Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) refers to the structured transmission of data between organizations electronically. It is used to transfer electronic documents from one computer system to another, i.e. from one trading partner to another trading partner. Benefits can be seen in many areas, including reduced time delays, reduced labor costs, improved data accuracy and increased information accessibility.
North American standards are currently developed and maintained by a private not-for-profit organization called ANSI (American National Standards Institute). In the late 1990s, international format standards were established and introduced to facilitate business activity.