Should Your Law Firm Accept Credit Card Payments?

(This is a promo for our new sponsor, LawPay. BUT I have wanted to write a post on why it is just good business to accept credit cards for payment  – when done properly –  for a very long time! Now I get to combine the two and for your benefit!)

On average, consumers spend 30% more on their purchases when they use credit cards versus when the purchase can only be made with cash or check.  When McDonalds started accepting credit cards, sales went from $4.50 to $7.00 per transaction.  That’s a whopping 56% increase!

Not only are credit card payments more convenient for potential clients. but an abstract pledge of payment in the future is very different than parting with physical cash.  Clients are more inclined to pay your retainer or outstanding fees faster when they are not immediately parting with cash and can simply ‘put on their card’ to be worried about later.  

It’s important that you give your customers as many convenient ways to pay you as possible. Most people know that they’re protected by the credit card processing companies, since they’ll get their money back if the merchant does not live up to his end of the bargain. The overall result, as confirmed in studies, is that businesses that accept credit cards can see increases of sales by 30%+.

Understanding this psychology has unfortunately created a nation of debtors when irresponsibly used BUT the merchants who accept credits cards are paid immediately and substantially more.  For service professionals, their receivables are reduced and more time is spent on doing business which has already been paid for then on chasing fees which ultimately go uncollected.  How many of you already have your cell phone bills on automatic payment to your credit card?  Easy, right?  Smart for the cell phone company.  That six week float on the credit card is one you should be capitalizing upon to keep your cash flow steady, your receivables almost non-existent, and all that time you now save on billing and collection should be going towards working on your clients’ cases and marketing for more business.

We have waited a long time to find the right credit card processing company to sponsor Solo Practice University and we finally found it.  LawPay.  LawPay is recommended by over 60 bar associations because they adhere to all rules governing trust accounts and a lawyer’s affirmative obligation not to commingle funds.   LawPay also provides a list of all published opinions on utilizing merchant services  on their site.  Check it out and see what your state says.

Benefits

  • No annual fees
  • No Contracts
  • No Minimum Processing
  • In compliance with ABA and State guidelines
  • Members save up to 25% off standard bank fees
  • Superior Customer Service
  • Solo Practice University students save even more!*

(*SPU does not collect any affiliate fee.  Any benefit we could have gotten instead goes directly to the our students in the form of substantial savings – more than enough to cover the SPU tuition for more than a month.)

There is no longer any good reason not to utilize credit cards in your practice. It has gotten to the point where you are actually harming your practice financially if you don’t provide it as an option. Oh, you don’t want to pay processing fees? Well, isn’t it smarter to have more business, no receivables, no collections and cash in hand for the cost of a transaction fee? Yeah. I thought so. Oh, one last thing. I’m sure you might be worried about chargebacks? Guess what? LawPay fights for you should there be a chargeback so you can spend your time being a lawyer instead of a collections agent. Makes picking up the phone to inquire to see if LawPay is right for your practice a no brainer!

If you’re using LawPay, let us know in the comments below. We’ve already had people on our Facebook page say they love them. Let’s hear what you have to say!

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5 comments on “Should Your Law Firm Accept Credit Card Payments?

  • Susan,

    As one who decided to accept cc payments from the beginning of my solo practice, I can say that the processing fees are more than worth it. I particularly like the online pay options found directly through LawPay and through Clio (that I’ve linked through lawpay.

  • I too believe that accepting credit cards is a great idea. And I also like the flexibility that Lawpay offers. But, at this stage of my practice, I don’t need to accept cards often enough to justify the $15.00 monthly fee.

    It is not my intent to badmouth a sponsor, I just wish that there was a way to use Lawpay on the utterly random basis that I find myself needing it.

    Also – I believe that there may be some serious issues in allowing credit card use to pay for BK attorneys, but I am not entirely sure.

    • Geoff,

      I understand where you are coming from. Every penny counts! As to bankruptcy, I did indicate in the post to accept credit cards ‘as your practice area permits’. Bankruptcy is a known area of concern.

      Just a thought – if you were able to advertise you used credit cards (for non-bankruptcy work) do you think this might increase those clients who would like your services but prefer to use credit cards thereby making the monthly fee worthwhile? If so, then the $15 becomes a sort of marketing expense.

    • Geoff, a number of bankruptcy attorneys are linked with services that technically accept credit cards, ACH transactions and PayPal because they need to accept VISA and MasterCard based credit cards, cash cards, or process payments electronically. There is an increasing reliance of bankruptcy attorneys on rapid imports of creditor, schedules, matrix and SOFA information, that greatly limits the number and frequency of in-person visits with the attorney so that the attorney can handle a consumer bankruptcy on a fix fee profitably. This increasingly means as well, that payment can come over the phone or online, as well as in the office. People just do not carry checks like they use to. Some people that do not have regular bank accounts use pre-paid VISA and Mastercards. I think you are correct that you must caution and warn your clients not to incur additional debt in planning a bankruptcy filing, and that might also mean extending overdraft lines of credit tied to a debit card. But, like I said, it is often necessary to accept these payment vehicles.

  • I have never accepted CCs, since only once in a long time have I been asked the question, but obviously it all depends on how many transxns and amount of funds you’re running thru in terms of assessing the LawPay terms. A LawPay Rep confirmed that I can anticipate the extra 1% transxn fee they call the downfee because if client pays with the Awards-based CCs, such as the Capital One MCs, those cards will cost you another 1%. I just have to check with the regional bank with which I have my IOLTA trust account that they treat the LawPay direct deposits as a deposit, and not subject to a fee, such as the wire transfer fees I’m assessed as recipient of wired funds.

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