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Though “lockbox” is hardly mentioned in national elections anymore, the venerable wholesale lockbox is becoming a more efficient payment processing factory, and aggressive banks are building out their lockbox operations to provide more comprehensive receivables management solutions. “Our end-to-end process gets faster all the time,” boasts Doug Hartsema, managing director of J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. “And error rates keep coming down. Every year we beat our previous year’s performance. For banks that invest in the best technology, the product keeps getting better and better.” And just in time. With the current rocky economy and credit crunch, treasuries want quicker availability on incoming payments and are optimizing their processes to get it, reports Annette Hazapis, director of collection product management at KeyBank. That has modestly boosted demand for lockbox services, she says. “Some companies that have never used wholesale lockbox are now actively considering it.”

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