Around one billion invoices are sent each year in Switzerland, the majority of which are still paper-based. But using electronic invoices is easier and more eco-friendly. We answer questions about digital billing.
Paperless invoices: how to pay and manage your invoices digitally with ease
Keep getting warnings because you forgot about invoices you received by post or e-mail? Are piles of paper invoices just stacking up at home? We’ll show you how to go paperless when it comes to paying and storing invoices, and how you can say goodbye to tedious paperwork.
What are the different ways you can receive and pay paperless invoices?
More and more companies are no longer sending out paper-based invoices, and are instead e-mailing invoices in PDF format. For instance, you can view QR-bills with a QR reader or scan them in with your mobile phone, and trigger payment at the push of a button. What’s more, paperless invoices can instantly be stored digitally. eBill takes this all a step further. Here invoices go straight to online banking and can be paid in just a few clicks. You can download the invoice as a PDF and archive a digital copy.
Useful to know
Switch to eBill and help to protect the environment. A paper invoice actually generates up to 17 times more in greenhouse gases than, say, an eBill invoice. If you have a private account with e-finance, you can activate eBill and add invoice issuers with ease. Using eBill Donations, you can also select organizations you would like to support, and you can make direct donations in e-finance.
How can I digitize documents I still receive by post?
Ideally, you should use the scanner of a multifunction printer that provides a good-quality scan. Thanks to the automatic feed, even large volumes of paper can be scanned quickly. Printers also usually have a duplex scanner that automatically scans the front and back of the page. If you don’t have that many documents to digitize, you can also use a separate device or your smartphone. If you choose to do this, you can improve readability with an app like Office Lens or Adobe Scan. Tip: save your documents as a PDF or JPG file.
Useful to know
Not only can you scan in invoices, you can also scan in receipts, slips and letters to cut down the paperwork you have to deal with. But remember: once you’ve digitized them, make sure you don’t throw all your documents away. You should always keep the originals of documents such as certificates, financial statements, supporting documents, insurance policies, contracts, advance care directives, plus patient living wills, wills and any tax-related paperwork.
What are the benefits of archiving invoices digitally?
A digital archive saves space, and invoices are easy to find provided they’ve been filed properly. With this in mind, spend some time on your filing structure (see tips). Once you’ve created your digital archive, you can save eBill invoices or invoices you receive by e-mail in the right place. Whether you save your files to the hard drive or a cloud comes down to your own personal requirements. If you want to be able to access your archive on your smartphone when you’re out and about, opt for a cloud solution. Incidentally: if you don’t want to create and manage the archive yourself, you could also use an app like Fileee or Cloudia.
Four tips on digital archiving
- Create folder: create a folder on your computer with subfolders for invoices, insurance policies, finances, taxes and so on. You can then subdivide these folders, for instance invoices into mobile phone, TV/internet, electricity, car, health insurance etc. You can then also subdivide these subfolders into years, for instance.
- Name your files: give your scanned-in documents a clear name, for instance “Rg_Swisscom_November_2021” or “2019-01-04_receipt_coffeemaker”. Make sure you always use the same file name. This will allow you to find documents quickly and easily using the search function, without having to navigate through the folders.
- Save documents: save your data to a hard drive and/or in the cloud, and use secure cloud services, such as Tresorit or Wölkli, which encrypt your data and store it in Switzerland. Think of your own requirements before you decide because the prices vary substantially depending on the storage space required.
- Create backup copies: bear in mind that, in the event of theft or a fire, or if your hard drive crashes, all your files may be lost. With that in mind, make sure you create a backup copy of your documents, for instance using an external hard drive, a USB stick or a cloud backup.
How to activate eBill
Make your life easier and help the environment at the same time: activate digital eBill invoicing in your e-finance or the PostFinance App in just seven steps:
- activate eBill in e-finance under “Settings and profile” in the section “My services”. Click on “Payments” in the PostFinance App.
- Select “Activate” under the “eBill” service, then select “Register” in the next window.
- Select the accounts you would like to use to pay your invoices via eBill, and then confirm by pressing “Next”.
- Enter your e-mail address in the relevant field and confirm by pressing “Register”.
- You will receive a confirmation code by e-mail. Enter the code in the relevant field and select “Confirm”.
- Check your details and select “Confirm”.
- You are now successfully registered for eBill and can add the invoice issuers you would like.