Why is e-invoicing not the same as a PDF?

| 6-9-2017 | PowertoPay – Unified Post | Sponsored Content |

When they hear e-invoicing, companies often think that this is sending invoices by e-mail. However, e-invoicing is more than that. Not only sending the invoice is part of this, but also the electronic booking, payment and collection of the money belongs to this process. Electronic invoicing leads to a major save of costs. For the sender, but especially for the receiver. Since e-invoicing is digitalizing invoicing for the sender as well as the receiver, a PDF-invoice is not seen as electronic invoicing.

When receiving a PDF the receiver still has to, with or without the help of OCR software, manually put data into a systems or he has to correct it. In the case of e-invoicing, the receiver gets all the data electronically which can be automated with their accounting systems. Manual input is not necessary anymore and the control of the content of the invoice can be automated.


When a sender decides to do e-invoicing instead of just sending a PDF, there is a world of benefits for the entrepreneur. First of all, e-invoicing is like registered post but then faster. You always know for sure that the invoice is received and you’re always being informed about that. Since the payment period usually starts at the moment the invoice is registered, the e-invoice can shorten the payment period with a couple of days.  Without intervention of the post or post rooms or other internal departments, the e-invoice lands directly into the financial system of the receiver. Reminders can be sent automatically and payment options can be built into the invoice or reminder. E-invoices can be simply archived digitally which makes them easy to find and this way they’re always accessible within the organization. With e-invoicing you are ready for the future. It’s only a matter of time until receivers don’t want to receive invoices any other way. The (Dutch) government even made e-invoicing (so not PDF’) mandatory as from the 1st of January.

E-invoicing Method

Paper invoices and PDF invoices via e-mail are most of the time directly exchanged between two parties. Of course this is the case with e-invoices. In this so-called two-corner model, two parties make arrangements on the e-invoice format they use and about the technical connection. However, there are a lot of different formats in the electronic invoicing world and that variety has a function. A format (invoice standard), often reflects the specific needs of a sector or collaboration. Every sector has its own order and invoice process, that one format can even be undesirable.

Billing Service Provider

In the three-corner model, a Billing Service Provider (UnifiedPost) takes the burden away for both the sender and the recipient in the invoice process. The sender that uses its own sector standards, the billing service provider makes sure that the invoice gets to the receiver in their correct format. Preferably electronic, but e-mail or post are also optional. Another advantage for the sender is that there is only one technical link that should be realized with the billing service provider. The billing service provider is taking care of different links on the receiver-side. By translating different formats, the billing service provider is making sure that the receiver receives all his invoices electronically the same way and that the authenticity and the integrity of the invoice is determined the right way. Billing service providers have got a large network and make agreements with (large) accounting systems.

Simple with great advantages

By using an billing service provider, companies can easily exchange electronic invoices directly with many providers from different sectors and suppliers. This requires one link (one-time setup) between the accounting system and the platform of the service provider. Small companies can also use a webportal for sending and receiving e-invoices.

If you want to read more about the services of PowertoPay or about e-invoicing please click the following link:

Learn more about e-invoicing with these facts and figures. 


PowertoPay – Unified Post

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Startup FinTech company Facturis and the traditional bank: How do they do it?

| 23-8-2017 | PowertoPay – Unified Post | Sponsored content |

Facturis, a partner of UnifiedPost, is an online platform that helps to optimize the financial situation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Netherlands. The platform facilitates a more efficient flow of incoming and outgoing invoices, debtor management, retrieval of digital debit authorizations, dynamic discounting and dynamic working capital credit. In this interview, Nico Ten Wolde, CEO of Facturis, is telling more about developments in the financial technical (FinTech) world.


How did Facturis originate from the Rabobank?

Nico: “Rabobank started a strategic orientation in 2010 to increase its added value and uniqueness for its business customers. Rabobank wants to provide services within the customers’ business processes whenever and wherever they are needed. Where Rabobank has traditionally focused on offering products such as transactions, finance and insurance, she wanted to offer services to support the full order-to-cash flow process of her customers. This goes further than the execution of transactions and the provision of funding. By offering different services that work in synergy on one platform, the customer has lower operating costs and a lower need for external financing. In order to achieve this, Rabobank has established a partnership with UnifiedPost in the form of Facturis. UnifiedPost delivers the invoicing platform technology.”

What is the target group of Facturis? What do you do to connect the product to this target group?

