What is PEPPOL?

The PEPPOL network has an important role in the e-invoicing process. But what is this network actually? And why should you use it?

In this article, we'll address the following concerns:

  1. What is PEPPOL?
  2. Why use the PEPPOL network?
  3. What is a PEPPOL ID?
  4. How do I connect the PEPPOL network?
  5. Which documents can be exchanged on PEPPOL?
  6. Which companies are already connected to PEPPOL?
  7. Sending e-invoices to other countries
  8. Establishment of the PEPPOL network
  9. Bottom line

Need help with PEPPOL e-invoicing? Schedule a demo with one of our e-invoicing experts.

Schedule a Demo

What is PEPPOL?

PEPPOL stands for Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine. The European Commission established the network as a test project in 2008. Organizations now connected to PEPPOL can exchange business documents, such as various electronic formats, through the highly secured and safe international network.

You can see the network as some kind of telephone network for invoices. When somebody sends you a text message you can immediately recognize that person by their phone number.

The same applies to receiving invoices through the PEPPOL network. The receiver can easily identify the person - or company - that sends the invoice by their so-called 'PEPPOL ID'.

In other words: PEPPOL is an e-invoicing network that allows electronic cross-border payments to companies and governments worldwide.

Why Use The PEPPOL Network?

PEPPOL is a network for exchanging electronic documents between businesses and public sector organizations across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.

There are several reasons why organizations use PEPPOL:

  • Simplified Procurement: PEPPOL streamlines the procurement process, making it faster and easier for businesses to receive payments from public sector organizations.
  • Compliance: PEPPOL helps organizations meet their compliance requirements, such as the European Union's requirement for electronic invoicing in public procurement.
  • Efficiency: Organizations can reduce manual processing and eliminate errors, leading to increased efficiency and cost savings.
  • Standardization: PEPPOL provides a standardized way of exchanging electronic documents, ensuring that all parties use the same format and processes, regardless of location.
  • Interoperability: PEPPOL enables organizations to communicate with each other, regardless of the software or systems they use, improving interoperability and reducing barriers to trade.

Safety & Compliance

The number of businesses asking for e-invoices through the PEPPOL network is strongly increasing mainly because this network is extremely safe and much safer than sending invoices by mail.

This is because the network, as mentioned before, provides its users with a unique ID that can be used as a point of recognition, resulting in an automatic recognition process in every transaction.

This is why many European & Asian governmental institutions are increasingly asking suppliers to send invoices through PEPPOL. As such, many European and Asian suppliers are now, when doing business with the public sector, obligated to send e-invoices through PEPPOL.

Below you will find an overview of the countries that have adopted PEPPOL as their primary e-invoicing framework. Some countries, such as Malaysia and Japan, have confirmed the future usage of the network and are currently in development.

What is Peppol and where is it used. A full Peppol map.

To get access and send invoices through the PEPPOL network, you need to have a PEPPOL ID. You can read more about that in the paragraph below.

What is a PEPPOL ID?

As we previously mentioned, companies and governments can automatically identify each other with a PEPPOL ID.

A PEPPOL ID consists of a unique number, such as:

  • A Chamber of Commerce number;
  • A VAT number;
  • The companies bank account-number
  • The government identification number of the relevant government agency.

Thanks to these unique identification numbers, there are no more misunderstandings about the identity of the senders and recipients of invoices. Because of this, ghost invoices and typing errors are no longer possible.

How do I connect to the PEPPOL network?

To be able to send e-invoices via the PEPPOL network you must first be connected to a Peppol Access Point. These Access Points fulfill a similar role as Vodafone and T-Mobile do for mobile users.

Following the "connect once, connect to all" principle, once registered you can reach all PEPPOL users, regardless of which access points, they are connected to.

How Does The PEPPOL Access Point Work?

So basically, a PEPPOL Access Point is a gateway to the whole network. An access point will give you international access to all other parties using the PEPPOL network, and you'll have your own unique PEPPOL ID (like your mobile number) while on the network.

You can sign up with one of the over 200 certified Access Points available to gain complete access to the network.

The whole system involves the following four parties:

  • The sender
  • The recipient party
  • The Access Points of both parties
Peppol Access Point 4 Corner Model Storecove

Which documents can be exchanged on PEPPOL?

Countries from all over have set up their own unique e-invoice systems, which means that sending an e-invoice across borders can be troublesome for companies. For instance, Sweden uses Svefaktura, EHF is Norway's e-invoice format, and NemHandel is used in Denmark. To send an e-invoice from one of these countries to the other would require the sender to convert to the recipient's format.

This is time-consuming and can lead to a financial loss for the sender.

But for the public sector, the EU has mandated using PEPPOL invoices as a standard. Thus, PEPPOL replaces national standards with multinational/international standards.

This streamlines trade across Europe and makes e-invoicing much simpler than it would've been otherwise.

Besides sending and receiving e-invoices, you can use the network to:

  • Exchange electronic orders;
  • Confirm orders;
  • Catalog goods;
  • Ship documents;
  • Exchange timecards;
  • Receive invoice responses.

Sending PEPPOL e-invoices to other countries

Need to send e-invoices to other countries? Many companies have difficulties with this process. It doesn’t help that almost every country created its own e-invoicing format, such as UBL, ZUGFeRD, Factur-X, FatturaPA, Finvoice, EHF, Svefaktura, BIS V2, and many more.

If, for example, you are a German company that needs to send an e-invoice to the Italian government, you must send FatturaPA invoices. Germany, however, has a different e-invoicing standard, called ZUGFeRD. This forces companies to find a way to create these invoices, which causes them to lose time and perhaps even money.

With Storecove however, you don’t need to worry about the other formats. We help those who need to comply with e-invoicing regulations but cannot do so due to different rules, formats, and networks. Simply connect, and we do the rest.

Need help with PEPPOL e-invoicing? Schedule a demo with one of our e-invoicing experts.

Schedule a Demo

Establishment of the PEPPOL network

The purpose of PEPPOL was to make foreign purchases easier for European governments. To this end, technological standards were developed that all governments in Europe could implement. Before the arrival of the network, international companies and the public sector used different networks to send and receive invoices.

The PEPPOL test project ended in 2012, but the non-profit organization OpenPEPPOL took over the developed components and responsibilities. The network is now being used by various European governments, service providers, and private companies and can also count on interest from outside the EU.

PEPPOL is not an eProcurement platform. It built on the already existing eProcurement systems - which were previously unable to communicate with each other - by linking them to each other with a new IT infrastructure.

Bottom Line

PEPPOL has brought trading parties together like never before. It has revolutionized how people worldwide, specifically in the EU, do business.

The e-invoicing mechanism created by the PEPPOL network is safer, more efficient, and less expensive than conventional options.

Many see it as the next step towards establishing a truly globalized economy where every party can trade freely without border constraints and invoicing troubles.

If you want to set up your PEPPOL account or create an automated invoicing system, feel free to reach us at Storecove!

Schedule a Free Video Call

For Large Enterprises & Software Providers: Need help with connecting to PEPPOL? Or do you want assistance with automatizing your invoicing process?

Schedule a demo with one of our e-invoicing experts.

More information about PEPPOL

Do you want to know more about e-invoicing on the PEPPOL network?

Call us on: +31 (0) 20 261 17 91 or send an e-mail to: helpdesk@storecove.nl

Read also:


Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required