How to Vet Your Legal Payment Processing Provider

In today’s legal landscape, customer expectations are reaching new heights, fostering a worldwide digital revolution across man sectors. The legal realm is no exception to this transformative wave. 

Modern legal clients are seeking convenience and flexibility. They want a swift, hassle-free, and secure payment experience. Interestingly, their desires go beyond mere alternative payment methods—70% of clients are keen on flexible payment plans as well. 

Law firms can fulfill these demands with the right legal practice management software. So, how do you identify the ideal solution? Delve into this guide to unearth the answers. 

Understanding legal billing software and types of epayments  

With legal payment solutions like Clio Payments, clients can effortlessly settle their dues through credit cards, debit cards, or eChecks, heralding a cashless era in the legal landscape.  

In the realm of online payment software, credit and debit card payments share a common processing mechanism. Yet, nuances exist between them. Debit transactions generally entail lower processing fees, a distinction worth noting.  

This sophisticated software contacts the card issuer, validating the card’s legitimacy and ensuring sufficient available credit or funds. Once confirmed, the payment is executed, and a payment receipt is delivered to the payee.  

An eCheck, also known as an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), mirrors the concept of a paper check. This digital promise hinges on a checking account and routing numbers, a modern iteration of the traditional.  

Here’s the twist: an eCheck navigates the digital realm through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, powered by legal payment processing software.  

Whether you opt for credit card avenues, automated recurring payments, or delve into debit card and eCheck realms, the offering of multiple payment methods is pivotal. What was once an extra perk has morphed into an anticipated standard, a service to cater to the clients’ evolving needs.  

Leveraging the benefits of legal payment software  

Beyond offering credit, debit, and eCheck/ACH online payment options, firms integrating legal payment processing systems can: 

  • Provide flexible payment plans  
  • Accommodate trust payments  
  • Adhere to trust accounting regulations  
  • And more 

As per the 2020 Legal Trends Report, firms that harnessed online payments, client portals, and client intake and CRM software witnessed a remarkable 6% year-over-year growth during the pandemic’s throes. These pioneers also reaped nearly 40% higher revenue per lawyer than their counterparts sans these technologies.  

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Legal Trends Report validates that growing firms are 37% more likely to embrace online payments. 

This software streamlines backend processes, reducing the time spent on cumbersome administrative tasks, thereby bolstering operational efficiency within the firm. Once a client makes a payment, the system automatically updates the corresponding billing records, so nothing falls through the cracks.  

The top benefit of legal payments software, however, might just be improved bill collection. Innovative online payment systems enable passive bill collection, removing the need for a physical presence at the firm to process payments. Clients can conveniently pay remotely, a pivotal shift in client-firm dynamics. 

Finding the right online legal payments solution 

There are plenty of options available, but armed with the right questions, you’ll make an informed choice. As you evaluate potential legal payment software providers, be sure to ask these questions:  

  1. How does your software manage trust accounting?

Maintaining IOLTA trust compliance and segregating earned and unearned funds are central to the best legal billing software. The system should adeptly manage client trust payments, ensuring segregation from the firm’s operating funds.  

  1. Does your software integrate with practice management?

Seamless integration between legal payment processing software and your practice management system paves the way for streamlined, error-resistant operations, from transaction posting to syncing records with your accounting platform. Clio Payments operates seamlessly within Clio Manage.  

  1. What payment methods can my firm accept?

Diversity rules the realm of payment options, and offering multiple online avenues—credit card, debit card, and eCheck/ACH—creates a flexible, client-centric experience. 

  1. Can I establish payment plans and recurring charges?

Client-centered payment experiences, encompassing payment plans and recurring charges, alleviate the financial strain for clients associated with legal services, ultimately enhancing accessibility to the legal system overall.  

  1. What are the software’s fees?

Transparency is paramount when looking at online payment solution fees. Understanding the various charges—monthly, per-transaction, and those linked to specific cards—lays the foundation for the best choice for your law firm.  

  1. How does the software ensure payment security?

Protecting client data is non-negotiable, and PCI compliance is key. Opt for a software provider that assures the secure processing, transmission, and storage of client card details, all in compliance with PCI standards.  

  1. How swiftly can I start accepting payments?

Ease of implementation is a linchpin when considering potential software providers. A user-friendly online payment solution expedites the transition, enabling swift processes, real-time tracking, and data-driven insights. 

The Clio Advantage: A Seamless Legal Payment Processing Solution  

Clio Payments embodies a client-centered approach, ensuring seamless collections by empowering clients to settle their dues with ease. Operating within the robust Clio Manage framework, Clio Payments paints a new picture of transparent, swift collections, all with a real-time transaction overview.  

In contrast to the convoluted fee structures prevalent in the industry, Clio Payments champions transparency, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness. Hidden fees become a relic of the past, leaving you with a straightforward, rewarding experience. 

Transform your legal practice with online payments  

If your law firm has yet to embrace online payments, you might be losing potential clients and expending needless time and energy chasing payments. A legal payment solution seamlessly integrates into your workflow, optimizing cash flow, expediting payments, and elevating client contentment. 

By posing the above questions to potential software providers, you’ll be better positioned to make a selection that aligns with your firm’s needs. This results in a partnership that resonates with your clients and honors your ethical commitments. 

Learn more about how Clio can amplify your firm’s efficiency: Book a Demo to see Clio Payments in action. 

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