Faced with mounting financial losses, the USPS has been downsizing its locations, hours of operation and standards of service. In 2012, 48 locations were consolidated, followed by 92 more in 2013. Accounts receivable departments have been left preparing for slower mail and figuring out how it might affect the way they process paper check payments. According to the 2013 AFP Electronic Payments Survey, 75% of organizations have not taken any steps to address the expected (or proposed) changes. Considering USPS' mounting financial losses, businesses need to encourage their customers to shift from checks to electronic forms of payments.
For the most part, AR teams have already absorbed most of the effects of the cutbacks. But beware - additional changes will take place in 2014. Another 89 locations are planned for consolidation in February 2014 and the Postal Service will also cease overnight mail delivery. Furthermore, although the U.S. Congress temporary stopped the USPS' proposal to eliminate Saturday street address mail delivery, this is still in the works.
Potential impacts include:
Though remittance envelopes will still receive priority, delivery day/times will certainly change, forcing processors to adjust their staffing to accommodate the shift.
Slower delivery times will almost certainly result in an increase in late payments from consumers. Payment deadlines may need to be adjusted in order to better accommodate consumers.
Delayed payments and extra float time may be a problem. Many businesses are worried about the additional cost of capital that will come from the additional delay in remittance delivery.