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iManage my e-invoices

iManage is just idea or imaginary product, but it would be good to test if this could make more sense, at least for SME or individuals when talking about e-invoice solutions.

As there are so many solutions to receive and pay e-invoices, I had opportunity to talk with other Finextra member some months ago about idea of how there should be one solution where my all e-invoices or actually all important messages would come.

Idea comes from iTunes, where with one username and password I manage my purchases. Of course when we are talking about banking, we have to be really secure and always a step ahead of crackers. 

But idea would be this for e-invoices. I will create first my iManage account, where I add my e-invoice address. That could be my primary bank based address like in Nordic countries, that could be my e-mail account, or even mobile telephone number. Then I will select if there are companies already in the service who can send me e-invoices. Finally I add my personal info, primary e-mail address, telephone numbers, username and password etc. Then I sign my service with my own local e-id solution which is valid in my own home country. If there is a change of email address, I will log in to iManage site and make changes. If I don't remember my iManage site, I can log in to system using my own local e-identfication system again. No password sending or user ID sending by email.

Then either I will go to online site of company where I would like to receive e-invoice and leave my iManage account address to let them know that I am capable to receive e-invoices or company goes to iManage site and let others to know that they are ready to send e-invoices. They can search their customers uploading customer names same way we search LinkedIn, Facebook or other friends using our own contact lists and email- addresses.

Then me as a user get one day e-invoice. My iManage service will notify me by e-mail or with SMS. But I am the person who decides how I am notified. Every sent e-invoice from company sends notification to iManage site which aggregates information to receiver.

Basic service for private customers would be free, extra services like invoice vault would cost. For companies there would be monthly/transaction fee.

This kind of service could be managed by SWIFT, EU Commision, e-invoice operators or just totally new company.

Please let me know if this makes sense.


Comments: (6)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 April, 2011, 08:50Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Great idea.

I believe that providing the customer with controls on their ebills / einvoices enhances adoption.



A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 April, 2011, 09:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

With this kind of service, it would make sense for e-billers to sign, because they could get all their customers from one place when sending e-invoices thru their systems to different countries or systems. For consumers this would make sense too having one place where to manage e-bill addresses. For example I have several e-bill addresses, one as my personal online bank, second for e-postal office, third for my company, fourth for my mobile phone, fifth for my another company as email. Instead of remembering all of this, I would like to have one solution and do the effort to add all the info for one.

But this is just one part, I could add my credit card, passwords, and all other info to one place. When making purchase I could leave only one iManage email-address. If my purchase request password, I could get either solid password for services where risk is low and one time challenge password when risk is higher. 

If this service is run by SWIFT or similar third party trusted organization, then it would give confidence for banks, operators and similar players to trust that data protection is in good hands. 

Put before this is reality, I think e-invoices should be first to put in this thinking and define how it should be done. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 April, 2011, 10:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is something I am dealing with too.

Not only because of all these places where I have to retrieve my invoices, but also because our company has over 150 online accounts, where we logon to do business.

I started using symbaloo ( in combination with lastpass. ( In combination with a toch screen I am now just a touch away from my invoices wherever I go, with just a single very strong password (in fact I use a ubikey external usb stick for extra security). It is all stupendously easy to set up and use. 

This however does not account for:
- notifications of new invoices (done seperately by my suppliers)
- a consenting program to share my e-preferences to my suppliers
- a vault to collect my e-invoices.

I know that there are some initiatives going on that provides these services like Doxo.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 April, 2011, 10:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This needs more input from others too. No string attached but is there someone who wants to collaborate with this idea? Any big/ small organization? Individuals? 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 April, 2011, 12:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Received this comment van Danny Gaethofs in our LinkedIN group:

No I do not think this makes sense UNLESS everyone starts using it and there is one company that manages this service.

In my vision on e-invoicing from 2008 I already stated GO Green and think about G-INVOICING or Y-INVOICING. (SLIDE 6: ).

