At Tower Systems we do not charge our users to access electronic invoices from suppliers.
Two software companies suppling newsagents charge a fee to access supplier invoices. In each case, if the fee is not paid access to invoice data is blocked. This blackmails small business users into paying for software support so they can get access to supplier data.
Once the software development is done, there is no cost to software companies to provide access to the data so there is no reason to charge a fee. XchangeIT, the EDI service providor to newsagents, funded the development of the necessary software so there is no reason to charge newsagents a fee.
Newsagents ought to be very careful when considering systems and understand if such fees apply and take these into account in costing the software.
With the considerable changes coming in this area in 2009 there is a risk that newsagents will be caught by what I would call unfair business practices.