How to active e-invoicing for consumers (B2C)

Important terminology

B2C E-Invoice (Business-to-Consumer E-Invoice)

A B2C e-invoice is an electronic invoice designed for consumers. Consumers must actively order these invoices from their Netbank. Apix facilitates the transmission of customers’ e-invoices to their intermediary bank (Nordea), which then distributes them across the bank network.

Sender Info Message (SI)

A Sender Info Message (SI) is an electronic message sent to banks to create a Sender Info Notification. This message includes crucial information about the invoicer, enabling consumers to order e-invoices directly from their Netbank. Information provided in the Sender Info Message can be updated later using Change Sender Info Messages.

Receiver Info Message (RI)

A Receiver Info Message (RI) is an electronic message generated by a consumer within their Netbank. Consumers use the RI to search for B2C e-invoicers (Sender Info Notification) from which they wish to receive e-invoices directly into their Netbank.

B2C e-invoice agreement opening instructions

The B2C e-invoicing agreement enable electronic billing for consumer customers through online banking. Apix Messaging Oy acts as the data custodian for e-invoices and transmits business customers’ e-invoices to the bank network. By completing the e-invoice agreement, the company authorizes Apix Messaging Oy to act as the data custodian. Subsequently, Apix Messaging can open an e-invoice transfer agreement for the company through the intermediary bank Nordea.

Summary of opening an e-invoicing agreement

In this guide, we use an example situation where there has been no previous electronic consumer e-invoicing.

  1. Submit completed and signed agreements for consumer e-invoicing via the Apix support request form. Apix recommends electronically signing contracts with strong identification. Alternatively, if electronic signing is not possible, a copy of your identity card must be sent as an attachment along with the contracts. Apix also requires the company’s IBAN (bank account number) and a trade register extract. If the company has previously sent electronic B2C invoices, please indicate this. In such cases, specify which bank has previously acted as the intermediary bank.
  2. Apix sends the agreements to the intermediary bank (Nordea) for activation and notifies you when the service is activated.
  3. Once the agreements have been activated by the bank, and if the company has not previously sent electronic B2C invoices, Apix sends new Sender Info Messages to the bank. Consumers can then find the SenderInfo notification in their own netbank and proceed to order an e-invoice. Apix will inform about the new B2C invoicing addresses once the SenderInfo has been processed by all banks.

    NOTE! If the company has previously sent electronic B2C invoices, Change-Messages should be sent to update the existing SenderInfo Notification with the previous intermediary bank. It is crucial to maintain bank connections with the old bank until Change-Messages have been successfully sent without errors.

B2C Invoicing Addresses:

  • New Sender ID = OVT ID (Previous B2C invoicing should be indicated in the “New sender address” field)
  • Intermediator ID = NDEAFIHH (Nordea). (Previous B2C invoicing should be indicated in the “New sender intermediary” field)

Everything is set for B2C e-invoicing after the New Sender Info messages or changes to existing Sender Info messages have been processed by all banks. Typically, SenderInfo messages take around 2 days to be processed by all banks.

More detailed instructions for B2C e-invoicing

What is a SenderInfo Message?

A SenderInfo message (SI) is an electronic message used by the invoicer to provide their billing information for publication in consumers’ netbanks. This allows consumers to identify billers who can send B2C e-invoices and subscribe to receive invoices from this invoicer in their own netbank.

The SenderInfo includes the following information about the sender:

  • B2C e-invoices sender address
  • B2C e-invoices sender intermediary bank
  • Sender’s IBAN account number
  • Sender’s name
  • Sender’s postal address
  • Invoice reason (e.g., rent, phone bill). These fields can be modified later using Change SenderInfo messages

If any of the information above changes, Apix needs to be notified via the support request form. If the company has previous B2C e-invoicing, Change Messages are the only way to ensure existing Receiver Info Notifications remain uninterrupted.

It’s crucial that the B2C e-invoice sender address and intermediary bank are correctly specified in the SenderInfo message. Changes to the intermediary bank must be made through the bank currently designated in the SenderInfo message. This is because banks have stringent information security requirements regarding the origin of changes to sender info messages.

The intermediary bank is the bank that facilitates the transmission of B2C e-invoices within the bank network. A company may have a different bank for payments.

SenderInfo messages also include a payment instruction identifier code, which cannot be altered afterward. The payment instruction identifier is a unique code that allows banks to differentiate one sender info notification from another. Banks cannot have two SenderInfo Notifications with the same sender address and payment instruction identifier. Typically, Apix uses code 1 when sending new SenderInfo messages.

Opening multiple B2C e-invoice contracts simultaneously

If you need to open more than one B2C e-invoice agreements at the same time, please ensure that we receive the necessary documents separately from each company, as outlined above. Additionally, we require an Excel file containing the following details for each company:

  • Company name
  • Company number (Business ID)
  • IBAN account number
  • Information indicating whether the company has previous B2C e-invoicing or not

Please provide this information as accurately as possible. Incorrect or incomplete information can delay the opening process.

Apix Messaging Oy will process the documents and take the necessary steps with the bank to initiate the opening process. The bank will handle the documents according to its internal procedures. The typical timeframe for opening contracts ranges from 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the number of contracts being opened simultaneously. Please note that service times can be significantly affected by year-end processes, so we recommend initiating the opening process well in advance of your requests.

Nordea will notify Apix once the contracts have been opened. Following this notification, Apix will inform the client about the contract openings. If the companies do not have previous B2C e-invoicing, Apix will send new SenderInfo Messages to the banks.

For companies with previous B2C e-invoicing, Apix will provide the necessary information for Change SenderInfo Messages, which must be sent from the previous intermediary bank. Bank connections to the old intermediary bank must remain active until the Change messages have been successfully transmitted to all banks.

What to do if the Change Sender Info Messages are not sent?

If, for one reason or another, the Change Sender Info messages fail, or do not go through the old intermediary bank – company representative must contact each bank separately, and request deleting of the old Sender Info Notifications. After that Apix sends new Sender Info Messages to all banks, with correct information.

In this case, old Receiver Info Notifications break off, and consumer must order a B2C e-invoice again after new Sender Info Messages have been sent successfully.

What to do if Change Sender Info Messages fail

If, for any reason, the Change Sender Info messages fail to go through or are not processed by the old intermediary bank, the company representative must take the following steps:

  • Contact each bank separately: Reach out to each bank individually and request the deletion of the old Sender Info Notifications associated with your company.
  • Notify Apix: Inform Apix Messaging Oy about the unsuccessful Change Sender Info Messages. Apix will then proceed to send new Sender Info Messages to all banks with the correct information.

In this scenario:

  • Old receiver info notifications terminate: The existing Receiver Info Notifications will be terminated due to the deletion of old Sender Info Notifications.
  • Consumers must reorder B2C e-Invoices: Consumers will need to place a new order for B2C e-invoices after the successful transmission of the new Sender Info Messages.

Termination of e-invoicing service

When the company decides to discontinue the e-invoicing service, it is essential to inform Apix about the termination of the e-invoicing service by submitting a support request form.

If the company transitions to a new financial management system that uses a different intermediary bank for B2C e-invoices, Apix can send Change Sender Info Messages to update the banks accordingly.

In cases where the company is ceasing e-invoicing services without transitioning to a new intermediary bank, Apix will send Delete Sender Info Messages to the banks. This action will result in the deletion of Sender Info Notifications from the banks, and consumers’ Receiver Info Notifications will be automatically terminated.