SIA has launched the ‘Easy City’ electronic e-invoicing and digital payments platform in Italty targeting the public sector, consumers and business.
According to the Italian payment processor and infrastructure provider SIA Easy City is capable of managing the entire financial cycle of a public administration body, from electronic e-invoicing through to digital payments.
It is being launched ahead of the 31 March deadline in Italy when mandatory e-invoicing for approximately 2 million firms supplying the public sector must begin, impacting citizens and businesses that deal with Italian government agencies.
Starting on 31 March, the amounts to be invoiced for goods and services to any Italian public body must be transmitted exclusively in digital format. Tax and social services were initially rolled out on 6 June last year, with digital payments obligation for public admin bodies coming into force on 31 December 2015.
The SIA domestic platform has been approved by The Agency for Digital Italy as an accredited custodian of digital documents and is also approved for use by the National Association of Certified Public Accountants, Auditors and Advisors in Italy and the Italian National Association of Surveyors and Chartered Surveyors.
Health authorities in Italy’s Lombardy region and 49 other health bodies are also using the new platform, alongside 1,000 Italian pharmacies.
The obligation to invoice electronically the central P.A. bodies (ministries, tax agencies, national social security bodies) already came into effect on 6 June 2014. This latest extension applies to all local bodies not covered so far, such as local Italian health authorities, regional and provincial governments, the 8000+ Italian local councils and other public bodies.
In nine months, since the initial tax and social services rollout last year, over 2.7 million electronic format invoices have passed through the Sogei Interchange System, according to figures from the Italian Internal Revenue Service.
To support the public sector’s pathway to digitalization with regard to this first important regulatory deadline of 2015 concerning e-invoicing (the other is at the end of the year and relates to digital payments), SIA has designed and created “SIA EasyCity”.
This is the first digital platform in Italy which allows businesses and citizens to connect to Public Administration bodies, covering the entire financial cycle with a series of integrated services, from electronic invoicing to payments in multichannel mode, and providing the debit and credit situation to the P.A. bodies in real time.
With “SIA EasyCity”, bodies can handle in a completely automated manner all the phases of the electronic invoicing process through a web-based service managed by SIA in its role as enabled intermediary for the connection to the Interchange System (SdI).
According to figures produced by Milan Polytechnic, every year the Public Administration receives approximately 60 million invoices from around 2 million suppliers (40% of the businesses operating in Italy), with a total value of €135 billion. With the introduction of electronic invoicing, the P.A. can achieve direct savings of approximately €1 billion per year, to which are added the economic benefits for the Press release businesses supplying the P.A., equivalent to almost €600 million a year, taking the overall estimate of the advantages for the Country System to €1.6 billion.
The Project For Lombardy’s Healthcare System
Among the first local public administration bodies to adopt the electronic invoicing service supplied by SIA in collaboration with Lombardia Informatica, was the Lombardy Region, which launched a major project in the healthcare field at the tail end of last year.
After an initial experiment launched in Crema, Lodi, Vimercate, Monza, Como and Seriate, there are now a total of 49 health authorities in Lombardy which can send and receive electronic invoices, with a reduction in costs and timescales for payments to suppliers and an improvement in internal account reconciliation processes.
E-invoicing for Pharmacies, Accountants, Surveyors
Italian pharmacies are already using digital invoices as are a number of professional associations. SIA has signed an agreement with the company Studiofarma to offer the electronic invoicing service plus digital storage in line with the new regulations to around 9,000 Italian pharmacies – out of a potential pool of 16,000 pharmacies – and to the major distributors of pharmaceuticals. To date, the service has been launched in nearly 1,000 pharmacies, which already regularly exchange invoices with Public Administration bodies.
Accountants and surveyors are also getting ready for the 31 March deadline in Italy. Thanks to the recent partnership agreements, SIA’s electronic invoicing platform has already become operative for the National Association of Certified Public Accountants, Auditors and Advisors (over 115,000 in Italy) and for the National Association of Surveyors and Chartered Surveyors (around 109,000 members).
The Digital Payments Challenge
Another important regulatory deadline awaits all Public Administration bodies in Italy on 31 December 2015, when they must enable citizens to make electronic payments. Thanks to “SIA EasyCity”, banks, post offices, large retail chains, tobacconists, payment institutions and other payment service providers are able to connect to the AgID Payment Node to allow citizens to pay taxes and levies rapidly and securely in multichannel mode using all the most innovative tools available on the market (Smartphone, tablet, etc.).
This also benefits the P.A., which can analyze collection flows in real time, having available on a single dashboard the integrated accounting with the forecast data broken down by book items and the daily reconciliation of the accounting flows.
SIA’s new technology platform is one of the innovative initiatives supporting the development of the Smart Cities, with the aim of improving and simplifying the services offered to citizens and businesses. In addition to facilitating electronic payments to the P.A., “SIA EasyCity” in fact makes more accessible and efficient a whole series of activities that citizens carry out on a daily basis, such as payment of utility bills, purchase or renewal of travel tickets (mobile ticketing), payment for car parking and access to restricted traffic areas.
SIA granted Accredited Custodian Status By AGID
Among the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Italy is the dematerialization of documents, which represents one of the most significant initiatives to reduce public spending, in terms of direct and indirect savings.
Within the “SIA EasyCity” platform, a service for the digital storage of documents in compliance with law (for example invoices, payment mandates, financial statements, account books, etc.) has been developed, currently used by over one hundred Public Bodies, businesses and financial institutions. Recently, the Agency for Digital Italy granted SIA the status of Accredited Custodian, confirming the high standards in terms of quality and security of the company’s technology infrastructures.
“With the launch of SIA EasyCity, we confirm our role as facilitator in the process of digitalization of the Italian Public Administration,” said Francesco Orlandini, Public Sector Division Director of SIA. “We have developed a system platform according to a standardized, interoperable logic which we believe can contribute to increasing the efficiency and reducing the management costs of the P.A., in addition to simplifying interaction between the public sector and businesses and citizens.”