Reinventing the Postal Sector in an Electronic Age
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Reinventing the Postal Sector in an Electronic Age

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

This compilation of original essays by an international cast of economists, regulators and industry practitioners analyzes some of the major issues now facing postal and delivery services throughout the world as competition from information and communication technologies has increased.
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Chapter 2: Invoicing in 16 European Countries

Kari Elkelä


Kari Elkelä† INTRODUCTION Electronic or digital invoicing has become an increasingly important research subject. It is the main challenge to traditional letter mail because invoices account for about 50 percent of paper letter volumes. Although for postal operators this has meant a gradual withering of traditional markets, it also provides an opportunity to extend services into these emerging markets. This change of market from letter to electronic mail has been studied for almost 20 years (for example, Nikali, 1998), but the most significant changes will be experienced during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Section 2 presents the targets of research and wide data from 32 subsamples. In Section 3, invoice definitions are specified and a generic model of utilities of electronic invoicing is presented. Section 4 describes the present state and future plans of sales and purchase invoicing for enterprises in 16 European countries. Section 5 is concerned with consumers as invoice recipients. In these two empirical sections both enterprises and consumers are segmented according to their invoice behaviors. The concluding remarks are found in Section 6. 2 TARGETS AND DATA The main target of this research is to examine the present state of future plans for, and prerequisites of, electronic invoicing in 16 European countries. The enterprise part of this study presents a general overview of the electronic and paper invoicing and includes both outgoing sales and incoming purchase invoices. The consumer part of the study concentrates on invoice reception. This quantitative study is based on comparative...

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