Finland is trailing well behind its fellow Nordic countries in the adoption of electronic invoicing for consumer billing, according to a study from vendor Itella Information.
Leading the way in adoption is Denmark, where 76% of invoices were received electronically last year. Norway comes a close second on 69% but Sweden trails badly on 46% while Finland records just 41%, not much better than Russia on 31%.
Heikki Pulli, director, Itella Information, says: "It is astonishing how much paper invoices are favoured in Finland, especially when you consider that Finland has been one of the pioneers of e-banking and online payment of bills."
Itella Information says that in three years, e-invoices will still be the most popular invoice type in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Printed invoices will be the most used in Finland, and e-mail will be favoured in Russia.
Study participants consider that information security is the most important aspect when it comes to e-invoices. They also expect that it should be easy to switch over to and that information on the service should be readily available.
However, the most effective way of getting people to convert is still by compulsion or strong persuasion - people will accept e-invoices if nothing else is offered or if there is an extra charge for the printed version.
"In Norway and Denmark companies have been very active in introducing e-invoicing, and the extra cost charged for printed invoices has also boosted the transition. Denmark also discontinued direct debit payments earlier than the other countries. Attitudes are changing in Finland, too, however, and the transition to e-invoices is picking up speed," says Pulli.