Taiwan governemt’s eInvoice transactions hit 50,000

March 8, 2011  |  Electronic Invoicing

This article was originally posted on FutureGov

Three months since its inception, the e-invoice system of the Taiwan finance department has registered over 50,000 transactions.

In December last year, Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance introduced electronic tax receipts, otherwise known as e-invoices, to designated convenience stores and supermarkets that issue smart cards or store membership cards to its consumers.

The launch has been a success, with the Ministry receiving next to no complaints from e-invoice users, said Peter Wang, an official of the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Data Centre (FDC), which operates the e-invoice system.

Under the e-invoice system, when a consumer buys from the participating stores, the purchase information and the Uniform Invoice number, a government-assigned unique number for the merchant or service provider issuing the invoice, will be automatically transmitted to a database managed by the FDC.

The FDC has been improving the system by enlarging the storage capacity of its IT infrastructure and by facilitating and securing data transfers to meet the massive usage.

In the initial phase of the system, only a few channels could issue e-invoices and citizens were wary of using the electronic invoice system.

“The paper invoice has been implemented for more than 60 years in Taiwan, so it’s not easy to let people to get used to having paperless invoice in a short time,” said Wang.

To respond to these challenges, the FDC has offered incentives to let businesses participate in the system. The Taiwanese government also actively promoted the system to the public by launching e-invoice lottery bonuses.

In the future, the FDC plans to include into the system transactions not only involving cards. Soon, consumers could use their ID numbers and cell phone numbers, among others, to get paperless invoice during purchases.

The objective of the system is to offer a secure and cost-efficient version of the paper invoice used to trace the transaction of services, goods and other expenditures.

The Ministry of Finance is expecting savings from using e-invoice instead of its paper-based version in the amount of NT$7.4 billion (US$233 million) by 2013.

The e-invoice system constitutes a new strategy by the Ministry, focusing on maximising B2B (business-to-business) through the promotion of B2C (business-to-consumer) e-invoices, especially in physical channels, said Wang.

The system provides such functions as retrieving invoice data and donating to give better service to citizens.

Source: FutureGov

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