From Checks to Electronic Payments: Navigating the Shift in 2024

From Checks to Electronic Payments Navigating the Shift in 2024

Someone once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” 

While this is undoubtedly good advice for life, it’s also a nugget of wisdom that legal professionals can benefit from when evaluating their payment practices in 2024. 

If your firm has been relying on old-school payment solutions like paper checks and in-person payments, you’re spending a lot of time and energy to get paid.    

While it might seem intimidating to change your tried-and-true payment strategies, it’s actually an easy update when you use the right tools—and it’s one that could significantly improve your firm’s profitability.  

Out with the old and in with the new: why make the switch to electronic payments? 

Historically, law firms have shied away from accepting online payments, primarily relying on checks.  

However, this method has significant drawbacks. Checks are easy to lose and vulnerable to potential theft and fraud. They require manual processing, which extends the time that law firms spend waiting to get paid.  

These delays can hinder cash flow and make it difficult for legal practices to scale. 

On the other hand, electronic payments made with methods like credit cards, bank cards, and ACH transactions can eliminate many of these pain points. 

Electronic payments can reduce the risk of fraud through encrypted transactions and secure processing networks. They also get you paid faster, often clearing within one business day instead of requiring legal professionals to wait for days or even weeks to get paid. 

On top of all of this, there’s the client convenience factor—today’s clients expect convenient service, and they’re used to paying their bills online. Once you adopt electronic payments, your clients can pay for your work with just a few clicks of a button. 

How to make the transition to electronic payments 

If your law firm is ready to bring payments online, the first place to start is with a clear plan for making the transition. Follow these steps to cover your bases. 

Choose the right payment processor 

While there are plenty of industry-agnostic payment solutions out there, your law firm isn’t just any other business. 

Law firms frequently handle sensitive client data that needs to be protected with the most robust security protocols available to ensure that they’re staying in line with state and federal compliance regulations. 

By choosing the right payment processing solution, you can ensure your firm’s compliance with the American Bar Association and IOLTA guidelines and rest easy knowing that both your clients and your firm are protected from data breaches and cybercriminals.

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While your legal practice management software keeps the daily work of a law firm moving, legal CRM software makes it easier to bring in new clients, engage current clients, and increase your profits. But not all legal CRMs are created equal. Look for these six features when choosing a legal CRM—and put them to work for your law firm.

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Make sure your solution integrates with the tools your firm currently uses 

When you’re making your transition, the last thing you want to deal with is jury-rigging your software to work with other tools. A better approach is to seek out a payment solution that is fully integrated with the tools your firm already uses. 

A fully integrated solution, such as CosmoLex, doesn’t require complicated setups. Instead, it includes everything your firm needs under one umbrella:  

Rather than dealing with multiple systems, you can keep your law firms’ workflows within one secure ecosystem. This results in streamlined workflows, greater data security, and improved profitability.  

Determine how your processes will change 

When you’re ready to accept electronic payments, you’ll need to assess how the change will impact your billing workflows. Will you need to update invoice templates? Add click-to-pay links to your website and client communications? Update your client portal?  

If you use a fully integrated payment solution these updates should be simple, but it’s important to check every box.  

Note that if you’re planning on accepting credit card payments in person, you’ll also need to secure a credit card reader to process them.  

Educate your staff and clients 

Often, one of the biggest challenges in transitioning to new technology is ensuring that everyone on the team knows how the tech actually works. 

To ensure a seamless transition, hold comprehensive training sessions with your staff to familiarize them with the new systems, and designate one staff member as a training lead to ensure continuity when onboarding new team members in the future. 

Similarly, your clients will also need to know how your new payment processes work. Clearly communicate how much easier electronic payments will make paying their bills and walk them through the steps to show them just how easy using the software can be. 

If some of your less tech-savvy clients are struggling to make the switch, you can help them out by providing information sessions, FAQs, and step-by-step guides that will reduce any potential issues they may encounter as you transition to online payments. 

However, if you have legacy clients who are uninterested in electronic payments, it’s good client service to honor their payment preferences. Make sure your billing and payment processes can still accommodate them.  

Monitor your progress and assess the success of your transition 

Once you’ve implemented your electronic payment systems, you’ll need to monitor them regularly to ensure they’re performing properly. 

To do this, you’ll need to run regular audits and hold feedback sessions with staff and clients to help identify any issues or areas for improvement. By monitoring your processes, you can also assess the impact of electronic payments on your overall efficiency and client satisfaction levels. 

Ready to make the hassle of paper checks a thing of the past? 

If you’re tired of chasing down customers for payments or waiting weeks for funds to hit your account, it’s time to retire antiquated payment methods like paper checks and switch to online payments. 

With CosmoLexPay, you can effortlessly and instantly process payments, making things convenient for your clients and ensuring a stable cash flow for your law firm. Plus, we integrate with tools that your firm already uses, so you don’t have to spend time juggling different software.  

Ready to see how CosmoLexPay can help your firm make the hassle of paper checks a thing of the past? Sign up for a free trial today!

Infographic

Six Essential Features in Your Legal CRM (and How to Use Them)

While your legal practice management software keeps the daily work of a law firm moving, legal CRM software makes it easier to bring in new clients, engage current clients, and increase your profits. But not all legal CRMs are created equal. Look for these six features when choosing a legal CRM—and put them to work for your law firm.

Download the Infographic Now
Six Essential Features in Your Legal CRM

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