Banks / BSP's will in the end benefit from this - they did when email became commonality - they will in some way when iManage or G-Invoicing or M-Invoicing is the common way of sending/receiving invoices. It is now much more important that SME's and all other companies can exchange invoices.

Today we witness that when an SME is sending or receiving PDF -invoices via a HUB or BSP. Suppose the receiver of invoices (SME receiver) is connected to HUB 1 and the sender of invoices (SME sender) is connected to HUB 2. Both have the agreement with their HUBs that those handling the incoming and outgoing invoices.

Now with structured e-invoices it is common that some transport protocol and envelopes containing addressing is used and it can be arranged that the structured messages flow from one HUB to the other before being delivered at the final receiver.

Now this type of flow is not supported for PDF invoices, at least not that I have seen.

Several companies are sending PDF invoices via a HUB 1 that is using a portal where the receiver of the invoice can download the invoice after he or she gets a notification email. The Receiver of the invoice ALTHOUGH he uses a HUB 2 will still have to go to the HUB 1 of the sender to download the PDF invoice.

The iManage solution/service would also have to act as a HUB and provide a multi-channel approach, otherwise SME's sending out structured messages that are translated by their HUB's into PDF OR into UBL, EDIFACT, ... depending on the receiver WILL NOT be able to participate.

I would much more like some kind of superhighway where everyone is connected and that supports sending / receiving a structured message and unstructured message using the same addressing approach. And if iManage would be this then as a receiver I would like to indicate how and in what format the invoice should be delivered to my own workplace.

Kind Regards
Danny Gaethofs

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 07 April, 2011, 07:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

e-invoice revolution needs natural evolution. Saying this I think e-invoices are really great thing, but how to involve customers to use it. For corporations it is easy. Just select one system and demand by stick and carrot for customers to use it. But as a customer if I have several ways to receive invoices, one comes from e-mail, one for online bank, one for portal and so on, I would have to admit but then paper or current system is just better. No managing several email accounts, no password hassle, no updating several places if I change bank etc. 

There is good process to create standards for e-invoices, but before that there has to be solutions for today to use it. For this reason I have divided development (idea) of iManage to three parts.

iManage 1.0 is using same analogy as social media status updates. If I update my status on Twitter, it is automatically showed on Facebook, Linkedin and other sites. If you would see same way that company sends me e-invoice, notification of bill is directed to all those places I would like to receive. In this early stage company could also send me PDF based robust e-invoices to my email account. So this first phase iManage is more information broker, who gets information and distributes it to the channel I prefer. In this phase companies, e-invoice operators can keep their Status Quo. 

iManage 2.0 is a service, where I would get notifications like earlier, but also PDF e-invoices like earlier but also three level of other e-invoices which I manage with one password (most of the times). 

In this level I could get notifications that my e-invoice is ready on portal from company who has send it to me. To this portal I could manage in with my iManage passwords. Second part of e-invoices would be directly send to my online bank/ ERP/ CRM system where I can pay those bills using my iManage passwords or even iManage one time challenge passwords. This is more on trust level and bank/ERP/ CRM provider has to trust iManage system. In this service my iManage service has a link to pay bills and giving my password I will get in and pay/confirm my payments. Finally there would be third level of e-invoices, which are showed on my account, but linked it to banking/ payment system where I log in using my current credentials from that system.

Finally iManage 3.0 is a system, which supports the standards of e-invoices and acts as one place where payee links and can choose where he pays his bills and all the bills automatically swims in to that system. This means that I can control that which bank I use or do I use just debit/ credit card to pay my bills. All the paid invoices can be presented on one screen, even storage of paid bills can be in several places.

With this natural evolution customers are willing to use e-invoices, companies can keep their current e-invoice systems running and when standards are ready, there are already steady user groups (mass) to demand more sophisticated solutions based on future standards, which then means revolution.

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