The electronic invoice (e-invoice) is a necessary first step to achieving straight-through processing for business-to-business (B2B) payments. An e-invoice offers an opportunity to reduce manual effort for both buyers and suppliers—while supporting multinational compliance.
The Federal Reserve is working collaboratively with the Business Payments Coalition (BPC) to promote greater adoption of e-invoices, payments and electronic remittance (e-remittance) data to ultimately improve the efficiency of the U.S. payment system. Through this partnership, industry work group efforts have supported the development, testing and implementation of an exchange framework, a virtual network that facilitates the exchange of e-invoices and e-remittance information.
What is an Exchange Framework?
An exchange framework is an electronic delivery network based on a set of technical standards and policies to allow businesses to securely share electronic supply chain documents with one another. It was developed to solve the difficult issues businesses face when exchanging invoices between different platforms and systems, such as how to connect to other businesses, what information to send and how to deliver it electronically. As a solution to these challenges, the exchange framework outlines a set of standards to securely exchange electronic documents, such as an e-invoice between businesses – even if each business uses different software.
Digital Business Networks Alliance’s Exchange Framework
In early summer 2023, participants of the BPC’s E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot launched a market ready exchange framework and established the Digital Business Networks Alliance (DBNAlliance) (Off-site) as the legal entity to oversee it.
Through an oversight role, DBNAlliance assists service providers in connecting to the exchange framework and is responsible for defining electronic delivery standards, policies, rules and guidelines for e-invoicing. Furthermore, DBNAlliance is governing the exchange framework that is now available to all businesses via their service providers. Service providers interested in connecting to the exchange framework first must join the Digital Business Networks Alliance.
Contact DBNAlliance today for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. Businesses interested in sending and receiving e-invoices should contact their service providers to ask if they are connected to the exchange framework.
e-invoice Exchange Framework – Approach to Managing a Federated Registry Services Model in a Four-Corner Network (Off-site)
- The BPC completed an initial proof of concept of a federated registry services model for the U.S. e-invoice exchange framework in Q1 2021. Read the report for more information on the approach, outcomes and recommendations.
Overview of an e-invoice Interoperability Framework (Off-site)
- Introduces the concept of an e-invoice interoperability framework (e-invoice exchange framework), as well as market challenges, the benefits of addressing them, and a path forward for the BPC’s work of assessing U.S. market needs.
e-invoice Interoperability Framework – e-Delivery Network Feasibility Assessment Report (Off-site)
- Provides business and technology stakeholders with an understanding of the high-level requirements and standards required to establish an open, federated network of access points for the U.S. market.
e-invoice Interoperability Framework Assessment Report (Off-site, PDF)
- Report of the findings of a preliminary e-invoicing interoperability framework (e-invoice exchange framework) assessment with an overview of the goals and approach used for the preliminary assessment along with key themes that emerged. The report includes recommendations and considerations for future Business Payments Coalition (Off-site) e-invoicing efforts.