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Keywords: einvoicing, electronic invoicing, Celent, banking industry, supply chain finance, ebilling, e-invoicing
Ivan Ujvari | News | 6 June 2012
e-Invoicing is widely misunderstood and is often compared to other electronic forms of banking.
This is the conclusion of a report from research and consulting firm Celent, which examines why e-invoicing remains a relatively untapped area of opportunity for businesses.
Titled The Opportunity for e-Invoicing, the report highlights the advantages e-invoicing can bring and suggests ways for the banking industry and other organisations to promote further uptake.
Indeed, Celent noted that the potential of e-invoicing is clear for much of the banking industry, but it is up to businesses to adopt the system in order for it to truly be a success.
One of the barriers holding e-invoicing back is the way that it is brought under the umbrella of other processes like supply chain finance and e-billing.
Another challenge is convincing businesses of the long-term benefits. With the economic climate leading companies to focus largely on short-term goals, the potential of e-invoicing can be hard to see and as Celent notes, it is unlikely to satisfy returns on investments in the short term.
However, the report states that volumes of e-invoicing are steadily growing, doubling in the past three years.
In the European Union it is believed the process could save the equivalent of 1% of Europe's GDP over six years. However, less that 10% of global invoicing is electronic.
Gareth Lodge, Senior Analyst at Celent's Banking Group and author of the report, said that e-invoicing is "necessary" in client interaction.
"The business case is slim unless it has been mandated by regulation, as it has in a number of countries such as Brazil," he remarked.
"But the value that e-invoicing unlocks will be more than the initial investments. Banks need to work together now, before they find that the ecosystem has evolved without a role for them."
Indeed, a recent article in Fast Company suggested that the banking industry could drastically change because of the increasing adoption of e-invoicing.
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