Nico: “Facturis focuses on the business market, with the primary focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These types of organizations need to obtain services from many different parties in order to optimize the financial and administrative processes. Because they buy services from different parties, there is insufficient insight into and grip on the overall financial process. By integrally providing services from various partners on one platform, we give entrepreneurs more insight into their financial situation. That goes further than sending invoices – it’s about getting bills paid as quickly as possible.”

Fin Tech initiatives – what changes?

Everyone talks about the changing role of the banks, partly through the FinTech initiatives. What do you think are the things we already notice?

Nico: “What I see is that 10 years ago a bank was the only place you would consider for financial services, this is no longer always the case. Think of FinTech parties like Adyen, which offer a wide range of financial products from banks and other financial institutions on a platform. The customer no longer deals directly with a traditional bank. In addition, we see a strong growth of (crowd) funding platforms. The financing is no longer obtained through a bank. More recently, several blockchain initiatives and the oncoming implementation of PSD2 will create new opportunities for players outside the traditional banking world.”

Why do you think banks will increasingly work with FinTech companies? What is the benefit for the banks?

Nico: “On the one hand, banks often have to deal with complex legacy systems which limit the possibilities to quickly implement new solutions. On the other hand, banks have to deal with implementing and maintaining new rules and regulations with the current processes. This makes it almost impossible to quickly implement innovations. FinTech companies can quickly launch new concepts for specific target groups. Through cooperation with banks, the power of the existing brand and distribution channel is optimally utilized. A win-win situation for the customer, the FinTech company and a bank.”

What was the biggest success in Facturis?

Nico: “The launch of the pilot Invoice Credit. The Invoice Credit is a dynamic working capital credit that moves along in real-time with the (outgoing) invoice flow of a company. As a result, the entrepreneur does not always have to return to his bank to make an adjustment on his credit line. Due to the flexibility of InvoiceCredit, companies can streamline the flow of money, thus optimizing their working capital. InvoiceCredit fulfils the companies need for a credit that reflects fluctuations in the invoice flow and that grows along with the company.”

What is your biggest challenge within Facturis?

Nico: “Our biggest challenge is to maintain the speed you need as a FinTech to be successful and to be able to continue to innovate. Laws, regulations and legacy systems sometimes limit the speed to launch new services quickly within large corporate organizations. In cooperation with large organizations, such as banks, we face the challenge of balancing speed and adopting new banking services.”

How has such a creative thinking startup within the (traditional) bank been adopted so well?

Nico: “On the one hand, with a lot of missionary work within Rabobank in the form of presentations and writing many memo’s to convince the right stakeholders inside and outside the Rabobank. On the other hand, the arrival of Wiebe Draijer (Chairman of the Board of Rabobank) helped us greatly with the adoption of Facturis within the Rabobank. With the establishment of a FinTech & Innovation department, Rabobank made a clear choice for the adoption of FinTech companies in the future.”

What do you think is the most successful FinTech initiative in the market?

Name 1 launched and 1 that has not yet been launched.

Nico: “Launched: Kabbage: Kabbage is an American FinTech that can assess a consumer’s or SME’s financing request within a few minutes.

Not launched: Easytrade, an innovative currency hedging solution for hedging currency risks of (international) companies. Easytrade is a new FinTech initiative created by Rabobank Moonshot Program, an internal acceleration program aimed at realizing the advancing ideas of employees.”

What do you think are the most important FinTech developments in the near future?

Nico: “In the coming years, I see major changes in risk management. Through the application of AI and machine learning, we are able to better estimate risks and utilize opportunities with a much larger predictive ability. This has a positive impact on customers, we can deliver services exactly when the customer needs them. In addition, integrating blockchain initiatives and virtual currencies within the financial sector will take a huge run. With the implementation of PSD2, it is possible for FinTech companies to combine the old world and the new world. This allows for gradual adoption
of these new developments for customers.”

PowertoPay – Unified Post

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7 reasons why you should do e-invoicing too

| 30-6-2017 | Mark van de Griendt | PowertoPay – UnifiedPost – Sponsored content |

E-invoicing is more than just a PDF that you send via e-mail. It’s a fully-automated process that enables receivers to get the invoice directly into their financial system. In this blog our expert Mark van de Griendt van Power toPay/Unified Post has summed up some of the key benefits for senders and receivers of electronic invoices.

Key benefits

1. Shorter payment periods: Since with e-invoicing invoices are being processed faster, they can be paid sooner. E-invoices are directly sent to the financial system, which make the chance that they end up in the wrong hands almost impossible.

