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Credit Card Processing for Lawyers

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Danny Randell | July 18, 2021

“A quick guide on how your law firm can accept compliant credit card payments. Integrate custom tailored payments solutions for your law firm.”
6 min read
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    Last Updated on March 15, 2024 by May Montenegro

    Lawyer Life Isn't For Everyone

    In your day-to-day, there's lots that can go wrong. Your client might miss a signature and delay proceedings, or maybe you forgot your court gowns at the office-either way, there's a lot of variables at play when it comes to practicing law, and you don't want sorting out payments to be one of them. As a lawyer, you need a processor you can rely on, that's going to give you the tools you need to get paid-and get paid quick.

    You work too hard to not have your credit card processing work for you. It wasn't easy for you to get where you are, and while we won't pretend we know what it's like to open a law office, it wasn't very long ago that Helcim started out with just two people and a dream. We know what it's like to run a small business, which is why we do everything we can to make it easy for our merchants to get paid, including giving you some of the cheapest rates in the industry and access to our expert Merchant Experience team for when you need a hand.

    It's time to feel good about your payments

    Invoicing Designed With Lawyers in Mind

    In a 2023 study on solo and small law firms, 41% of legal professionals say that clients don’t pay on time, and almost one in four said that too many of their clients don’t pay them at all. Firms utilizing payment technologies saw up to 58% more revenue.

    In an instance like this, rather than asking your clients to pay on the spot or sending them another snail mail for their checks, you can just send them an invoice that's payable from the comfort of their home.

    Helcim's online invoicing enables you to craft invoices effortlessly from your desktop, tablet, or smartphone. It streamlines the payment process by allowing you to send due reminders through email or text, accompanied by a convenient "Pay Now" button. This feature simplifies the submission of payment details for your customers, allowing them to pay with their credit card or bank information in just a few clicks. Additionally, Helcim provides the option to convert any paid invoice into a recurring one, an excellent feature for managing retainer fees.This tool can even be customized to reflect your branding, and be updated with various fields depending on what information you need from your client. It also lets you accept both credit card or ACH payments which gives the flexibility to your clients allowing for a much faster turnaround time for getting paid. Lastly, Helcim's Invoicing tool is equipped with our Fee Saver feature which lets you save on processing fees whenever your client pays with credit card.

    Over the Phone Payments for Law Offices

    You may be the one handling payments or you may have a staff member that helps with this. Either way, the chances are that you could be accepting payments over the phone, and luckily, it's never been easier!

    Now with our virtual terminal, you can take your clients' credit card or ACH bank information and plug it straight in to a secure, virtual point-of-sale to process a payment. You can even use it on whatever device you like, whether that's a desktop computer, tablet, or even your smartphone.

    Our virtual terminal is unique in that you can pair our card reader to take payments in a traditional manner, or use it completely on it's own (on your phone for instance) and take your payments on the go. The virtual terminal can also be a relatively inexpensive way to get started in accepting payments if you're in the process of opening your first office and don't want to front the cost of a card reader right away.

    Professional In-Person Payments

    As your legal practice grows, you may find yourself engaging more frequently in face-to-face transactions. When clients visit your office, whether for consultations or to obtain legal services, they may need or prefer the convenience of making payments on the spot. In these instances, a reliable and multifunctional Point of Sale (POS) system becomes essential. Moreover, maintaining a professional demeanor and high-quality service is crucial in the legal field. By integrating an all-in-one & sleek smart terminal or a handy portable card reader into your POS system, you not only streamline your payment process but also enhance your firm’s professional image, leaving a lasting positive impression on your clients.

    Even better, our Smart Terminal can now process surcharging for in-person transactions provided your firm is within the eligible region. This paves the way for a seamless payment option without having to worry about processing costs when your client choose to pay with credit cards!

    Trust vs. Operating Bank Accounts

    The main compliance concern that attorneys and paralegals must address when accepting credit and debit card payments is the proper separation of funds. Unearned income, such as retainers, must be deposited to a trust account, while earned income must be deposited to the firm's operating bank account. When accepting credit card payments, you need a payments company that allows you to deposit funds to the appropriate account based on the payment type. With Helcim, legal firms can do just that as our platform is IOLTA-ready. Helcim deducts the processing fees from your operational account, keeping your trust account intact and compliant.

    Customer Portal Means Better Client Services

    Enhance your client experience and streamline your administrative workflow with Helcim's Customer Portal. This intuitive platform allows your clients to effortlessly access their profiles, view invoices, and make payments, all in one secure location.

    By providing your clients with this level of accessibility, you significantly reduce the need for manual follow-ups and administrative tasks on your end. For lawyers, this means more time focused on what matters most—your cases and your clients—while ensuring that the financial aspects of your services are managed efficiently and transparently.

    Security Standards for Law Office Card Processing

    Having a payments company that can encrypt and tokenize your customer/client payment information not only reduces your exposure to both industry and PCI payment compliance standards, but also shifts your liability for the storage of customer data to your processor. With Helcim, once you have your client's card information, you can store it securely in our credit card vault to bill later, making recurring payments a breeze.

    Your client's card number never touches your system, but is still accessible to you via the payments portal. By using our card vault, you can easily bill your client intermittently for ongoing work, and they never need to come in again to make payments. It's a seamless way to square up that gives you and your client more time back in your day.

    Helcim: Made for Lawyers

    At Helcim, we make it easier for you to run your business. We give you everything you need to operate efficiently, along with some of the lowest rates in the industry and a customer support team that is out of this world. If you want to know more about how Helcim was built with lawyers in mind, give us a call. We'd love to be your trusted payments partner!

    "I have had an excellent experience with Helcim so far! Their fees are the lowest available and they have top-notch customer service."

    "“ Amalia Schon, Lawyer and Helcim Merchant


    Below are links on rules and regulations for credit and debit card payments for lawyers and paralegals:

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