8 thoughts on why banks may be too late for the e-invoicing party

October 10, 2011  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing, Payment

The wonderful Susie West of Shared Services Link shared her thoughts on an e-invoicing debate which she hosted at the SIBOS conference in Toronto last month. See also our post 3 times e-invoicing at SIBOS 2011, Toronto.

  1. An electronic invoice is where the invoice data file is fed via a legally compliant process from a supplier’s computer to a buyer’s computer, and received in such a way that no manual touch point is required.
  2. To be commercially attractive, e-invoicing needs to contain the right information, so the existence of business rules is preferred to support straight through processing.
  3. E-invoicing covers accounts payable and accounts receivable, although e-invoicing is largely spoken of from the perspective of accounts payable .
  4. 20% of the corporates are live with e-invoicing for more than 40% of their invoices (not sure whether it is AP or AR e-invoicing (see point 3 above))
  5. Even though 70% of the attending bankers claimed to actively promote e-invoicing to their client base, Susie sensed that banks were not really promoting e-invoicing to their clients.
  6. Banks have to buddy-up with other banks to make e-invoicing happen for them. But banks do not have the knowledge and skills to do this without the help of e-invoicing service providers. So, banks have to collaborate with billing service providers. Or buy them.
  7. Only if SWIFT can keep up the pace and compete for a market share against billing service providers that “act as ‘deal brokering’ machines that win business and then ensure robust delivery”, it can potentially be a significant asset to banks.
  8. 85% of the 250 attending listeners didn’t think banks are too late, yet. However, Susie West concluded with:“I do believe that banks want a big piece of the e-invoicing pie. However although I can see that the desire is there, they now need to back up this desire with resource. They need to find and arm the troops and get out there to ensure they own, or at least will own, a sizeable part of this market.”

What do you think? Are banks too late for the e-invoicing party? (Discussion)

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