2. Lower costs, fewer actions: Saving money on things as paper, ink and post stamps. Sending a paper invoice is 57% more expensive than e-invoicing and receiving a paper invoice is even more than 60% more expensive than receiving an e-invoice (Billentis).

3. E-invoice is delivered directly with confirmation of reception: Since you can track whether the invoice is delivered or not, it’s easier to have a clear insight of the status of your invoices sent. Now that you know for sure that the receiver actually received their invoice, you can confidentially do a follow up (if not automated).



4. Contributing to durability: Of course less paper is good for the environment. An e-invoice solution will remove at least 80% of paper from most accounting departments. Replacing unnecessary waste of paper by electronic invoicing, will save a lot of paper which means more trees.

5. No more need of manual input or scan recognition software
The the e-invoices are automatically loaded into financial system of the receiver. That is why manual input is not necessary anymore since all the data of the invoice are correctly loaded into the position where it needs to end up at. Scan recognition software is basically built in e-invoicing, since data is automatically recognized.

6. Safety – less chance on “ghost invoice”: A ghost invoice means that the invoice is fake. It’s an invoice for services or products which have never been delivered. The e-invoices are automatically checked on authenticity.

7. Clear insight into business processes: The financial department is very important to a business When it’s a mess, it’s stressful for the employees but it’s also bad for the prospects of the company. E-invoicing takes this mess away, since invoices cannot go wandering around ending up at the wrong persons. A clear and solid insight into the status of all invoices is a clear and solid insight into a company’s business processes.

Mark van de Griendt – Cash Management Expert at PowertoPay

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More articles from this author:

How to combat payment fraud

PSD2 is coming soon: Some information about PSD2 summed up.

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1 juli stopt GMU – hoe houdt u uw bedrijfsprocessen op orde?

| 3-5-2017 | Mark van de Griendt | Sponsored content |

GMU, het formaat wat al jaren door ING wordt gebruikt als formaat voor de bankafschriftinformatie, wordt vanaf 1 juli niet meer door ING aangeboden. Dit formaat wordt al tientallen jaren door ING geleverd en wordt ‘ingehaald’ door formaten die uitgebreidere (incasso) informatie kunnen geven. Wat houdt deze verandering precies in? En wat zijn oplossingen voor het verdwijnen van GMU?


Van GMU naar CAMT

Al jarenlang gebruiken klanten van ING GMU als formaat om bankafschriftinformatie in te lezen in hun systemen. Het is noodzakelijk voor een bedrijf om te weten dat als een automatische incasso niet kon worden afgeschreven bij de klant, welke reden dit dan heeft. Aangezien het bedrijf dan weet welke vervolgstappen er richting de klant genomen moeten worden. Dit werd dan in een bestand gezet (GMU formaat) en ingelezen bij het boekhoudingssysteem van het bedrijf. Hierdoor werd er zonder moeite of tijd een overzicht gecreëerd om te kunnen inzien voor het bedrijf. Indien u gebruik maakt van het GMU formaat, heeft het uitfaseren van dit formaat veel gevolgen. De opvolger van GMU is het formaat CAMT 0.53. CAMT is een formaat dat al enige tijd beschikbaar is. Waar GMU een Nederlands en ING-eigen formaat is, is CAMT is een internationaal formaat en biedt dezelfde, zo niet net meer informatie dan GMU. Zo kun je met CAMT de exacte reden inzien van een incasso die niet geïnd is. Aangezien veel huidige systemen om het GMU formaat zijn gebouwd, moet een bedrijf dus een oplossing hebben om ook na het uitfaseren van GMU het de bankrapportage in te kunnen lezen.

 Welke oplossingen zijn er?

Gebruikers van het GMU bestandsformaat hebben systemen die om het GMU-formaat heen gebouwd zijn ten behoeve van hun reconciliatie en daarom heeft het verdwijnen van GMU gevolgen voor deze bedrijven. CAMT bevat dezelfde informatie als GMU (platte tekst met codes), maar aangezien het een ander formaat is en dus een andere indeling heeft, kan CAMT (XML-bestand) niet in het huidige systeem van een bedrijf worden ingelezen. De oplossing voor bedrijven is tweeledig. Er kan gekozen worden om het huidige systeem om te laten bouwen door de software leverancier zodat het systeem CAMT kan inlezen of er kan gekozen worden om GMU nadat het uitgefaseerd is door ING alsnog te blijven gebruiken door een GMU-converter aan te schaffen. Deze GMU-converter zet CAMT bestanden om in GMU formaat zodat het huidige business proces van een bedrijf ongestoord verder kan gaan.

