Paper Still Reigns in Remittance

Companies are more concerned about posting payments the same day than establishing straight-through processing.

Though straight-through processing (STP) is often held up as the standard for handling payments and the related remittances, companies are much more concerned about receiving remittance information in a timely manner than in setting up STP practices, according to a new study by Aite. The research and advisory group surveyed 240 companies about when and how they received and sent remittance details on business-to-business payments.

“[Straight-through processing is] not something companies are demanding,” says Nancy Atkinson, a senior analyst at Aite and co-author of the study. “When the industry gets to point where more than 50% [of remittance information] comes to them at the same time as the payment, then they’re going to start to demand straight-through processing.”

Standardization continues to be a challenge for STP, Atkinson says, especially at smaller companies.

“What’s most interesting is, clearly paper still has a strong hold,” Atkinson says. “It’s going to continue to be used for a long time.” Though e-mail is gaining in popularity as a way to send remittance information, many companies still use mail.

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