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Created on 08.08.2023

E-bill: why it pays to share experiences

PostFinance provides companies with comprehensive support for introducing and implementing e-bills – including round table discussions at which companies can share their experiences with the digital invoicing solution. Nicole Walker, Head of Billing Solutions, explains in an interview why this is worthwhile for everyone involved.

Why does PostFinance hold e-bill round tables?

Nicole Walker: In our consultations, we have noticed that customers who work within the same industry often have similar challenges when handling e-bills. We encourage cross-company discussions through our round tables. We provide an opportunity for those responsible for the e-bill solution in their organization to share best practice, learn from each other and work together to find solutions that are beneficial to all. And last but not least, as an e-bill provider, we also benefit from the insights we gain from the round tables, as we can integrate them into our product development and communication. 

Profil Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker,
Head of Billing Solutions at PostFinance

What are the issues that most concern e-bill customers?

Networking between invoice issuers and recipients is an important topic. The more invoice issuers and recipients within an industry use e-bill, the more individual companies can benefit from the advantages of e-bill. The question for e-bill recipients is how to connect as many suppliers as possible to e-bill. This networking is most difficult at the beginning. However, as soon as a critical mass is reached in a market, e-bills become a matter of course within the industry. 

The first round tables have taken place. What conclusions have you drawn?

We have held three round table discussions with representatives from different hospitals. The response from participants has been very positive. It quickly became clear in the discussions that we are all in the same boat, facing similar problems for which we may be able to find joint solutions. Many therefore see the round tables as an impetus for further dialogue and for tackling projects together. Experience-sharing is beneficial to all. 

And a few more general questions: when is e-bill worthwhile for companies?

The latest point at which it becomes worthwhile is when the pressure in the company to make the invoicing processes more efficient starts to mount. This may be because the company wants to save costs or because the workload is too big. With e-bill, invoicing processes can be automated easily. As the head of finance or purchasing for a company, the first thing I’d do is digitize the processes for invoicing and receiving invoices. There is great potential in this area for companies: thanks to the high efficiency of the processes, businesses save resources and get their money faster. In addition, the automation of invoicing processes often provides the impetus to digitize other business processes. 

So what does this increase in efficiency look like specifically?

Let’s assume that invoices have been received in paper format until now. This requires great effort. The invoice has to be opened, assigned to an account and forwarded. With e-bill, invoices are processed automatically. The customer places an order, the supplier sends the goods and the customer receives the invoice, which can be linked to the order. E-bill reduces workload massively, increases efficiency and lowers costs. This pays off. 

E-bill reduces workload massively, increases efficiency and lowers costs. This pays off.
Nicole Walker, Head of Billing Solutions

E-bill is more widespread in the EU than in Switzerland. Will the pressure on Swiss companies to switch to e-bill increase?

It’s expected that e-bill will become a legal requirement in EU countries in the next few years. E-bills are also known as electronic invoices. It is my belief that this will also affect Swiss companies. Even if e-bill doesn’t become mandatory in this country, there’s going to be a push towards structured data exchange. Companies that are already familiar with e-bill will have an advantage. And we’ll be ready to help them with international invoicing, too. 

PostFinance held discussions about e-bill with representatives of the healthcare industry at a round table discussion at the University Hospital Basel (USB).

How do companies benefit when they implement e-bill with PostFinance?

We specialize in payment solutions and offer comprehensive advice in this area. Our e-bill customers have customer advisors on hand to provide them with individual support. They can also rely on the expertise of our technical specialists to help them implement e-bills, regardless of whether the customer is using a proprietary development or software for its invoicing processes, and regardless of whether the customer requires a simple process adaptation or has specific questions about the manual. In addition, we can support our customers with networking between invoice issuers and their suppliers. We take advantage of the fact that a large proportion of Swiss payment transactions go through us and that we can identify pairs of invoice issuers and recipients. 

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