This Week in Imaging: Printing Moving to Transactional Documents

While office print volumes continue to gradually decline, one thing that probably won’t decline any time soon is transactional printing.

Transactional printing refers to documents that must be sent/received, often by law. They cover some good things – sales paperwork and legal disclosures for that new car you just purchased – to some not-so-good things – such as a subpoena requiring you to appear before the U.S. Congress. While a great deal of transactional printing has been digitized, such as airplane tickets, much as not.

The industry vertical segments that typically rely on transactional printing are healthcare, legal, government, shipping/logistics, and consumer businesses. As for the last segment, we’ve seen a push for many businesses to obtain a consumer’s email address and then email their receipt to them. This probably will take quite some time to catch on, as many consumers probably don’t want to give out their email address, and the trust factor – believing that the receipt will actually be emailed – probably isn’t there yet. Most new car buyers will still demand a paper document.

The bad news is that the brunt of office printing has been replaced by  digital alternatives. Printed reports have now typically replaced by digital files, and letters have now typically been replaced by email. But despite efforts for digitization, transactional printing is still being used by the key vertical segments of legal, government, and healthcare.

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