In a recent study, Ardent Partners found (Off-site) the average cost to manually process a single invoice is $10.89, and the average time-to-process an invoice is 10 days. What would you do with more capital and time? Modernizing business-to-business (B2B) payments, including automating electronic invoices (e-invoices) will reduce costs and increase efficiencies for businesses of all sizes.
To help move the B2B industry toward automation, the Business Payments Coalition (BPC) is facilitating an E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot to develop a framework for the United States which would enable businesses to exchange e-invoices with each other without major updates to their systems. In fact, the market pilot has just reached a major achievement where participants have started exchanging e-invoices using the framework.
The market pilot recently initiated the first of three onboarding waves for the year. More than 30 organizations are involved in the market pilot waves and 17 are participating in wave one (April 1 to June 30), which is focused on testing initial technical specifications for exchanging e-invoices. Wave two (July 1 to September 30) will further refine specifications and onboarding steps for businesses, and wave three (October 1 to December 31) will finalize specifications for production. The three waves will run through the end of 2022; however, there are a variety of close out activities based on the success of the market pilot that will likely continue into 2023.
“Initiating wave one of the E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot is a momentous milestone for the B2B payments industry. Businesses are using a trusted, secure and standard digital integration model to exchange e-invoices with each other without major updates to their systems. The success of the waves is key to supporting broad market adoption of the e-invoice exchange framework as a B2B payments solution.”
CEO OFS Portal LLC and Chair of the E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot
Participating market pilot organizations will have freedom to test the e-invoice exchange framework according to their own business needs. For example, some participating solution providers may use the e-invoices to initiate payments, while others may solely exchange e-invoices to test capabilities and specifications.
The onboarding waves of the market pilot is a major achievement as it progresses the industry toward electronic B2B payments and straight-through processing. Once the waves are complete, an oversight body will be identified to oversee the e-invoice exchange framework – a recommendation of the Standards Oversight Assessment Work Group (Off-site).
The success of the waves will be instrumental to furthering the market pilot’s goal of implementing an operational B2B document exchange framework for the United States in 2023. This fully electronic document exchange framework will result in greater efficiency for all businesses and has the potential to dramatically change how we think about and exchange B2B payments.
Stay informed on this important and cutting-edge work. Join the FedPayments Improvement Community (select “E-invoicing” and “Electronic Payments and Remittance” under the interest preferences), and follow FedPayments Improvement on LinkedIn (Off-site) and Twitter (Off-site).