We have email platforms. We have instant messaging applications. In 2017, scientists in China even teleported a photon to a satellite orbiting more than 310 miles above the Earth’s surface. In spite of these transmission technologies, fax still lives on. But why do the most technologically advanced countries, like Japan and the United States, still use fax as a method of transmitting everything from health records to financial and sales documents?
The Old Technology That Keeps on Giving
Fax technology is old, but it’s still widely used by organizations across multiple industries. Healthcare organizations across the world use faxes to transmit health records, prescriptions and much more. Manufacturers use it to send and receive purchase orders and receipts. Even colleges use fax technology to sign new NCAA football recruits. As technology evolves, fax remains a go-to method for many organizations across the world.
The two major reasons are security and compliance. While email platforms like Google and Outlook are generally secure, people still don’t trust them enough to use them as a method of conducting financial transactions. When you throw federal and state regulations into the mix, which levy heavy fines against organizations that mismanage sensitive documents (even unintentionally), fax becomes an even more attractive method of secure document transmission.
Modern faxing has also become more easy to use. Businesses can connect their RightFax server and other fax technology to their email platforms, allowing them to combine the security of fax transmissions with the simplicity of email interfaces. Every time the needs of fax customers have changed, fax technology has evolved to meet them. This is the primary reason why you still see fax alive and well in the U.S.and other first-world countries!
Japan Has Another Reason
On top of security, compliance, etc., there’s a rather interesting reason why many businesses in Japan still use fax as their primary method of transmission: Kanji.
Kanji are complex logographic symbols that make up much of the writing system in Japan. These symbols are so complex that it took years for suitable keyboards to be created that could write them within word processing programs. By the time these keyboards were created, older generations of workers were not adequately caught up on using them, and Japan’s aging population and low birth rates have resulted in an increasingly aging workforce.
To this day, handwritten faxes are still very common in Japan. However, fax to email services are becoming more common by the day.
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