While the potential for e-invoicing has long been recognized by the banking industry, it has yet to be fully realized, according to a new report from Celent.
The report, titled "Navigating the E-Invoicing Service Providers," found that even though e-invoicing volumes are increasing, the level of penetration is still below 10 percent in most countries.
Celent says that while parts of e-invoicing are familiar territory -- such as format conversion and mapping -- there are so many formats available and so many providers that banks may feel it makes no sense to replicate what already exists. For many e-invoicing service providers, the range and accuracy of these conversions is an area they compete on, and so banks would struggle to compete with the service providers' depth, at least in the short term, according to the report.
One solution to this, suggests Celent, might be to acquire a solution, citing JPMorgan Chase's acquisition of Xign. However, there are some concerns with this approach, such as deciding which solution to acquire, according to the report. According to Celent, the best bet for banks may be a partnership with e-invoicing service providers, with the ideal situation for banks being partnering with multiple service providers, because no single provider is likely to be sufficient.
"Unless they work together, banks will never truly benefit from e-invoicing, and the service providers may find that, without regulatory intervention of some sort, e-invoicing becoming mainstream may remain tantalizingly close but ultimately unattainable in many countries," reads a portion of the report.