It’s 2018, and physical mail really should be a thing of the past – but it isn’t. The USPS still sent 27 billion pieces of B2B paper mail in 2016, and it hasn’t abated. In all likelihood, this means your company still receives a massive amount of actionable mail – and that at least some part of your critical business operations are still taking place on paper.

Digitizing inbound mail offers the potential to realize tremendous efficiencies and cost savings — but for some customers, digitizing mail in a central location seems to introduce new security and privacy risks that weigh heavily. Of course, there is some risk, but it’s all relative – and relatively speaking, digital mail is MUCH less risky than physical.

In a digital mail environment, communications are opened, scanned, stored and dispositioned in a few monitored, secure locations. Opening and scanning is highly automated and takes an average of 9 seconds per document – minimal exposure under maximum supervision. Digitized documents are immediately processed with patented encryption technology, and securely delivered to the intended recipient – and only the intended recipient. Automated audit controls track every flow, access, and action taken on each document. Who, what, when and where become instantly transparent, and document security is significantly improved.

Conversely, physical mail is sent through interoffice mail, with minimal audit and tracking controls, if any. Assuming it doesn’t get lost, it most likely ends up in a cubby hole in a copy room or pantry, accessible to anyone who walks by and grabs it, whether maliciously or by mistake. When it finally does make it to the intended recipient, it may sit on a desk, opened and untended, for a day, overnight, or even longer.

Clearly, paper mail carries significant risk — at some point in its lifespan, it’s simply out there in the open. For prying eyes and bad actors, physical documents are an effortless, tempting opportunity to access confidential, business-critical information.

Physical mail also presents other kinds of risks: the risk that a document is delivered to the wrong place, misplaced or forgotten by the recipient – in any case, not acted upon quickly enough – and the risk that physical contaminants can be released anywhere within your premises.

It’s all a matter of perspective. With a robust digital mail solution, the paper finally disappears for good – and with it, the risks of exposing personal or confidential information, of failure to respond in a timely way, and of contamination at unknown destinations. Your critical business stops getting lost or delayed – and never ends up in the wrong hands. Finally, when your organization rolls out these digital processes, you rapidly realize newfound efficiencies, significant cost savings and the exact same standards for security and privacy you expect from the rest of your digitally empowered business. At least for me, a few seconds of controlled exposure in the mailroom suddenly doesn’t seem so risky.

Roy Spinelli
Roy Spinelli
Roy Spinelli is the Chief Revenue Officer of Eco-mail, responsible for sales, identifying revenue opportunities, partnerships, lead generation and marketing. He led Business Development and Partner Management at Manilla, an early consumer-facing paperless mailbox solution, backed by the Hearst Corporation. Sourced, negotiated and closed multiple partnerships with top 20 banks, cable providers, and telecoms.

Eco-Mail is a secure, scalable, Digital Post Office system that transforms incoming physical mail into powerful digital assets – at their point of entry to your business. We enable clients to streamline their operations, increase response times, improve their controls and compliance – and, by the way, save a huge amount of money. We’re already helping one of America’s three largest banks. We love to talk about digital mail, so email me direct if you like at