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InvoiceNow Improves Business Transactions with Singapore Government Agencies

Through the InvoiceNow nationwide e-invoicing network, businesses can now reduce cost and processing times when they transact with the Housing & Development Board (HDB), JTC and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Launched by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2019, InvoiceNow is based on the international Peppol business standard, and invoices are transmitted over the Peppol document e-delivery network.

The network helps businesses improve efficiency, reduce cost, enjoy faster payment and stay green at the same time as well as allows businesses to transact internationally with other linked companies. InvoiceNow on Nationwide E-delivery Network complements the existing EDI connections to allow e-invoicing to businesses connected to the Peppol network. This allows more than 40,000 Singapore businesses that have joined the network to digitally transact with other Peppol-linked companies in Singapore and worldwide.

IMDA has been pioneering the development of digital utilities, such as InvoiceNow, to enable our businesses large and small to transact seamlessly in the digital economy. With the support from HDB, JTC and MPA, companies on this nationwide InvoiceNow network can now receive e-invoices from these agencies and benefit from going digital. I urge businesses that have not yet switched to e-invoicing to join InvoiceNow.

Regarding the involvement of banks in InvoiceNow, InvoiceNow is supported by the Association of Banks (ABS) in Singapore. Supporting banks are working on solutions that allow users to flip InvoiceNow invoices to payment directly cutting down on complexity and reducing business friction.

As part of efforts to drive digital transformation and help Singapore businesses seize opportunities in the digital economy, IMDA worked with HDB, JTC and MPA to enable the agencies to issue e-invoices for direct receipt into their business customers’ accounting systems through InvoiceNow. Collectively, HDB, JTC and MPA represent 70% of public sector invoicing, and every month the agencies’ 25,000 business customers receive more than 49,000 invoices.

E-invoicing enables businesses to digitalise the way they transact, reducing the amount of time and effort in re-keying the data into their own systems, saving up to $8 per invoice processed and enjoying faster processing times when sending their own e-invoices. This will also enable our businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

In tandem with digital transformation efforts of the maritime industry, MPA partnered with IMDA to embark on InvoiceNow. This serves as an additional platform for their customers to receive invoices digitally via the Peppol network with greater efficiency. This will help more maritime companies accelerate the adoption of electronic business processes.

OpenGov Asia reported the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) are also investing close to S$70 million to support “cutting-edge” communications and connectivity research. Mr Heng noted that SGTraDex will onboard stakeholders along the supply chain, especially smaller firms, so they can be part of this digital backbone. SGTraDex will also enable new value-added services for supply chain participants and speed up the processing of customs clearance, trade financing, insurance, and other related activities, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

SGTraDex was conceptualised by the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Supply Chain Digitalisation which will be anchored through a public-private partnership. SGTraDex is a digital infrastructure that facilitates trusted and secure sharing of data between supply chain ecosystem partners. Globally, there is a macro shift in trade flows and supply chains both physically and digitally. There have been momentous inefficiencies in events, documentation and financial information flows across the supply chain.

SGTraDex aims to streamline information flows across a fragmented global supply chain ecosystem through a common data highway. With this digital transformation, companies will gain the momentum to build a stronger and robust supply chain ecosystem for international trade flows. New efficiencies and opportunities will be unlocked through this collaboration where ecosystem partners come together to achieve shared visibility of the end-to-end supply chain.

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