Posted August 24, 2018, 6:34 am CDT
In above-mentioned columns I acquire covered time-tracking software and acknowledged announcement software with the affiance that I’d eventually focus on acquittal processing software for law firms. Well that time has come, and in this cavalcade I’ll explain the ins and outs of allotment the appropriate acquittal processing bell-ringer for your law firm.
You’ll apprentice why law firms should accede application acquittal processing software, the types of legal-specific accoutrement available, and how to actuate which one will be the best fit for your law firm.
First, let’s allocution about what acquittal processing software does and why it allowances law firms. Artlessly put, this apparatus allows your law close to acquire automatic allowance abode (e-check) and acclaim agenda payments from clients.
Why should your close acquire these types of payments? Because that’s what 21st-century acknowledged consumers expect. In the “old days,” law firms accustomed bound forms of payment, with best preferring banknote or checks. Things are altered in 2018. In the age of Venmo, PayPal, Amazon, and endless added online services, your audience apprehend to be able to pay online.
These days, acclaim cards and online payments are the norm, and acknowledged consumers accept that law firms will action those acquittal options. Mailing checks is outdated, and advancing into the appointment to pay during approved business hours can be a altercation for your clients. By giving them the advantage to pay via ACH or acclaim card, online or off, your close will get paid faster, and your audience will acquire added choices back it comes to advantageous their acknowledged bills. In added words, it’s a win-win for both your close and its clients.
When allotment acquittal processing software for your law firm, it’s important to focus on accoutrement advised with lawyers’ altered needs in mind. Law firms in best jurisdictions will appetite to accept from legal-specific acquittal processing software, back this ethically adjustable software will ensure that your firm’s assurance anniversary is adequate from blamable withdrawals such as acclaim agenda fees. Legal-specific accoutrement will ensure that all fees are deducted from your firm’s operating anniversary rather than its assurance account. But agenda that it’s important to accretion a abounding compassionate of your jurisdiction’s ethical rules so that you can thoroughly vet anniversary provider to ensure that the casework provided are ethically adjustable with your jurisdiction’s rules accompanying to accepting acclaim agenda payments.
The acceptable annual is that you acquire a cardinal of options to accept from back it comes to acquittal processing software for lawyers. There are three types available:
The primary differences amid the altered options are accessibility and cost.
Standalone acquittal processing software is benign back it provides your audience with assorted acquittal options. But back it integrates with or is congenital into your law firm’s acknowledged convenance administration software, it’s alike added acceptable to use back you’ll be able to instantly accelerate your audience a acknowledged bill application the acknowledged announcement or convenance administration software, and your audience can again artlessly bang on a articulation and instantly pay online via e-check (ACH) or acclaim card. That acquittal is again anon reflected in the acknowledged announcement or convenance administration software.
The added agency to accede back allotment acquittal processing software is the cost. The fees alter abundantly from one bell-ringer to another, and sometimes the acclaim agenda fees will alter depending on the blazon of acclaim agenda acclimated by your applicant (i.e. Visa against American Express). There are additionally anniversary or annual fees to be acquainted of; some acquittal processing vendors will allegation a cable fee to use their software on top of the fees imposed for anniversary transaction. In added cases, if the acquittal processing software integrates with law convenance administration platforms, you may acquire to either pay cable fees for both the acquittal processing software and the convenance administration software or pay a college cable bulk for the convenance administration software in adjustment to acquire admission to the acquittal processing software. So it’s important to anxiously analysis the applicative fees and affiliation costs back because acquittal processing software.
Keeping that in mind, let’s move on to some of the choices accessible to your firm.
What follows is a description of some of the legal-specific acquittal processing software accessories that are generally acclimated by lawyers. This is not an all-embracing list, but includes a cardinal of altered types of tools—all of which accommodate mechanisms to assure your assurance anniversary from bent withdrawals—and one of which is abiding to clothing your firm’s needs.
If your close does not use law convenance administration software and does not plan to do so, you acquire lots of options and can use any of the standalone acquittal processing accoutrement I’ll be discussing below, behindhand of whether they accommodate with acknowledged convenance administration software or not.
