Educational Testing Service (ETS), the $1.3 billion company known for its SAT and GRE tests, had a problem: 20% of the checks sent in with applications were bouncing, and ETS was finding out too late to stop applicants from taking the tests and getting their results. So treasurer Jay W. Basehore and assistant treasurer Dawn Budd called in five top cash management banks to find a solution. Four proposed end-to-end solutions that didn't work. "They tried to fit ETS into a packaged solution, but none of them could tie a check back to our application," Budd says. The fifth–Mellon Bank, now part of Bank of New York Mellon–came up with a plan that was highly customized and manually intensive, but it worked.

Part of the problem was that the variety of application forms couldn't be read automatically. Worse yet, the name on the application was often a student's and the check signer was often a parent–two different names. "We couldn't type in a name and cross-reference it with an application," Budd says.

Now most of the applications and checks are routed to a BoNY Mellon lockbox, where the name of the applicant is manually keyed in along with the check number and payment amount. The crucial pieces of information are linked in a database that ETS can download.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.