banks’ online invoicing services: Electronic invoicing
and payment of electronic invoices
Many Finnish companies offer their
customers an opportunity to receive invoices not on
paper but electronically, in the form of online
invoices. Online invoices sent to consumers are called
Most Finnish banks offer their
customers an opportunity to receive e-invoices to the
customer’s online banking site. By signing an agreement
on this service, the customer accepts the general terms
and conditions applied to the e-invoicing service and
the terms applied by the bank.
When signing the service
agreement, the customer receives an address from the
bank to which future incoming e-invoices are to be
sent. The customer may then give this address to
invoicers whose invoices he or she wants to receive to
his or her online banking site. The bank then sends the
e-invoicing address to the invoicers chosen by the
customer and keeps the invoicers informed of any changes
in the address, if the invoicers have made an agreement
with the bank about incoming-address notification
The invoicer sends an e-invoice
addressed to the customer to the customer’s online
banking facility, where the customer may check the
invoice and approve it for payment. If the customer
does not approve the invoice for payment, no charge is
posted to the customer’s account. If there is any
discrepancy about the payment, the customer is advised
to contact the invoicer.
All payments made in settlement of
e-invoices are transferred to the payees as
account-to-account transfers. When a payment has been
charged to the customer’s account, it can no longer be
E-invoice is an invoice devised by Finnish banks for
presentment to consumers online, built on the Finvoice
standard. The sender of the invoice sends an e-invoice
electronically to the recipient’s online banking site.
To enrol for electronic invoicing service the customer
has to make an agreement with the bank.
A facility provided by banks to their customers for
banking online which gives the customer access to
banking services and other service providers’ services
that may have been linked to the banking services, using
the internet or another means of remote communication.
Online invoice is an electronic invoice sent from the
invoicer’s system to the customer’s system
electronically. There are several online invoice
formats in Finland.
The invoice can be viewed on the
computer screen in a form similar to a paper invoice and
circulated for acceptance as required.
An online invoice may be used for
invoicing both businesses and individual consumers. If
the recipient is a consumer, the invoice is sent to the
recipient’s online banking facility and the invoice is
referred to as an e-invoice.
Finvoice is an invoice devised by Finnish banks for
presentment online. Finvoice online invoices can be
sent from the invoicer to the customer through the
intermediary of a bank. Finvoice is a solution equally
suitable for invoicing large, mid-sized or small
businesses or consumers.
Terms relating to
conclusion of contract
Agreement on e-invoicing
The customer and the bank agree between themselves on
the use of e-invoicing service. By signing an
agreement, the customer accepts the general terms and
conditions applied to e-invoicing service and the terms
applied by the bank. When the agreement is concluded,
the bank gives the customer an address for incoming
The customer/payer is the recipient of an online
Invoicer/sender of an invoice is the party that sends an
online invoice/e-invoice to its bank for further
transmission to the recipient.
An online invoice or e-invoice may
also be sent by an invoice processor authorised by the
The incoming address for e-invoices is made up of a code
that identifies the customer/payer of the invoice and
the bank. The customer identification code is the
International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the bank is
identified by the Bank Identification Code (BIC).
Address notification service is a facility through which
the recipient of invoices informs his or her invoicers
of the incoming address for future e-invoices.
Payer identification data
When informing the invoicer of his or her incoming
address for future e-invoices the customer also gives
other details such as customer number, mobile phone
number, invoice reference number or another number
needed by the invoicer to identify the payer.
Reason for invoicing
When informing the invoicer of his or her address for
incoming e-invoices, the customer also gives the reason
for invoicing where needed, eg in cases where the
invoice pays for a subscription to a magazine. If the
invoicer has several invoicing reasons, such as several
magazines, the customer sends a separate acknowledgement
of receipt for each e-invoice.
Other terms relating to
Direct debit is a service where the bank debits the
customer’s account, under an authorisation from the
customer, for the agreed invoices at the due date and
transfers the funds to the invoicer’s account. The
invoicer sends the customer a separate advice of
forthcoming debits to the account.
Some invoicers provide their customers with direct
invoice service similar to online invoicing. Direct
invoice is not a joint effort of Finnish banks and it is
not provided by all banks.
Direct invoice is sent to the
customer’s online banking facility, where the customer
has to approve the invoice before the amount is charged
to his or her account. The invoice data is stored in
the invoicer’s systems, to which the customer has access
through a link.
The customer makes an agreement on
direct invoicing with his or her bank.
Online payment or “button” payment is a service which
the customer may use for paying for shopping on the
internet to the debit of his or her bank account online
by means of his or her online banking facility.
After confirming his or her online
shopping, the customer can access his or her online
banking site with a click of a button and pay for the
shopping by approving a pre-completed form containing
the necessary details. After the payment, the customer
returns to the site of the online shop.