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Penalties: appropriate way to increase e-invoicing adoption?

In the advent of the EXPP Summit, Bruno Koch from Billentis stated that more organisation plan penalties for paper invoices, or already charge extra for paper invoices. He asked whether this was an appropriate and promising way to increase adoption and higher ROI?

Of course we can imagine that organisation are planning or already using this approach. So let’s take a look at how the customer experiences the uptake of e-invoicing and the role he asked to play:


  1. A company sells products or services
  2. I and many other customers buy these services/products
  3. We allow the company to create revenue and (if it is entrepreneur enough) some profits by paying the invoice

4.    The company initiates e-invoicing (sending e-invoices to my and others customers) for his sake
5.    He has to ask me and other customers whether we accept his e-invoices
6.    Now if we (the customers that allow him to create revenue and profits) don't accept e-invoices, we get penalized....
7.    However if we accept the e-invoice, we don't get rewarded ....
8.    And no, not getting a penalty is not the same as getting rewarded (“Congratulations, you just didn’t get a penalty, whoehoe!”)

9. Is this approach appropriate: hell no! (Apologies for the rude language)
10. Is it a promising approach: sadly yes
11. What effect does this: Malus and no bonus approaches are hampering e-invoicing as a whole in a timeframe where a company and its shareholder value are predominantly determined by the value and image perception by its customers.

So act responsibly and ask yourself what approach you can initiate to create an e-invoicing pull in your customer base. For better approaches to large scale adoption take a look at the E-invoicing Checklist.

So what approach suits you best? Bonus, malus, no-bonus, customer centric?


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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Electronic invoicing

A discussion and guidance on the path to full scale adoption of electronic invoicing by corporates, goverments, SME's and consumers, creating savings up to € 60 billion in 2020. With a focus on: trends, business models, processes, technology, and legal issues.

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