The eFax Blog

Is Fax Still Used? Important Fax Statistics You Need to Know

– by eFax Team

Fax is technology of a bygone era – lost to history like Windows 98 and flip phones? Well, that isn’t actually the case. Fax is still one of the most widely used methods of communication on the planet. In this blog, eFax looks at statistics that showcase why faxing is very much modern technology.

Article overview:

Is Fax Still Used?

Faxing remains a popular method of business communication, despite its age. Millions of fax machines are still in operation, with more bought every year. It comes as no surprise, then, that billions of documents are sent annually, especially considering the platform’s popularity overseas.

The Downside of Fax Machines

But the news isn’t all positive. Fax machines cause high amounts of data breaches and are expensive to operate. While faxing continues to see high usage, many of the systems often used to carry out faxing have become inadequate.

The eFax Solution

With fax being such a prevalent part of business communication, your company needs to find ways to fax without introducing the disadvantages of associated hardware. eFax online faxing offers a solution, removing fax machines while enabling complete fax functionality.

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There Are Around 43 Million Fax Machines In Operation

While many talk about the death of the fax machine — and despite the fact it now appears in museums of technology as hardware of a bygone era — the fax machine is far from gone. The reality is that fax popularity remains to this day, with over 43 million fax machine units still in operation across the globe. Primarily used by businesses, the fax machine is alive and kicking, and it continues to be a vital part of many communication networks. In the UK, for example, the NHS maintains over 8,000 units alone. It’s difficult to work with the healthcare service — or any other sector that regularly uses fax — if you don’t have fax capabilities.


Millions of Fax Machines Are Sold Every Year

Far from being on the decline, fax machine sales are actually holding steady. While there has been a drop-off since their rise to prominence a few decades ago, sales figures levelled out in the new millennium and continue to sit in the millions year after year. The largest purchasers of fax machines are in the USA, followed by Japan, Germany, France and the UK. However, these aren’t the only nations buying fax machines, and they account for only around half of the total sales made. Fax machine purchasing is spread out across the planet, which means fax technology remains relevant in most-all international markets and economies.

17 Billion Fax Documents Are Sent Annually

43 million fax machines are in use around the world, with millions more purchased annually. What does this mean for fax? It means that over 17 billion individual documents are sent every year. These staggeringly high rates demonstrate just how prevalent fax use still is. Simply put, fax as a practice is still one of the most widely used communication methods anywhere in the world. Rather than being a dying system, fax remains a major part of the commercial landscape — and, with these numbers, it looks set to continue on this trend for the considerable future.

International Transmissions: Up to 50% of Communication Is Fax

Fax is clearly still a prominent method of communication between businesses, although in the UK, it definitely isn’t as popular as other methods, such as email. However, in some international economies, fax is one of the most widely used methods of data transmission available. In Japan, for example, some sectors see over 50% of information transferred via fax. Given its immense popularity, faxing is of vital importance to any business looking to operate within international markets.

The Average Paper Fax Costs Over £1 to Send

You may consider the cost of a fax as being essentially free. After all, a fax is often charged at your landline rate — which is typically free on most plans. However, there are other costs to consider. While paper fax document transmissions may be cheap on the surface, the associated costs can actually run up very high. In total, when taking into account labour costs and resources such as ink and paper, each fax is going to cost you well over £1 per submission. Given that you may be sending hundreds or thousands of fax documents, these costs can mount up fast.

Fax Machines Are Responsible for High Rates of Data Breaches

Research has shown that 88% of data breaches are caused by human error, which is alarming for businesses that use old-fashioned legacy fax machines. Why? Because fax machines are involved in a surprising number of these breaches. Data collected has discovered the top two causes of data breaches are:

  1. The loss of physical files (including paper faxes)
  2. Information mis-sent via fax machines

With fax transmissions being so prevalent and GDPR laws now presenting a significant risk to any business caught in breach of legislation, it’s important for brands to consider their fax options. This leads us to our next statistic:

Over 11 Million Businesses Have Switched to eFax Online Faxing

At eFax, we have over 11 million business subscribers using our services each and every month. Online faxing has seen a massive rise in popularity in recent years due to its benefits over the use of physical fax machines. From increased document security and reductions in human error to much lower costs and superior workplace productivity, it isn’t surprising to see that so many businesses have adopted our innovative fax solutions. With fax looking set to remain a vital channel of communication well into the future, it’s likely that more and more businesses will start to update their fax systems to our — or similar — digital services.

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