American Payment Systems and Solutran partner to reduce check-acceptance costs for utilities

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., June 13, 2003 — American Payment Systems (APS), which provides walk-in bill payment service for half of the nation’s leading utilities and similar bill issuers, selected treasury management service provider Solutran® to provide returned-check management and check-loss prevention services to its customers.

The agreement adds Solutran’s returned-check consolidation (RCC) and electronic check re-presentment (RCK) services to APS’s core bill payment services, which allow utilities and other similar bill-issuing companies to give their customers the flexibility of paying their bills at more than 9,000 APS retail locations across the nation.

“Solutran’s unique combination of return-check processing and online account management tools will help give our customers greater control over returned checks.” said Andy Aziz, director of banking, American Payment Systems. “Solutran was clearly the company to partner with for this service. Their Web-based reporting and online check-imaging technology set them apart.”

Approximately 34 percent of transactions processed by APS on behalf of its utility and other customers are check transactions. Of that percentage, roughly five percent are returned for insufficient funds or because of checking account closures, which contributes significantly to the overall costs of accepting check payments.

With the addition of Solutran’s Web-based returned-check reporting capabilities, utilities and other APS customers will be able to see and track — on a check-by-check basis — where each item is in the returned-check management process. In addition to the enhanced visibility on check status, the real-time nature of the returned-check information provided by Solutran and APS will give APS customers the ability to more quickly and proactively address issues such as fraudulent check activity or delinquent accounts, thereby enhancing the bottom line.

Using a co-branded version of Solutran’s Web-based reporting system, APS’s utility customers will be able to access returned-check information quickly and efficiently. Utilities and other billers will have an online, real-time audit trail of every returned-check item received at Solutran and will be able to view reports, run check queries, and view high quality digital images of all returned checks directly from their PCs.

“Just as large retailers use customized returned-check management services to strip many of the costs out of check acceptance, utilities can employ these services to make the check an even more viable and cost-effective method of accepting a consumer payment,” said Joe Keller, president of Solutran. “We are pleased to partner with a leader like APS to bring these check-management options to this industry.”

About American Payment Systems

APS is a provider of bill payment processing for customers who want the convenience of paying in-person. APS employs over 180 people and serves over 90 utilities and billers in 44 states through a network of over 9,000 retail locations- including leading supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores, and check cashing outlets. These agents collectively process over 100 million payments totaling $8.5 billion annually. APS was founded in 1990 in New Haven CT by United Illuminating with the purpose of automating the walk-in bill payment process. Since then, APS has been an innovator in the industry and has introduced products that have improved bill payment processing and accuracy. For more information, visit the APS web site at or call 203.679.4400.

About Solutran

Since 1984, Solutran has provided a full range of treasury management solutions to businesses that process a high-volume of consumer payment transactions. Solutran’s customized solutions span the payment spectrum, from paper check processing and conversion to fully electronic payment processing. Services offered include depository processing, accounts receivable conversion, controlled disbursement services and returned check management and conversion services. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Solutran has 70 employees at its corporate office and maintains relationships with ten affiliate processing centers across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit Solutran’s web site at or call 888.SOLUTRAN (888.765.8872).

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