European e-invoicing service providers report a significant growth

September 2016
Powered by The Paypers | Supply Chain Finance, E-invoicing

European e-invoicing service providers have reported a significant growth of 27% and over 1 ¼ billion processed e-invoices in 2015.

1252 million electronic invoices were processed and delivered in 2015 by members of the European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association (EESPA), based on a set of survey results completed in July 2016. This represented a significant growth of 27% over 2014 volumes of 985 million.

EESPA commissioned this third annual survey among its members as part of a continuing commitment to supporting the rapid market growth of e-invoicing and to play its part in monitoring take-up. The survey was carried out through a trusted third party on the basis of actual transaction volumes, collected on a confidential basis from individual EESPA members for the calendar year 2015.

The majority of invoices processed were B2B or B2G invoices (766 million invoices in total in 2015), although the EESPA membership also has a significant involvement in the delivery of B2C invoices (485 million invoices in total in 2015).

EESPA members were asked to report the volume i.e. number of e-invoices delivered by them to buyers connected to their network or service, and also volumes delivered to buyers connected to another service provider. Each member was asked to carefully identify only truly electronic invoices, irrespective of the process through which the invoice or the invoice data were collected from suppliers.

The figures represent an indication of the total footprint represented by the EESPA community in relation to the growing volumes of e-invoices now being processed at the expense of traditional paper documents. The majority of EESPA members participated in the survey, although some members were not able to participate for practical and policy reasons, and the sample size is therefore affected by this as well as the incidence of members joining and leaving the association. Some adjustment to the figures were undertaken to smooth out these factors. Given our insights into the volumes processed by non-participating members, the overall volumes attributable to the EESPA community would, of course, be appreciably larger.

Additionally, in 2015 the figures reveal an important growth in B2B and B2G transactions over the previous year, and the same for the B2C sector. Given that we stand on the threshold of the move to e-invoicing by EU public administrations based on the provisions of Directive 2014/55/EU, the future should bring accelerating volumes based on the critical mass that is already evident in these numbers.

EESPA service providers are making a very significant contribution to the adoption of electronic invoicing across Europe and globally. Service provider networks and services to buyers and suppliers contribute a growing and sizeable element of total electronic invoice volume and these services are more often than not preferred to direct connections between suppliers and buyers, which can be cumbersome to manage and do not take advantage of ‘network’ effects.