Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s recent technology investment in end-to-end lockbox operations has improved its speed of processing from the time of receipt to the time of deposit by 25 percent, and the rate of straight-through automation to more than 70 percent.
These metrics are important indicators of BofA Merrill’s commitment to help companies by processing paper payments as efficiently and accurately as possible, and ultimately help them optimize their working capital.
“While today’s headlines commonly feature news about developments in electronic payments, a sizeable population of businesses of all sizes in the U.S. still prefer to make paper-based payments,” said Rodney Gardner, head of Global Receivables for Global Transaction Services at BofA Merrill. “We are proud of our performance and how our investment in technology has enabled us to expedite the processing of payments for our clients – regardless of whether they arrive as paper or in digital format.”
BofA Merrill consistently ranks among the fastest wholesale lockbox providers for mail receipt times as represented by the semi-annual Phoenix-Hecht Postal Surveys. In the most recent survey, BofA Merrill retained impressive national and regional mail survey results for all of its wholesale lockbox sites, including best postal handoff measurements in all cities. All processing occurs in-house in cities consistently ranked among the fastest-performing mail receipt cities for the U.S. Postal Service.
In addition, over the past year, the firm improved the timeliness and efficiency of the processing and depositing of checks by 25 percent, which ultimately can benefit clients in various ways, including reducing their days’ sales outstanding. This effort centered on BofA Merrill’s patented image-capture technology that eliminated the need for time-consuming mail sorting. All work is then opened, validated and deposited upon receipt, with limited manual intervention.
“As a result of digitizing our lockbox process, our clients are receiving straight-through processing rates surpassing 70 percent,” said Gordon Miller, Operations executive, Global Technology and Operations. “Furthermore, the reduction in tasks requiring human touch has led to an improved risk environment.”
BofA Merrill’s improved mail performance in Wholesale Lockbox follows recognition received earlier this year by Global Finance magazine in which the lockbox image capture technology was included in the “2016 Innovations” listing for process change in transaction services.
BofA Merrill has more than 70 years of experience providing in-house lockbox services, and today operates lockboxes in major cities across the U.S. and Canada. The bank also provides lockbox and other check collection services in multiple international locations.