Electronic Invoices

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Paper invoices are highly inefficient and more expensive for the buyer and supplier. An electronic invoice (e-invoice) offers an opportunity to reduce manual effort for both buyers and suppliers—while supporting multinational compliance. In addition, e-invoicing is the first step to achieving straight-through processing for business-to-business (B2B) payment transactions; using common standards and protocols will mean interoperability–a scalable ecosystem that simplifies and reduces the cost of exchanging e-invoices among different systems, enabling broader connectivity.

The Business Payments Coalition (BPC) is dedicated to broadening the reach for businesses to exchange e-invoices with each other by establishing a secure, open e-invoice delivery framework – known as an e-invoice exchange framework – between providers. As such, the BPC’s E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot is developing and implementing a standard, ubiquitous B2B e-invoice and processing platform similar to ones that have been developed in other countries. Watch the video below, for an overview of how an e-invoice travels from point A to point B in an e-invoice exchange framework.

Recent Updates

E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot

The BPC has launched a market pilot effort to build and test a virtual network that will enable businesses of all kinds to exchange e-invoices with one another by establishing a secure, open e-invoice delivery framework between providers. Read the press release announcement (Off-site). Participants have extensive experience or expertise in sending, accepting or processing corporate invoices, knowledge of e-invoice exchange frameworks, open-source tools, access points and/or registry services. The market pilot will run through year-end 2022 to establish an operational B2B invoice exchange framework for the U.S. market in 2023.

If you are interested in reviewing the technical specifications for the Business Payments Coalition’s E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot, please visit our GitHub page (Off-site). These specifications are approved for the pilot stage only, but we anticipate the final specifications will be available in early 2023 when the framework transitions to production.

BPC Publishes E-invoice Exchange Framework: Requirements for Oversight

The BPC’s E-invoice Standards Oversight Assessment (SOA) Work Group has published the E-invoice Exchange Framework: Requirements for Oversight (PDF). The report documents the standards involved with the exchange framework and their corresponding oversight requirements in an effort to provide an overview and deeper understanding of the requirements for oversight of an e-invoice exchange framework in the U.S. market.

Download the report: E-invoice Exchange Framework: Requirements for Oversight (PDF)

Building on this progress, the BPC has launched the E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot where participants are working to coordinate the technical implementation requirements, address end user adoption considerations and provide interim oversight of the exchange framework. For additional information on this initiative, please email: business.payments.smb@mpls.frb.org.

BPC Publishes E-invoice Exchange Framework – Approach to Managing a Federated Registry Services Model in a Four-Corner Network

The BPC is proud to announce the successful completion of a proof of concept (POC) of a federated registry services model for the U.S. e-invoice exchange framework. The goal of POC was to test the concept of a federated registry service model, which the BPC identified as necessary for an effective e-invoice exchange framework for the U.S. market.

To conduct the test, the BPC built a network of access points and gateways within the network and successfully sent multiple messages between them. The POC also helped the BPC to gain an understanding of the technical components required for establishing federated registry services.

For additional information on this initiative, please email: business.payments.smb@mpls.frb.org

Download the report: e-Invoice Exchange Framework – Approach to Managing a Federated Registry Services Model in a Four-Corner Network (PDF)

The e-invoice exchange framework initiative is targeted to continue work through establishment of a governance group and completion of an in-market pilot in late 2022 and early 2023 to stand up the framework. If interested in participating, check back for updates and to register.


Additional Resources

  • e-Invoice Interoperability Framework Assessment Report (PDF) (2018)
    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 BPC e-Invoicing efforts.
  • Catalog of Electronic Invoice Technical Standards in the U.S. (PDF) (2017)
    The Catalog documents the large number of electronic invoice technical standards that exist in the U.S. market, resulting in a fragmented market and interoperability challenges among the standards.
  • U.S. Adoption of Electronic Invoicing: Challenges and Opportunities (Off-site) (2016)
    U.S. corporations lag in adopting e-Invoice solutions. This white paper by the Payments, Standards, and Outreach Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis highlights opportunities for businesses to gain efficiencies and reduce costs by more broadly adopting e-Invoicing.

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