While possession is technically nine-tenths of the law, many clients pay high-dollar amounts to ensure their possessions, reputations, and legal interests are safeguarded by professionals. To that end, a great deal of money is often exchanged between law offices and their clients.
Pro bono work may be popular on television, but the reality is that the legal profession is a very widely used and lucrative field—and decidedly not free in most cases. For law firms, having the right payment features to support a wide range of transactions is vital, since those features can actually help to prevent both violation of certain federal statutes regarding money management and certain financial challenges that are common with any industry, such as bad debt and past due bills.
As with any industry, the easier it is for customers to make a payment, the more likely they are to pay. Additionally, offering a variety of payment methods ensures that clients can use their payment method of choice to cover bills in a timely fashion. Best of all, many payment systems can even offer autopay or quick pay options that clients can use to pay anytime, anywhere.
The following payment features are ideal for any law firm to protect their interests and ensure their clients have quick, easy, and secure access to payment processing:
Online Payments and Electronic Invoicing
An absolute standard for any business in the era of highly tech-savvy consumers is the ability for clients to manage and pay their bills online. A secure online payment and invoicing portal is necessary for this option, which can be set up in a variety of ways depending on preferences and software. Most importantly, modern consumers expect this feature for nearly all their purchases—and not having online payments available could be detrimental in the long run.
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Managing and Allocating to Multiple Accounts
By law, legal firms operate differently from many businesses, since they have to be able to allocate and manage to different accounts at the time of payment. For that reason, law firms need an effective payment system that will allow for easy processing and immediate placement of funds within the correct account. Legal firms should question and carefully test a payment processing system before committing to any contracts in order to ensure the system is easy-to-use for both legal staff and clients.
A final consideration when selecting an effective payment tool is security. Before committing to any service, portal, or payment processor, make sure to inquire about their security procedures and what protocols they have in place to manage breaches—both on their end and yours. In this day and age, security is not a luxury—it’s a requirement. If the service providers can’t answer questions to your satisfaction, move on.
While there are many options available in payment processing, law firms have unique needs and expectations, some of which are enforced by law. Legal firms, like businesses in other specialized industries, have to be careful to find the right fit for payment processing software and hardware in order to ensure the success and growth of a thriving practice.