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A hybrid wholesale-retail lockbox is making life better for San Diego County’s Otay Water District. Check payments that arrived at the traditional retail lockbox without a scannable coupon had been physically couriered back to Otay, normally resulting in a two-day delay. Further complications in posting meant that customers who had paid might have their water shut off. So Otay’s finance people worked with bankers at Los Angeles-based Union Bank (UB) to develop a “whole-tail” lockbox operation with online image access. Now virtually every payment is correctly applied the same day the check hits the lockbox, reports James Cudlip, Otay’s finance manager.

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