Both eBilling and eInvoicing refer to a payment demand, which is delivered electronically. However, there are plenty of differences between these two, as well.
Additionally, it’s definitely worth being aware of the numerous and various interpretations, which contribute to practical and terminology-related confusion.
B2B and B2C Context of eInvoicing and eBilling
From the business point of view, B2B transactions are usually made with a specific credit timeframe. For instance, payment within a 30-day timeframe. Therefore, B2B business transactions typically include and result in an invoice. On the other side, the common list of business-related details includes job references, codes/numbers, PO references, VAT and similar. All of these details contribute to our perception of an invoice being a specifically detailed, demanding, and complete document. Without any exaggeration, we can refer to it as the ‘King of Documents’. When it comes to B2C perspective, it is worth mentioning that in this business scenario a customer is being billed for immediate payment. In addition, there are fewer details to include in the bill itself, which fits its description as a much simpler document. Those are the very reasons, why Googling about eBilling gives you results for B2C-related electronic billing, with an obvious reference to phone or energy companies, for example. On the other hand, when you’re Googling about eInvoicing you’ll end up with results with the B2B “background”.
Individual context and perspectives
From the individual perspective, billing is associated with a situation when payment is being requested outside of the business environment. Therefore, billing is treated as a broader and general context, which differs from invoicing as a more detailed and complex operation. This is probably the main reason why Wikipedia describes eInvoicing or electronic invoicing as a form of eBilling or electronic billing. In this sense, eBilling is a term we almost exclusively use when we’re referring to the Accounts Receivable and supplier’s side of the equation. On the other side, eInvoicing refers to both Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.
Conclusion: eInvoicing v eBilling
In order to summarize the difference between eInvoicing and eBilling, we have to emphasize that business talks about more detailed, demanding or complex payments (which are typical for B2B scenarios) or simply as invoices, while less complex and detailed payments are more typical for B2C scenarios, or simply as bills. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that both eInvoicing and eBilling have an Accounts Receivable function. In other words, they deliver an eBill or eInvoice depending on the specific audience type in question and the business context:
- eInvoicing refers to sending/receiving of an electronic invoice dominantly in a B2B context.
- eBilling refers to sending of an electronic bill dominantly in a B2C context.
Finally, we can also use the so-called “umbrella term” to make a clear distinction between the two. That’s why you can say that eInvoicing represent a specific type of eBilling.