Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Paying for paper

The migration from the old habit of de-electronizing invoices by printing them on paper - and thereby loosing much of the valuable information - and causing a lot of cost for re-electronizing what is left of it - is gathering speed in many ways. Some examples:

- invoice receivers both nationally and multinationally are setting deadlines for paper or unstructered PDFs (really important to get all-to-all concepts and standards in place fast - to avoid fragmentation)

- invoice senders are charging consumers for paper - they have of course paid for them before - but now when it becomes visible the consumers are motivated to act in their own interest (help the service provider to cut cost)

- b2b invoice senders have also started to charge for paper invoices - recent example Shell (3€) and TeliaSonera (5€). What could be more natural and just for all- and more beneficial for the receiver who will not only avoid the hidden cost but also save in the region of 15-25€ per transaction.

These "negative carrots" are certainly needed to help the corporate mass market to derive the massive benefits from lower cost, faster payment, smaller credit risks and cheaper financing faster and move to the next step - automated and real time accounting.

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