Is There Still A Demand For Printed Correspondence?

Broadly speaking there are two groups of people amongst those who send printed bills and those who receive them. These two groups can be identified as people who believe bills no longer need to be printed, as they can be seen digitally either online, in an email or a downloaded document from an email. The other group, believe that printed bills, statements and letters will remain critically important, because keeping a physical copy of printed correspondence is the key to being truly organised.

The technology involved in paperless billing and correspondence has evolved rapidly over the past few years. However, the interest in paperless billing has not taken off so rapidly and early predictions of a paperless world have been vastly exaggerated. The transition to paperless hasn’t happened as quickly as was expected.

Can The NHS Go Paperless By 2018?

In 2013 the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called on the NHS to become paperless by 2018, but many have questioned whether this is possible. Alison Moore has examined a survey conducted by HSJ and it would seem that a paperless printed correspondence led NHS is currently much further away than only 2 years.

The chart below shows that although there is some great support for the NHS to become paperless, many believe the ambition to be unrealistic.

FMS Blog Paperless NHS Pie Chart


Why Such A Slow Adoption Rate?

It has been claimed that the less than rapid adoption of paperless correspondence has a lot to do with the older generations, who began their adult life outside of the digital age. However, to take this statement so literally would be immensely short sighted.

In her article “Does Your Demographic Decide How You Pay Your Bills,” author Suzanne Cramer discusses a report from the New York, market intelligence research firm Packaged Facts, which explains there are many other factors, such as income and education that play a factor in how someone chooses to pay their bills.

Perhaps we should even consider whether a person has access to a computer and a smartphone? Is this still a possibility in this day and age.


The shift to paperless bills, statements and correspondence is likely to happen like other disruptive technologies, taking much longer to have the impact that was originally predicted.

On the other hand there are many people out there who will continue to want printed documents, regardless of their demographic and despite huge advancements in technology, because having something in print, provides physical reassurance that their documents are to hand.

Sam Rose