Systeem ombouwen van GMU naar CAMT

Om het huidige systeem om te laten zetten zodat het CAMT bestandsformaat ingelezen kan worden, moet de systeem leverancier van het huidige systeem worden ingeschakeld. Deze moet de functie om het nieuwe formaat in te kunnen lezen dan in het systeem ontwikkelen. Afhankelijk van zaken zoals het aantal gebruikers van het systeem, kan dit een complex proces zijn met een lange (ontwikkel) doorlooptijd en relatief hoge kosten. Aangezien deze optie vaak veel tijd kost, is hier meestal ook veel geld mee gemoeid. Het is natuurlijk erg vervelend als u bijvoorbeeld een systeemverandering over 2 jaar heeft ingepland, dat u dit nu dus naar voren moet halen aangezien het GMU formaat dus binnenkort gewoonweg niet meer geleverd wordt. Deze optie kost dus veel tijd en geld en hiernaast heeft het ook nog haast. Gelukkig is er nog een optie, de PowertoPay GMU-converter.


De GMU-converter kan het CAMT formaat overzetten in het GMU formaat. Het is begrijpelijk dat het best lastig is om over te stappen naar een ander formaat als een bedrijf al jaren op dezelfde manier de betalingen verwerkt in het systeem. Daarom is er een oplossing (de GMU-converter) bedacht om veel kosten, tijd en risico’s te besparen voor bedrijven die nog gebruik maken van GMU. PowertoPay biedt deze GMU converter. Dit gaat als volgt in zijn werk: PowertoPay ontvangt het CAMT bestand van ING, wij zetten dit om in GMU en versturen het vervolgens naar uw bedrijf zodat de betalingen op dezelfde manier verder verwerkt kunnen worden. Deze oplossing is super voor bedrijven die gewoon gebruik willen blijven maken van GMU. Maar ook voor bedrijven die wel willen over gaan op CAMT, maar wat meer tijd willen hebben om dit project rustig uit te voeren, is deze GMU-converter een oplossing. De GMU converter is qua kosten veel vriendelijker, aangezien een grote systeemverandering niet alleen geld kost om het te laten maken, maar ook veel geld kost omdat er vaak een project opgezet moet worden om een systeemverandering in de organisatie door te voeren (denk aan: trainingen voor het personeel). Hiernaast kunnen bedrijven vrijwel direct gebruik gaan maken van deze converter, en kan door worden gegaan met het verwerken van het betalingsverkeer zoals u dat al jaren doet.


GMU verdwijnt. Als uw bedrijf werkt met dit bestandsformaat, betekent dit dat u actie moet ondernemen. U kunt ervoor kiezen om het huidige systeem om te laten bouwen zodat u betalingsbestanden in het formaat CAMT kunt ontvangen. Dit is echter een duur en lang proces. U kunt er ook voor kiezen om na de uitfasering nog steeds te werken met GMU, door de GMU-converter van PowertoPay in huis te nemen.

Mark van de Griendt – Cash Management Expert at PowertoPay

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How to combat Payment Fraud

| 29-3-2017 | Mark van de Griendt | sponsored content |


Payment Fraud is one of the biggest threats to a treasurers’ reputation and career path in an organization. One of the most common ways to reduce payment fraud is to reduce human intervention and to increase the levels of automation in payment structures. With cyber-attacks and payment fraud regularly making headlines, treasurers must be vigilant in safeguarding financial assets. Only 19% of treasurers list cybersecurity as a critical concern. By contrast, 45% of CFOs name cybersecurity as a priority, pointing to a significant misalignment in CFO and treasury agendas in this regard (PWC Global, 2017).

That is why it’s really important for treasurers to know what they can do to reduce payment fraud. There are two ways to lower the risk of payment fraud in payment processing:

  • Increase the level of Straight Through Processing
  • Implement a Payment Hub

Higher level of Straight Through Processing
Corporates sometimes have hundreds of banking relationships and thousands of bank accounts, all managed manually on spreadsheets. Redesigning these treasury processes based on STP creates an integrated treasury workflow that streamlines processes effectively and provides treasurers with timely access to financial information. No more manual entries, no more errors.