If you already use law convenance administration software or plan to do so in the a future, you’ll appetite to accept a acquittal processing apparatus that will accommodate with your called convenance administration system.
The final advantage is to use a law convenance administration arrangement with a congenital acquittal processing system, which will be the aftermost class discussed.
First, actuality are two standalone accoutrement to consider, neither of which accommodate with acknowledged convenance administration software: Headnote and Lex/Actum. Headnote’s appraisement is 1.9 percent for anniversary ACH acquittal and 3.5 percent for anniversary acclaim agenda acquittal processed. Lex/Actum’s appraisement anatomy is tiered based on the bulk answerable anniversary month, with a ambit of $29 per ages (up to $10,000 of affairs per month) to $99 per ages ($60,000 or added in affairs per month). The processing fees for anniversary transaction abatement as you move up to the college tiers. At the everyman tier, the fees are 25 cents per acclaim agenda transaction and $2 per ACH transaction. At the accomplished tier, the acclaim agenda transaction fee is 10 cents per transaction while the ACH fee is $1.50 per transaction.
Next, there are the standalone acquittal processing accoutrement that additionally action the advantage of amalgam with specific acknowledged announcement and convenance administration software programs: LawPay and LexCharge. As a standalone product, LawPay accuse $20 per ages or $180 per year in accession to transaction fees, which are 1.95 percent and 20 cents for accepted cards and 2.95 percent and 20 cents for specialty cards such as American Express forth with added rewards, corporate, and all-embracing cards. Agenda cast arrangement fees may additionally administer to some transactions. LawPay integrates with abounding altered acknowledged announcement and law convenance administration software programs; the abounding annual is accessible here. It’s important to anxiously analysis the fees and costs associated with anniversary affiliation back you may still acquire to pay LawPay’s annual fee, assorted transaction fees, and/or pay a college annual fee for your acknowledged announcement or convenance administration software in adjustment to authorize for the college bank that includes the LawPay integration.
Like LawPay, LexCharge can additionally be acclimated as a standalone acquittal processing system. LexCharge does not accommodate specific fee advice on its website. Instead it is adumbrated on it its FAQ folio that the annual accuse will ambit from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent added transaction fees of 20 cents to 30 cents. LexCharge integrates with Rocket Matter law convenance administration software.
Your final best is to accept a law convenance administration software affairs with a congenital acquittal processing system. Two companies that action this advantage are MyCase and Abacus. (Note that I am the acknowledged technology advocate with MyCase). Abacus offers the Abacus Acquittal Exchange, a acquittal processing account that integrates with AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, Amicus Online and Abacus Private Cloud. There is a 3 percent allegation per acclaim agenda transaction and no allegation for ACH transactions. For MyCase, acquittal processing is accessible to all customers, and there are no added fees activated to use the congenital acquittal processing accoutrement added than the per transaction costs: 3 percent for all acclaim agenda affairs and all ACH affairs are free.
So whether or not your law close uses acknowledged announcement or convenance administration software, you’ll acquisition that there’s a acquittal processing apparatus accessible that will accommodated your firm’s needs. But accomplish abiding you absolutely accept the ethical implications of application the software and its fee anatomy above-mentioned to committing. Then, in no time flat, your close will adore the allowances of accepting burning online ACH and acclaim agenda payments.
Nicole Black is a Roer, New York, attorney, author, announcer and the acknowledged technology advocate at MyCase, acknowledged convenance administration software for abandoned and small-firm lawyers. She is the nationally accustomed columnist of Billow Accretion for Lawyers, and she co-authored Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier. She additionally co-authored Criminal Law in New York, a Thomson West treatise. She writes approved columns for ABAJournal.com, The Daily Record, Above the Law and Acknowledged IT Pros, has authored hundreds of accessories and consistently speaks at conferences apropos the circle of law, adaptable and billow computing, and internet-based technology. Follow her on Twitter @nikiblack, or she can be accomplished at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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