Despite growing adoption of electronic billpay by consumers, most businesses still pay the old-fashioned way: paper - and it's likely to stay that way for some time. But what makes B2B checks so unwieldy isn't just the paper, it's that each payment can come with several pages of instructions; these instructions lead to errors, exceptions and delays posting checks - and when companies are looking to save costs and boost liquidity, such inefficiencies and delays are not easily dismissed.

As a result, there's growing demand for advanced wholesale lockbox solutions that can read these lengthy payment instructions and translate them into an electronic format, says Bob Meara, a senior analyst at Celent. Historically, only the largest banks in the remittance processing game were interested in these solutions, but that's changing. Now some companies are looking to lower costs and achieve faster check posting, and some smaller banks are looking to move up market by offering wholesale lockbox solutions to their clients.

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