You may have heard of remote deposits from your banker but never given it serious consideration. Do your customers pay with credit cards, checks and/or cash? If the answer includes a fair number of checks, using remote deposit may be a good alternative to a lockbox or sending an employee to the bank each day.
Remote deposit goes by different names in each institution but essentially you have a small desktop scanner that copies the front and back of the customer checks and transmits the deposit to the bank electronically. Some systems provide the ability to capture payment information that can be pushed into your AR system to apply the checks. That information typically identifies the customer, invoice and amount paid to the invoice.
I first used remote deposit in a ready mix company. We utilized mechanics liens extensively and at times exchanged lien releases for checks. We also often had to meet the customer and sign over a joint check in exchange for a payment on the same project. This resulted in checks flowing into the office throughout the day not just when the mail arrived. By scanning the checks to the bank we were able to get the checks deposited throughout the day without having to store undeposited checks overnight or send an employee to the bank with a deposit. COD cash did cause physical bank deposits but that was not a daily concern.
I have also used remote deposits for decentralized deposits. When checks are received at decentralized locations, a scanner can be used to quickly deposit the check and avoid sending local employees to the bank. Prior to using the scanners, the policy had been to mail the check to the company’s lockbox, adding 2-3 days of mail time and delaying visibility to the credit function.
Your bank has an array of deposit tools which are worth exploring. I found remote deposit to be a significant timesaver for the firms where I deployed this technology.