The History of Electronic Invoice

The History of Electronic Invoice

In conjunction with the enforcement of e-invoicing in Malaysia starting this August 2024, let us look on the worldwide journey of e-invoicing throughout the years.

E-Invoicing Evolution Timeline

1960s – The First Electronic Data Transfer

The first e-document was sent in 1965. Using electronic data interchange (EDI), a shipping manifest was shared from one company to another.

1970s – File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Introduction

Through the introduction of FTP in 1975, file transfer can be done using the internet.

1980s – Entering Manufacturing Industry

Various retail and car manufacturing companies began encouraging their suppliers to use EDI.

1990s – The Arrival of Modern E-Invoicing

Greater utilisation by major corporations that have implemented EDI systems, facilitating either one-way or two-way communication between business entities.

2000s – Globalisation and Government Initiative

Across Europe, the integration of e-invoicing into the legislative framework has been a gradual process. Several countries in other continents also required businesses to adapt to e-invoicing to carry out tax-related activities.

2010s – Entering Mainstream Market

E-invoicing platforms began to offer increased user-friendliness and integration with other financial software, offering more automated and streamlined solutions tailored to businesses of various sizes.

2020s – The Era of Cloud-Based Solutions and Automations

E-invoicing experienced a notable increase in usage, largely driven by the global pandemic, which accelerated the adoption of digital transformation practices across various industries. Cloud-based solutions became widespread, allowing for real-time invoicing, global accessibility, and improved collaboration.


The evolution of e-invoicing, from its inception in the 1960s to the widespread adoption of cloud-based solutions in the 2020s, has been shaped by technological advancements and global trends. With Malaysia set to enforce e-invoicing starting August 2024, it’s evident that e-invoicing has become an integral part of business operations worldwide. The recent surge in usage, accelerated by the global pandemic, highlights the importance of digital transformation, enabling real-time invoicing, global accessibility, and enhanced collaboration across industries.

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