As a law firm business owner, shopping for all of the vendors you need can be overwhelming. Accepting credit cards is one of the more difficult ones to get started with. The payments industry can be very confusing, not to mention the hundreds of options there are to choose from.
Unfortunately, the unique billing needs of law firms make the process of finding the perfect vendor that much more frustrating. A top option among many legal professionals is LawPay, a billing solution crafted for the sole purpose of servicing law firms. Although that specialty may seem like a top selling point, Stax holds its own against many of its top features, making for an interesting competitive analysis.
Trust and Operating Accounts
One of the most important features law firms look for in a processing solution is the ability to separate their trust and operating accounts. The co-mingling of funds is a serious ethics violation and can result in major headaches.
With both LawPay and Stax, funds are split between these accounts appropriately. Each solution offers a secure way to separate accounts and ensure that all unearned funds are appropriately allocated to a trust account, while all earned funds are sent to an operating account.Learn More
Although both LawPay and Stax offer the ability to split trust and operating accounts, you can see major differences in the overall user experiences between companies.
LawPay promises funds within 24-48 hours of processing. Although this might not seem like a long time, Stax understands the importance of having funds available as quickly as possible for law firms. Certain firms can qualify for next-day funding through Stax, and guarantees 24-hour funding if your firm does not qualify.
The ease of use of the product also varies between providers. With Stax, it is much easier to navigate between trust and operating account information, as well as reconcile. LawPay has a clean interface, but it could take a while to get your team properly trained on how to use the software.
Customer service is an often overlooked aspect of the user experience when evaluating payment processors – but if you’ve ever had a bad customer service experience, you know how important it really is. With LawPay, their self-help knowledge base is overflowing with useful articles and walk-throughs of many commonly misunderstood aspects of the industry, as well as specifics about their products and features. That being said, if you prefer to call in with an issue, wait times can be long if you prefer to call in with an issue.
Stax guarantees you speak with a support team member every time, with little to no wait time. You call in directly to their Orlando, Florida office, and a dedicated team is waiting to help with any issue you may have. The human touch that Stax’ support page offers, separates itself from the competition.
In the payment processing industry, interchange is a fee that credit card companies charge every merchant that accepts credit cards. This fee is unavoidable and considered the true cost of accepting credit cards.
LawPay makes a profit by charging a percentage markup on top of interchange for every transaction. This is a volume-based model, and the more you transact, the more you pay in fees to LawPay. This model might make sense if you are a low-volume law firm, but it often results in unnecessarily high fees month over month.
Stax works on a different model. Instead of percentage markups, Stax charges a monthly subscription. This subscription never changes, no matter how much you transact each month. In exchange, you have direct access to the true interchange cost for each card. This model typically makes the most financial sense for firms that are transacting $20,000 or more per month in credit cards.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to the basic features required by all law firms of their payment processor, there is no denying that LawPay and Stax have the functionality. Both cover the basics, providing the ability to invoice and allocate funds to trust and operating accounts. The difference really shines through in pricing and customer experience. LawPay might be advertised as a dedicated solution for lawyers, but the ease-of-use, superior customer service, and transparency you get with Stax proves they exist to help law firms grow.
Contact our team to learn more about Stax’ payment processing solutions for law firms.