The adoption of B2C e-invoicing in the Nordics: Signs of improvement

The success for the electronic invoicing differs from country to country in the Nordics and there are a couple of common reasons for that. It is no news that there has been, and still is, an increasing force in the market, driving away from business related communication on paper and instead moving towards “e”. In B2B this has been a reality for years but in B2C it’s a different story.

The regulatory implications in the different markets have had a limiting or encouraging effect on this development. One additional circumstance affecting this is the receivers wish on how companies and authorities should communicate with them.

One fundamental thing has been the ability to receive electronic communication in a secure and reliable way. There have been several attempts in the countries to establish an electronic mailbox, but the willingness among people to have yet another inbox in parallel with the one at work and already at home, has made it difficult to get in place. This especially since all communication from authorities comes in a physical form anyway.

In Denmark however the authorities have decided to take a lead in the development of this type of communication. The target is that all messages from authorities to citizens will be electronic. As a milestone, 80 pct. of written communication between citizens/companies and the public sector must take place online by 2015. This means that companies will have an established communication channel to one and each of all Danish citizens that can be used, and it will for sure. This will have a dramatic effect on the amount of e-invoices.

In Sweden the activities from the authorities have been a bit more moderate, but there are some actions. In the beginning of 2013 the service “Mina Meddelanden” (My Messages) was launched. Here citizens can sign up and get messages from a couple of authorities, but far from all. It hasn’t been a success so far and there hasn’t been much fuzz about it, but I think it will come. And when it does it will have an effect on the ratio of electronic invoicing. When I speak to my kids who are 17 and 21, especially the older one asks, why she can’t get both messages and invoices electronically, instead of both on paper and electronically, in a mix.

My strong believe is that the things we have been talking about for many-many years, is coming. We will see a heavy increase in electronic invoicing in the near future. We will also see a wider usage of alternative payment methods, but that is a topic for another blog.

Fredrik Hjortsberg
Product Management Director, Automation Solutions

Related posts

Comments are closed.