How does Peppol work?


Before explaining how Peppol works, let’s first explain what Peppol is.

Peppol (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) is an international network that enables businesses to exchange documents and data securely with other registered users.

A simple and effective way to process electronic transactions such as electronic invoices (e-invoices), Peppol was originally developed to make it easier for European governments to trade and standardise electronic procurement procedures from one country to the next.

More and more businesses are adopting e-invoicing thanks to the simplicity, security, time and cost savings it offers. A combination of this and the increased introduction of e-invoicing mandates, designed to help governments enforce tax laws more effectively and collect VAT from businesses, has led the Peppol network to grow. 

To learn more about Peppol take a look at our ‘What is Peppol?’ blog.


Getting started with Peppol

Businesses wishing to join and exchange documents via the Peppol network have the possibility to either set up their own Access Point or reach out to a certified Peppol Access Point – this being an organisation or provider who connects companies to the international Peppol network.

At present, there are around 200 certified Access Point Providers internationally; of which Unifiedpost Group is proud to be one.

Users are then assigned a Peppol ID by their Peppol Access Point Provider. Their Peppol ID could be their bank account, VAT or government identification number. Each businesses’ ID is unique, which eradicates any errors regarding the identity of those sending or receiving documents. 

To discover and link with other Peppol users, businesses can access the Peppol directory – a free-to-browse, Open Source service that allows users to find and identify each other’s capabilities. Users search using one or more search terms, such as:

  • Company name
  • Peppol ID
  • Country
  • Peppol document capability

In addition, users can search the directory via a number of optional fields including a company’s website, contact details and registration date.


How Peppol handles documents

The process of transferring documents via Peppol can be explained using the four corner model - named because of the four parties involved in the process: the document sender, the recipient and each side’s respective access points.

In addition to e-invoices, the Peppol network can be used to exchange almost any type of supply chain document including orders and order confirmations. 
Regardless of this, all data sent via Peppol must be presented in one of two Extensible Markup Language (XML) formats - simple text-based formats that are both human and machine-readable.

  • Universal Business Language (UBL) provides a standardised, royalty-free library of electronic business documents. Most accountancy packages are compatible with UBL.
  • Cross Industry Invoice (CII) is a standard that allows electronic documents to be exchanged between trading partners.


Making Peppol work for you

Offering simplicity, security and efficiency, bringing the benefits of Peppol to your business is easy. 

As a certified Peppol Access Point, Unifiedpost Group’s outbound solution ‘Channel’ (outbound) and ‘Collect’ (inbound) can connect you to a wide array of business-to-business and government organisations across Europe. Ensuring tax compliance in over 60 global countries, Channel can easily convert your e-invoices and other supply chain documents from any format into the format best suited to the network or recipient. Collect ensures that documents and data shared via the network can be easily received.

Like to learn more about e-invoicing via the Peppol network using our solutions? Get in touch to find out how we could make a difference to your business.