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6 Reasons Why Law Firms Won’t Accept Cards and 7 Reasons Why They Should

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Accepting credit cards and e-payments have become a must-have for both small and large businesses. Your clients expect you to take credit cards because it’s easy for them. So why do many law firms avoid transitioning from manually depositing cash and checks to accepting credit cards?  

Here are 6 reasons why we think law firms avoid taking the leap. And 7 reasons why your firm should accept cards. If your interested about changing your payment struction, explore our LegalPay with Monify page and contact us today with any questions you may have about our law firm payment solutions.  

1.       The cost of accepting credit cards is too high

We all know that businesses are charged a small percentage for each credit card transaction. Attempting to avoid this basic cost of doing business is, well, tempting, but your firm may be losing out on potential revenue, client acquisition, and client retention. If your clients think it’s too much of a hassle to pay you, they may look for someone who’s more accommodating.

Alternative – Deduct fees when filing for taxes

Instead, think about some of the benefits of accepting credit cards. Payments made by credit card are faster and reduce the aging of your law firm’s accounts receivables, which also improves cash flow. In fact, according to the NCSL, most states allow you to pass on some or all your credit card fees to your client, so you can avoid the extra cost entirely. Or, you can deduct those fees when filing for taxes—an option in every state. This is typically a sizeable deduction so don’t leave it out!

Let’s face it, today’s consumer (no matter what service or product they’re buying) values speed and convenience, and they’ll gravitate towards the law firms that provide that level of customer service and easy-to-use payment processing services.

So yes, there is a cost to accepting credit cards, but the cost of not accepting credit cards is even higher.

2.      It’s difficult to keep cardholder and sensitive data safe

When you start accepting credit card payments, your law firm is responsible for your PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance. It’s not mandated by law, but there are serious penalties involved with non-compliance — including both financial and long-term damage to your practice. To be compliant, you’ll need to complete an annual survey to make sure you know how to keep information secure and how to securely handle information.

Alternative – Work with Monify to make sure your firm in PCI compliant

Data security and data breaches are a common topic in the news. It’s the new reality of technological improvements. The good news is that LegalPay with Monify will work your firm’s staff to make sure that your firm is, and remains, PCI compliant at no extra cost.

Also, LegalPay has a tokenization feature that lets law firms store their client’s cardholder data with LegalPay instead of in their local network. Once the card information is safely stored, law firms can charge customers whenever they need to without the security liability, making LegalPay a secure payment solution for firms. Contact us today to learn more.

3.      “My funds will be held, I won’t get paid immediately, and it takes too long to receive our payments.”

Using a payment aggregator like Quickbooks or Square to process payments can result in funds arbitrarily being held by their security risk system. The popularity of such services is due to their ease of setup without a traditional underwriting process, but they will not hesitate to hold your funds up to 90 days — often without warning — to investigate any suspicious activity. They will hold funds because they don’t know regular processing details regarding your transactions. This delay is obviously too great of risk for any business, especially, an attorney’s office.

Alternative – LegalPay allows you to see funds in as quickly as 12 hours

The alternative is a standard payment account where the application is a bit more comprehensive and terms and conditions are agreed to. The payment processor (LegalPay) obtains information about your business, such as high and low processing volumes and average transaction tickets, to avoid interruptions to your cash flow. In certain situations, funds can be delayed temporarily for an additional security check, but this is often completed in less than a day since thanks to the additional information that was collected through the application process.

If you partner with a traditional payment account provider, you’ll typically see funds in your account within 1-2 business days. With LegalPay, you can see funds in as quickly as 12 hours. 

4.      “I have to buy expensive equipment.”

Payment system hardware can cost several hundred dollars, but there are several options that don’t require any upfront cost and, depending on your volume, should be free. LegalPay always offers free payment hardware to our attorney and law firm clients.

Alternative – Accept payments online 

There are various ways to accept payment from your clients besides a physical terminal in your office. You can accept mobile payments, use a virtual terminal, set up a hosted payment page for your web page, set up recurring billing, or invoice via email so your client can pay from the email, making for a truly flexible and accessible payment system.

If you want to accept debit, Tap and Pay, or Chip and PIN payments, you will need a traditional terminal, which you can get for free from LegalPay.

5.      There are too many monthly and additional fees

This is true. The process of processing credit card payment is complex and really gets confusing once you start peeling back the layers.

So, let’s break it down for you.

There are new-aged processors, like QuickBooks and Square, that have fixed rates per transaction. They will usually charge you a percentage of each transaction, plus a small charge per transaction. For small businesses that process less than $5,000 per month, these are the credit card processors for you.

Alternative – Choose a traditional processor when you have higher transactions amounts

If you process more than $5,000 per month, you’ll want to consider a traditional processor, like LegalPay. The rates are variable, but cheaper than Square or QuickBooks because of your high transaction amount.

In addition to better rates, you also receive better customer service, customized rates, more processing tools, and detailed reporting.

Monify pro-tip: 

Ask for a quote, or a few quotes from payment processors. It should detail the rates they offer by card brand. Think of it like a construction bid. You can compare them side by side and compare the quotes based on your transactional history.

We know that rate structure can be confusing. LegalPay aims to simplify what you’re paying for, while finding a price structure that fits your transaction amount. We offer free comparisons to anyone looking for a better rate. Get in touch today to start the process and find the payment solution that works for you.

6.      My bank provides what our law firm needs

Most banks outsource credit card processing services to third-party sales teams. These teams work for larger processors that don’t have the institutional knowledge of what your law office needs or requires.

Alternative – Pay less with a service that understands your unique needs

By using your bank, you are likely paying more than if you went direct to a payment processor, like LegalPay, that understands the legal industry’s needs.

Your best defense against paying too much is to quote it out.

Summary of Benefits

If you still aren’t convinced that accepting credit cards would help your law firm just keep these three things in mind.

·         Credit cards are convenient for clients. 

Your law office clients want to choose the method of payment that’s most convenient and beneficial for them. Choosing a payment system that supports their needs helps your law firm retain them as clients

·         Accepting credit cards can boost sales. 

When accepting credit and debit cards, your potential client base broadens significantly. The more clients you attract, the more likely you are to provide additional services and billable hours.

·         Accepting credit cards can improve your cash flow. 

Credit card transactions are processed electronically and settled quickly with this payment system. This means no more waiting for checks to clear, no more billing and waiting to collect from your clients, and less cash to handle.

LegalPay Payment Solutions

Credit cards aren’t going away. In fact, payment technology is changing at such a rate that more things, like your fridge, will be able to accept credit cards. To keep your law firm current and profitable, consider working with LegalPay with Monify to set up and facilitate your payment processing. Our business service providers are here to help you find the payment solution that fits your law firm’s unique needs. Get started today.

 

LegalPay with Monify offers payment technology for law firms. Our program seamlessly separates earned and unearned fees protect your IOLTA account and makes it easier for your clients to pay their legal fees on time. LegalPay maintains the highest PCI data security standards, helping your firm perform at a more efficient level. If you’re looking for a payment system tailored to your business needs, contact Monify today.