Advancements in payment technology in recent years have given businesses and consumers more options than ever when it comes to making and receiving payments. For many consumers, this also means a shift in the payment options they’ve come to expect from the businesses they choose to work with – in today’s environment, consumers are used to convenience at their fingertips, including how they manage their financial transactions! Today’s consumer expects a completely frictionless payment experience, regardless of how or where they’re making a payment – in-store, online, or on-the-go.
From completely digital payment platforms to real-time transaction syncing in the cloud, businesses that have adopted a seamless and simple payment flow for their customers are reaping the benefits of these advancements across all areas of their businesses, from the back office to their bottom line. For businesses like law firms, where there are specific industry rules and regulations around the acceptance of payments, finding a payment technology partner that enables firms to operate within these regulations while also helping to increase efficiencies can be a challenge. Here are 4 things to look out for when evaluating payment technologies for your law firm.
Streamline Your Back Office
Specifically for law firms, part of the challenge in creating efficiencies in the payment collection process is the ability to deliver a simplified collection process that allows you to separate funds between trust and operating accounts, while still enabling your back office staff to easily manage cash flow within a single integrated legal billing system.
The ideal account setup for legal professionals ensures that there is no mingling of funds between trust and operating accounts – while easily allowing staff members to switch between accounts with just a click to allow deposits to be made to the correct account. Enabling an online platform with a simple click-to-switch functionality ensures that your team is easily able to link to the appropriate account based on the deposit type, and you can see a full digital trail and accounting of transactions from a robust online dashboard to help ensure your team is adhering to the appropriate rules and regulations!
In addition to ensuring the adherence to trust and operating account regulations, another way to help streamline the collection process is to enable the right mix of payment methods and collection processes for your clientele. For example, credit card acceptance is the norm for most firms; however, does your current legal billing software allow your clients to pay online? With the right technology partner, you can easily send clients a secure payment link or add a payment button to your website, allowing your clients to make a payment at their convenience from their computer, tablet, or phone.
With more than 56% of all bill payments made online, online bill payment has become commonplace for many consumers, and firms that seek to be ahead of the curve should take note! By allowing clients to make a payment online, your office team is better able to manage day-to-day operations and save countless hours by no longer manually entering (and correcting) payments taken over the phone.
Tailored For Your Firm
Companies that have already adopted online bill payment systems often find that they are paid within 10 days of a sent invoice by simply allowing clients to pay online, compared to an average of 27 days for all other methods. However, for the legal industry in particular, there is more to it than simply allowing your clients to pay online – and as you may have already found, billing systems are not one size fits all!
Customization in a legal billing system is key; particularly throughout the payment collection process. The ability to ensure your clients are providing you with detailed information about their case at the time of payment provides a seamless transition for your team, enabling them to apply payment to open invoices and cases with ease. Building custom fields into your online payment forms ensures that you’re able to customize your forms based on your firm’s specific needs. Plus, with the right platform and partner, you can make your custom fields required with just a click, and all fields are available and searchable in your payment platform, making it simple for your team to find customers, case numbers, and more with ease. With more relevant details captured at the time of payment, your team is better able to streamline their workload, meaning less time hunting down information, and more time to spend on helping to grow the practice!
Accept All Payment Methods
While credit and debit cards are commonly accepted through most major legal billing systems, it’s important to note the importance of also being able to easily accept, manage, and track all types of payments through your payments platform, including ACH.
ACH payments, or electronic checks or ePayments, allow your clients to transfer funds directly from their checking accounts to your firm. Rather than having to wait for paper checks to come via mail, or worrying about chargebacks that can often occur with credit cards, firms are able to better manage cash flow expectations. Whether your firm prefers to utilize ACH payments on a case-by-case basis, or your client simply prefers the convenience of submitting their payment online over mailing a check, accepting ACH payments through your preferred payment technology platform can help bring peace of mind for both you and your client.
The Right Technology For Your Firm
The unique payment needs of the legal industry are well-known; however, it’s also important to take note of the features required by your firm in order to easily accept payments and help streamline and automate the workload for your team. To help you compile a short list of payment technology solutions, we’ve put together this quick checklist to help you ensure you’re getting what you need to be able to run your business most effectively.
- Does the solution offer the ability to differentiate between trust and operating accounts in a single platform?
- Does the solution allow you to accept online payments from your clients?
- Does the solution allow you to customize required fields unique to your firm?
- Does the solution offer ACH payments as an option?
To learn more about Fattmerchant for law firms, call us at 1-855-550-3288 or click here to set up your personalized payment consultation.