Rudy Prince, CEO, says eFax has concentrated on promoting its free-to-receive service, unlike the market’s main provider J-fax.com.
The service allows users to receive both faxes and voicemail messages as email, free of charge. Users are given a UK phone number, hosted by eFax.com, which receives the fax or voicemail message before automatically converting it into an email attachment and sending it to the user’s account. Download times are kept to a minimum by super-compressing the message, eFax.com claims, and messages can be password protected but are not encrypted. Voice messages can also be retrieved by phone.
Users are charged, however, if they want to send emails as faxes, and eFax is also generating revenue through advertising and promotions attachments in the email. It has also begun talking to some of the major sites about possible partnerships, though none have been signed so far. In the US, co-branded affilitates include Phone.com, Network Solutions, WebTV, Xoom.com, AllBusiness.com and fortunecity.com.
Prince advises the company is currently working with Phone.com to expand its service beyond the desktop. In future, eFax hopes to allow users mobile access, which will also enable them to use any nearby fax machine to print documents received. Listed on Nasdaq, eFax was founded in 1988 to develop and license fax machine technologies. This year, it began its internet service to head-off what Prince admits will be the eventual demise of the fax machine by electronic messaging.