Technology has taken over our lives, and globalization has virtually diminished all boundaries. Digital transformation and business process automation have become necessary for businesses to survive and grow in the digital marketplace. The use of holistic information systems with AI-powered algorithms has not only simplified core business functions but has also provided an opportunity for businesses to reduce costs.
Digital transformation is closely associated with major reforms in nearly all business procedures, including the transformation of businesses to paperless organizations. The use and maintenance of tangible document resources have become nearly obsolete. Cloud-based storage, document management systems, and online transactions are the new norms of the business. The conceptualization of paperless organizations has brought a new era of green solutions to reduce waste, cut paper costs, and play a positive role in decreasing carbon footprint. Thanks to major technological breakthroughs, paperless transactions have now superseded laborious and painstaking modes of financial dealings that organizations have previously adopted. This article sheds light on various ways technology influences paperless transactions.
1. Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Blockchain is a distributed, open ledger that effectively and securely records transactions between two parties. It got its name because this technology creates a “chain” of verifiable, unchangeable data by stacking “blocks” of digital data on top of each other in a public ledger.
Blockchain has gained immense popularity in recent years. The brilliance in maintaining data privacy through encryption and private keys makes blockchain one of the best means of online B2B and B2C transactions.
Many businesses now use cryptocurrency and digital wallets for secure business transactions. Businesses can now buy cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, from crypto exchanges. Many bitcoin price converter tools can help you calculate how much capital you need to purchase a certain amount of bitcoins before you transform your business’s financial transactions over the blockchain.
The blockchain and cryptocurrency trends are increasing. While more businesses are now shifting to blockchain for financial transactions with customers and other business entities, it is also helping them put the concept of paperless transactions into practice. Here are some benefits of using cryptocurrency for businesses:
- Reduce the use of paper with the digital transaction record.
- Increases transparency in transactions and real-time, accurate revenue-sharing.
- Enables simple and secure money transfers
- Helps businesses gain better control over their capital
- Ensures smooth exchanges with stakeholders
- Presents an effective alternative to cash and reduces third-party involvement in transactions between business to business or customers.
2. Digital Signatures
Organizations excessively use printers and paper for contracts and documents sent to customers for signatures. On average, employees print 10,000 pages yearly, while businesses waste around 14% of their revenue on document inefficiencies. E-signatures or digital signatures eliminate the use of paper and the customer’s presence. Customers can now digitally sign the documents with their original signatures through free or low-cost digital signature tools. It liberates both businesses and their customers or stakeholders from a physical presence while cutting down costs of paper, printing, and delivery expenses. Businesses send the contracts or legal documents to the customer over a secure network with two-factor authentication techniques.
When digital signature tools are combined with cloud computing and integrated information systems, businesses can easily get notified when a customer or stakeholder receives, signs, and sends back the document. Digital signatures are verifiable and safe from tampering.
3. Mobile Management Information Systems (MIS)
Management information systems have evolved significantly over the years. From rigid automation systems to intelligent and flexible decision-support systems, these holistic systems with machine learning capabilities have transformed the information technology landscape for businesses.
The latest development in management information systems is the use of mobile applications to operate businesses from remote locations. They are an excellent way of reducing paper-based transactions and making information available to users outside of the brick-and-mortar proximity.
While mobile MIS systems facilitate remote access to any type of information, they also eradicate paper-based transactions. You can now use these apps to manage all the paperwork and transactions on a mobile device.
4. Integrated Supply Chain Management Systems
Technology has closely intertwined businesses and their stakeholders, and the success of one business depends on the agility of others. The supply chain network consists of all parties involved in the successful operation of a business, including suppliers, logistics partners, distributors, retailers, and end-users. A smooth and seamless flow of information is essential to maintain agility in the supply chain.
While paperless information sharing and transactions are more efficient compared to paper-based communication, it also drastically reduces the time and cost of processing manual transactions. Businesses now collaborate with all supply chain partners to increase data transparency and share information related to purchase, sales, shipment, customer orders, sale and purchase invoices, and inventory levels. With machine learning capabilities, these applications can perform financial transactions automatically without human intervention.
5. Document Management Systems
Document management systems use a web-based interface with back-end cloud storage to backup, store, and maintain digital documents. Document management systems have effectively transformed businesses into paperless organizations. These cloud-based managed systems help organizations dispense with tangible document repositories as well as duplication of files.
With document management systems, businesses can define user access and modification rights, keep document versions history, and track document check-ins and check-outs. Cloud-based storage has added the advantage of maximum uptime and 24/7 availability of business documents with optimal security measures and disaster management protocols. These intelligent systems also support AI-based OCR tools to convert printed documents into digital text instantly.
6. Online Banking and Finance
Business transactions greatly rely on third-party banks, government institutions, or financial companies for remittances, cash inflows and outflows, and debt management. Online banking services allow businesses to skip lengthy paperwork, verify transactions, and manage manual payments and receipts.
Many business information systems and e-commerce payment services now allow businesses and customers to connect to banking services directly. Consequently, online banking and finance services have replaced manual inter-bank transfers and payment deposits with online banking services and contributed significantly to paperless transactions.
7. Electronic Billing
Electronic billing allows businesses to send digital invoices to customers and save paper mailings. Electronic billing also facilitates businesses in tracking customers’ payment history and any outstanding payments. On the other hand, customers also prefer electronic billing as it allows them to complete their purchases remotely.
Technology continues to benefit the lives of billions of people. While the use of information systems, cloud computing, and mobile applications has allowed businesses to streamline their core business functions, it has also helped them contribute positively to eliminating excessive paper and printing devices and decreasing their carbon footprint.