Implementing a Payment Hub
A centralized payment platform combats payment fraud while also ensuring treasurers of having the money they need to manage day-to-day business obligations.

Some key benefits include:

  • Centralized monitoring and control
  • Flexibility and efficiency in payments
  • Reduced banking costs
  • Global Visibility
  • Easy access and more transparency

Please refer to our company page on treasuryXL or contact Mark van de Griendt if you’d like to receive more information about reducing payment fraud by a corporate payment hub.


Mark van de Griendt

Cash Management Expert at PowertoPay

Treasury Seminars in Antwerp and Montfoort – a short summary of two successful events

| 15-3-2017 | Treasury Services | PowertoPay | sponsored content |

The last two Thursdays, the PowertoPay, SWIFT and TreasuryServices Treasury Seminar was held in Montfoort and Antwerp. We’re happy to say that it was a success! We got a lot of positive feedback during and after the seminars. Both had the same content but were hosted on two different days. The first one was held in Antwerp, Belgium on the 2nd of March in an old monastery (Elzenveld). The second one was held in Montfoort, The Netherlands on the 9th of March in the Heeren of Montfoort. 

During the seminar several treasury topics were highlighted. After a short opening speech by Bas Huisman, co-founder of PowertoPay, we started with a presentation about the importance of bank independency. Arnoud Doornbos from Treasury Services was talking about financial history lessons but also the current financial situation that makes it really important for companies to look into bank independent solutions.
After that Rob Rühl from Next Markets presented his view of the influences of Brexit on the Dutch and Belgian economy.
Next was a presentation by Hans de Vries, PowertoPay consultant, telling about the end of Notional Pooling and Basel III. He also presented the Payment Hub of PowertoPay and how this is beneficial for companies.
After this Jan Vermeer from TreasuryServices talked about bank independent cash pooling through software, something TreasuryServices developed for companies who wish to operate much less dependent on their banks if it comes to cash management.
Last but definitely not least, we had a client case presented by Michel Steenbergen from DIF. He informed everyone about how the two solutions mentioned above come together in practice. DIF uses a combination of PowertoPay’s Payment Hub  and TreasuryMetrics from Treasury Services and created a perfect solution for their complex cash management processes. After both of the seminars we had a drink and some food with the participants.

Our Treasury Seminar was a great opportunity to inform everyone about the current situation of the financial world and how to participate in changes that are occurring. Being bank independent is becoming increasingly important because of the fast development of financial technologies and changing laws. What we see lately is that components of banking products and services are being redeveloped by the FinTech Industry. These FinTech solutions are smarter, faster and better. As a result we now see that different FinTech companies work together. Individual Fintech products often turn out to be complementary to each other. FinTech companies now recognize that collaboration with other FinTech companies leads to high growth and a better product range.

PowertoPay –  Claire van Ingen

Treasury Services BV – Arnoud Doornbos

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Brexit and the effects for treasurers

| 10-1-2017 | PowertoPay | sponsored content |

brexitBrexit is an ongoing issue in not just the financial world, but in the entire world. A topic which had lots of speculations, rumors and uncertainties. Although 2017 is going to bring us more clearness around Brexit, the exact date when Brexit is actually happening is still unknown. Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, said she will put Article 50 into motion by the end of March 2017. If she is able to put this article into motion, the actual process of withdrawal must be completed within two years. Anyhow, Brexit has its effects on the economy.

Netherlands and Belgium

Zooming in on the Netherlands and Belgium, Brexit will leave its marks as well. Because of extended research, Rob Rühl, director of Next Markets, is able to tell treasurers an update on what Brexit means for them. He is going to share his findings on a free Treasury Seminar, which is going to be held in the Netherlands and Belgium in the beginning of March. This seminar is hosted by payment specialized companies PowertoPay, TreasuryServices and the internationally known SWIFT. Since the results of article 50 going into motion or not are approaching, Rob Rühl will be able to update treasurers according to the latest developments. It’s important for treasurers to keep up with the latest developments to optimize their payment flows and thus to keep their businesses optimized. Or as Hans Leybaert, CEO of PowertoPay, looks at it; by focusing on smart Fintech solutions, platforms and ecosystems, you can create broad business opportunities that matter. Not just Brexit is interesting for treasures, but also think of topics as bank independency, cash management and Basel III which are important to learn about. More info and signing up for the seminar:  http://info.powertopay.com/sign-up-page-seminar


Claire van Ingen – Online Marketeer

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