Treasuries continue to advance their collection strategies and streamline collection processing, less by relying on technology breakthroughs than by leveraging existing tools. For example, at $8 billion Henry Schein, a medical supplies distributor in Melville, N.Y., the goal is to buck the trend toward customers' paying with cards, encourage ACH debits, process check payments as efficiently as possible and live with the realities of the marketplace.

Overall, about 50% of payments arrive by check, 40% pay by card and the rest with wires and ACH, reports Timothy Ingoglia, credit director for corporate accounts at Henry Schein.  Card payments are "the most expensive form of payment we receive," notes Ingoglia. But a growing number of customers favors them, he adds.

ACH debits from business checking accounts are a small slice of the pie—less than 5%, Ingoglia estimates—but "we'd like to get that to continue to grow. Unfortunately, it's a slow process."

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