As banks continue to push corporate clients to handle payments electronically, they are showing less interest in processing paper checks and invoices at lockbox facilities.

Bankers say that offering electronic payments services enables them to offer a variety of other for-fee features, while the arduous work of opening envelopes and sorting checks is becoming less viable, particularly as people write fewer of them. This is especially true for retail lockboxes, which process consumers' payments to billers. And Citigroup Inc.'s deal in July to sell its entire operation to First Data Corp. shows that the same trends are starting to hit the wholesale business where business-to-business transactions are handled.

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