Scandinavian bank Nordea has contracted with Nordic IT services vendor TietoEnator for supply and implementation of a business-to-business (B2B) electronic invoicing system.
The integrated white-labelled service will be offered by the bank's Swedish arm to companies and their trading partners.
TietoEnator says that the system - which will be based on its TE financial hub infrastructure - will enable Nordea customers to exchange e-invoices with business partners on a national and global basis.
TE financial Hub infrastructure already connects a large number of trading partners and processes more than 500 million transactions annually, says the vendor.
Bengt Hansson, head of e-documents, Nordea, Sweden, says: "Through the agreement with TietoEnator we have gained access to both a leading-edge technical infrastructure and skillset. We can thereby further improve our service offering to our customers."
Mats Wikström, VP, value networks, TietoEnator Digital Innovations, says: "Nordea's increased focus in the B2B area will be a major factor in the adoption of e-invoicing in the Nordics. The local presence and large sales force of Nordea will open new opportunities in penetrating the corporate and public sectors."
Electronic invoicing is one of the requirements of the single euro payments area (Sepa) which will be introduced in 2008. TietoEnator says the interest in B2B e-invoicing is rapidly increasing and the number of invoices being processed electronically is growing steadily. Companies across Europe are now looking to their banks to offer e-invoicing services.
Earlier this year Ceská sporitelna, the largest commercial bank in the Czech Republic, said it was introducing a B2B electronic invoicing service based on technology supplied by TietoEnator.
The Czech bank said it would direct companies to TietoEnator's consolidation platform TIX to accept and send invoices electronically through their accounting systems or via a secure Internet portal.
Last month the European Commission (EC) said it was setting up a steering committee to oversee the establishment of a common invoicing framework that would allow businesses across Europe to send invoices and receive corresponding payments electronically.
According to a report produced by an "informal task force" on e-invoicing, the introduction of a European electronic invoicing (EII) network could reduce supply chain costs by EUR243 billion across Europe.