities, those facilities and patients’ insurance providers, and among other companies in the medical field. Of course, medical documents contain information about patients’ medical conditions, treatments, medications, and even their bank accounts.
That makes security and privacy particularly important in the healthcare industry. As of 2018, reports indicated that significant breaches of 500 medical records or more were taking place daily. By last year, that figure had doubled, and security concerns in the medical field continue to grow.
Various regulations are in place to protect medical facilities, insurance companies, pharmacies, patients, and others involved in the healthcare chain. Online faxing can help ensure all those facilities remain in compliance with the latest regulations. This keeps everyone safe from hackers, unethical business practices, and other problems that are common in the digital age.
From another perspective, time is often of the essence when sharing medical records and transferring other pertinent documents. Ensuring paperwork reaches the proper recipients in a timely manner is crucial for providing effective treatments, filing insurance claims, filling prescriptions, and numerous other elements of the medical field. Online faxing saves time and offers the added advantage of reliability. It reduces the problems caused by delays, security breaches, miscommunications, and other common hurdles.
Online faxing is becoming more widespread in the field of marketing, too. Businesses and their marketing departments or outside firms need to exchange information about campaigns, product launches, promotional events, and other matters. When those exchanges take place via emails or phone calls, there’s a chance unscrupulous competitors could intercept that information and use it to gain an unfair advantage. With online faxing, that’s not an issue.
From another angle, businesses are starting to use online faxing for marketing purposes. They can send marketing faxes to clients as either an alternative or supplement to emails, flyers and other targeted means of advertising. Since recipients don’t need dedicated fax machines to receive online faxes, this marketing strategy can reach just as many people as other tactics.
Studies show that marketing faxes have comparable open and click-through rates as emails. That means they’re effective for drawing in new customers, retaining existing ones, and boosting sales. Businesses in the fields we’ve listed here and many others can benefit from using online faxing as a powerful marketing tool.
Conventional fax machines brought an array of welcome changes to the world of business communications. They sped up communications while allowing for the transfer of information on a global scale among other benefits. When online faxing came into play, the advantages only expanded from there.
These industries listed here and numerous others can benefit from online fax technology. No matter which niche you're operating in, chances are online faxing can bring your company several advantages. Speed, convenience, versatility, affordability, and security are some of the most noteworthy, but they're only the beginning.