Client payments are a struggle. While attempting to serve clients, attorneys face a difficult balance between charging a retainer, that may be easily exhausted, and completing a monthly billing cycle that can leave the attorney and their clients feeling overwhelmed.
A major source of stress for many attorneys has little to do with what happens in the court room. Instead, it comes from payment assurance.
While client payments are the life of any firm, billing can be a struggle. Many clients take more than a month to pay for services. This means, the firm is extending unintentional credit, while their fees and expenses do not diminish just because they are not paid.
On the other hand, clients may be overwhelmed at the thought of immediately parting with the funds to foot these bills, which creates unnecessary stress in the client-lawyer relationship and may make clients less inclined to seek the assistance of a lawyer to begin with. They fear the immediacy of payment.
It is often easier for clients to sign up for services and remain current on payments, when they see their payments as future debt. This makes credit cards vital for any business that operates in larger transactions, as “charging” the expense delays and spaces out the financial burden.
Serving clients is already a challenge. Credit card payments ease the difficulty of billing, leaving the firm to focus on services that matter.
According to American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), 80% of consumer spending is cashless, and this percentage is ever-increasing, due to the convenience of plastic over paper currency.
For many clients, a trip to the bank or ordering checks, is a frustration. They want to make their payments immediately and with ease. They may also wish to pay over the phone or online, which proves even more difficult when dealing with paper currency.
Accepting credit card payments creates convenience, which can set a firm apart for potential clients.
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Hassle-free funding guarantee
With proper authorization, accepting credit cards is a great way to pass along the risk of non-payment to a third party (the client’s credit card company). For the attorney, accepting a credit card ensures they receive payment for their services.
To gain additional value, attorneys can engage in preauthorization agreements, which allow the firm to automatically charge the card for outstanding balances and recurring charges. This ensures hassle-free payment that arrives on time.
In addition to simply guaranteeing funding, it also helps the firm spend less time collecting money, freeing up time to work with clients and generate more business.
Improved cash flow and Increased sales
Unfortunately, while legal needs tend to be immediate, funding is not always readily available, and legal matters are rarely cheap. This financial burden can be a hinderance to clients who might otherwise seek the services of an attorney.
Attorneys can help place these services in reach for a larger range of clients by accepting credit cards. While this is great for clients, it also opens a wider client-base to the attorney, making it a win on all sides.
While the financial burden of legal services can be daunting for clients and attorneys alike, beginning to accept credit card payments (or broadening credit card payment options) is an excellent strategy in our current financial climate. This approach allows attorneys to provide services to more clients, with the guarantee of cash-in-hand.
It is a move that benefits the firm’s clients and bottom line and can aid business success into the future.
For a free payments consultation and more tips on how to use credit card payment options to benefit your law firm, Contact Us at NTC Texas today!