Businesses in the US are being encouraged to use a bank-provided alternative last mile service to speed up customer payment processes in the light of changes to the US mail network.
As the US Postal Service consolidates its networks to cut operating costs, the Sovereign Bank said this week that companies could reduce delays from payments sent through the mail by having cheques sent direct to the bank.
It has been running a series of regional information sessions for companies in the states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to explain to local firms how to benefit from Sovereign Bank’s Lockbox service.
Instead of a business having customers send payments to its own office, the Lockbox service gives the business the equivalent of a PO Box number within a bank address to which customers would send payments instead.
The bank said it makes frequent mail pick-ups from USPS processing centres on behalf of its business customers, before sorting the mail through its own high-speed equipment, for payments to be then processed and deposited straight into the business customer’s bank account.
USPS is currently in the process of closing 48 mail processing plants this summer, with a further 92 facilities set to close in early 2013 as it seeks to reduce annual operating costs by $1.2bn.
Sovereign Bank, part of Spanish banking multinational Santander, said it believed the consolidation of the USPS network could mean businesses suffering remittance delays as the mail network consolidation affects delivery standards for First Class Mail.
Mike Curran, transactional banking managing director at Sovereign, said: “Cash flow is critical to any business and much of the process is reliant on mail service. Sovereign Lockbox can help ensure our customers are protected from service disruptions and their operations continue to run smoothly.”
Sovereign Bank has seven lockbox processing centres across the US, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.
The company said it is currently offering discounts for new Lockbox services to attract new customers.
Source: Post&Parcel/Sovereign Bank