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E-invoicing 2008 – Highlights of the European market description and analysis

Highlights of the European market description and analysis

Innopay and Euro Banking Association

The following article summarises the e-invoicing European market description and analysis presented by Innopay and the Euro Banking Association (EBA). E-invoicing is considered by many corporates to be an important potential development in their order-to-cash and purchase-to-pay cycles and it has been discussed as a potential benefit of SEPA. The following findings are taken from the Management Summary to the Report, which can be found at www.abe-eba.eu which we would encourage readers to download and discuss within your treasury association.

Finding 1: E-invoicing is growing fast from a low base but there are major unaddressed market segments

There are compelling forces at work to encourage the growth of e-invoicing. But although it has been in the early stages of development for over 20 years, it is reported that less than 5% of volumes are currently dematerialised. Annual corporate and public savings of up to e243 billion are projected across Europe as a whole. The adoption rate of e-invoicing is accelerating with varying growth rates per country. Countries such as those in the Nordic area, Belgium, and Switzerland have relatively greater traction, whereas in larger countries adoption is more diffuse. Domestic volumes predominate but cross-border invoicing will grow as market integration occurs at both a trade and enterprise level.

The end-to-end trade process should always be taken into consideration as the essential context for invoicing.

In general, the current focus is on outbound and inbound volumes from larger corporate entities, especially in the accounts payable area and mass-consumer invoicing initiatives from utilities and similar entities. The strong market power of these players is driving these developments. The role of the public sector is instrumental in some cases. The market for smaller companies and consumers is comparatively speaking unaddressed and an emerging opportunity in this space is clearly identifiable. By adopting generic solutions all market segments could benefit.