M&T Bank (MTB) in Buffalo, N.Y., has been named the exclusive banker for its hometown Erie County, which was looking to cut costs.

Six banks had been managing Erie County's banking services over the past eight years. County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw in October issued a request for proposals for a single provider.

The comptroller's office manages more than $1.4 billion of the county's operating budget. It maintains 42 deposit accounts and disburses 17,900 vendor checks, 1,700 payroll checks and 9,700 direct deposit checks each month. It also processes 15,000 lockbox payments annually.

"M&T offered the best service at the best price" and will "help us eliminate a lot of paper from County Hall," Mychajliw said in a press release.

The $86 billion-asset M&T will use a web-based electronic payment system to cut back on paper checks. Additionally, M&T is going to institute remote-check-deposit technology and enhance its fraud protection to monitor public funds, including automated check and payee verification systems, digital ACH payment originations and wire fraud protection services.

Mychajliw is projecting Erie County will save at least $500,000 in banking fees in the first year of a three-year agreement expected to be finalized in August. He would have an option to extend the deal two years.

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