Recent trends show that more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to conduct financial transactions. The online statistics portal, Statista reports that, globally, online mobile payment revenue is expected to surpass one trillion U.S. dollars in 2019. With the increase in consumers using tech to pay for items in-store or online is it necessary for service providers, such as law firms to make provision to accept credit card payments via mobile devices?
In the 2017 Legal Trends Report, compiled by legal practice management company Clio, it was found that, on average, firms only collect 1.6 hours of billable time per day. Looking at the way in which law firms accept payment from clients may be one of the things that could improve that rather depressing statistic.
Credit Card Payments
As consumers, when we first apply for a credit card, there are several considerations that we take into account. These may include the interest rate and any rewards available. When we’re acting on the other side of a transaction, however, and looking at accepting credit card payments there are several other points to bear in mind.
As attorneys, we have to abide by stringent accounting practices, so we need to be very careful that any payment processing service we use can correctly separate fees. There are some programs that are specifically designed for attorneys that automatically make sure that funds are treated correctly.
As well as making sure that your payment processor is set up to deal with payments for legal services, you also need to look at the typical elements of a credit card processing service such as the interest rate and make sure that you’re not going to be hit with unexpected fees further down the line.
If, as consumers, we can pay for the goods and services we buy online or by using our cell phones, why shouldn’t we take payment for legal services in the same way? You could provide a link for a client to follow to make a payment at once or if you are face to face with your client, there are processing services that offer a mobile service whereby payment can be made via a payment app. Payment can be authorized and a receipt provided within moments.
If you make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay their bills immediately with a credit card, it’s more likely that the bill will be paid. An efficient billing system may help to increase your collection rate, and, hopefully, increase the average billable hours’ figures collected for the next Legal Trends Report.