Progress is being made in the quest to harmonise electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) services for consumers and businesses across Europe. E-invoicing is increasingly important in Europe: in 2016, the estimated number of e-invoices was about eight billion, out of an estimated total number of 36 billion invoices and bills. The European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association reported annual growth rates of e-invoices processed by its members of up to 33 percent in the Business to Customer area.* At the meeting this June, the second EIPP working group will release an interim status report on its findings since February 2017. This is a primer for the November gathering, when the working group will publish its minimum requirements for business rules and technical standards. With these proposals in place, EIPP will become a more convenient service with faster collection of receivables and a reduction in errors and fraud.
The current working group is using in-depth analysis to highlight processes, rules, standards and practices that can be harmonised to improve EIPP services. Building on the findings of an earlier working group, it envisions solutions that are interoperable throughout Europe, making them scale naturally and easily to appeal to both EIPP providers, businesses and consumers.
The original EIPP working group sprang from a November 2015 decision to seek ways to facilitate the take-up and integration of the EIPP services across . The first group conducted a survey and issued a November 2016 report detailing proposals to harmonise the EIPP services related to retail payments. This initial exploratory mission set out the European context, identified the success factors, the obstacles faced and the working group’s options for any future developments that could foster the success of the EIPP solutions.
The current working group brings together member associations and e-invoicing service provider associations with representatives of national central banks, a delegate from the European Central Bank and an observer from the European Commission. The European Association of Corporate Treasurers / Business Europe and are co-chairs.
* Between 2014 and 2015. The increase was of 23% in the Business-to-Business and Business-to-Government area.
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