PEPPOL: Europe's commitment to e-invoicing

Mar 19, 2021 | Invoice Management

A major consequence of globalization. This is how you could quickly and directly define the reason why it was born. PEPPOL The term that is increasingly heard when talking about secure and agile online invoicing. In today's times, when communication is global and information and data are transmitted from one end of the world to the other in just a few seconds, it is essential that this is done securely. Therefore, the birth and implementation of standards such as PEPPOL represents an advance and a guarantee of communication for any agent involved in the electronic management process of any financial accounting process. Welcome to the new digital era.

PEPPOL What is it and what is it for?

First of all, it is best to define PEPPOL, what it is in concrete terms and all that it encompasses as a concept. The word stands for Pan-European Public Procurement Online and, according to its own website, "is not an e-procurement platform, but provides a set of technical specifications that can be implemented in existing e-procurement solutions and e-commerce exchange services to make them interoperable between disparate systems across Europe". 

In simplified terms, it could be defined as a security standard that, through open source software and a series of technical specifications, enables secure online communication and invoicing between the different agents in the network. Initially, it was conceived as a network to provide security for cross-border sales between companies and administrations (B2G) at European level. However, PEPPOL now also manages processes between companies (B2B) and even between administrations and clients (G2C). In other words, it has also become a guarantee for international trade.

Invoices, catalogs, electronic delivery notes... Any type of document is transferred through a network with a single common entry point for the agents. This is the main difference between the traditional system used before, EDI, and PEPPOL, which does not start from individual contracts between each supplier and the administration, but uses a common network for all.

How does the Peppol network work?

At its inception, PEPPOL was structured through a series of multilateral agreements that emerged between 2008 and 2012, while the project itself was being developed under the supervision of the European Commission. At the end of the project and given its success, the international non-profit association OpenPEPPOL was created, which is currently in charge of maintaining the service. A service that, in order to guarantee the security it boasts, is based on 3 technological principles:

  1. The eDelivery network itself, which connects the different systems of companies and administrations, enabling secure communication and transfer of invoices and other processes.
  2. The requirements and technical specifications to be met by the documents managed through it.
  3. The legal and juridical framework that the platform establishes for all its users.

In addition, as a company, in order to send, for example, electronic invoices through this system, you need a connection to an access point. This access point works in the same way as those used by cell phone service providers. Once the user has connected to the platform, he receives an ID which, after being verified by the network (which takes about a day), will allow him to send electronic invoices, UBLs and many other documents to the administrations and agencies involved.

And how do you know if the administration or company to which you want to send an electronic invoice is within the network? It is very easy. All you have to do is enter its name in the search engine on the platform's website and, if it is, it will appear.

easyap is also part of Peppol

It is so easy and simple that PEPPOL is no longer the only optimal and secure platform for instant online transfers between public bodies and companies. Companies like us, easyap, among the interconnection providers we have, Peppol is one of the main ones. After testing its reliability, we use it both for transactions with institutions and with other client companies. In other words, we also use it in both B2G and B2B commerce. We place our trust and the security of our transactions and financial transfers in a convenient and reliable platform, which is being used by more and more citizens, governments and companies.

Where is PEPPOL used?

Although the platform was developed under the auspices of the European Commission, it is now also used by companies and public institutions in countries outside the European Union. Without going any further, it can be used in countries such as Canada, Australia, the United States, New Zealand or South Africa, in addition to those belonging to the EU.

In fact, to highlight the success of PEPPOL at a global level, it is striking to recall the case of Singapore. In the small Asian country, in order to promote international trade and especially with European organizations and administrations, it has been the use of the network by offering companies subsidies of up to $200. 200 dollars.

Another example is GermanyEuropean economic powerhouse, where since April 2018 it is mandatory to use PEPPOL to send electronic invoices to any public administration. This was ruled by the National IT Planning Council and last November 2020 they went further, since by law suppliers of German federal administrations are obliged to send invoices in electronic format.

For both companies and individuals, dealing with administrations has never been easy. Even less so if the technological component is added. Procedures and documentation that, if managed over the Internet, can cause more problems. That is why platforms such as PEPPOL, to which more and more administrations and companies such as Easyap are joining, make life easier for the neighbor. Neighbors who, with globalization, may live thousands of kilometers away, but with whom, thanks to these technological advances, electronic invoicing can be managed in the most secure way in a matter of seconds.

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