When accepting credit card payments from clients, fees should be paid out of the firm’s operating account and never from the client trust account or taken out of funds being deposited into a trust account.
Traditional merchants pull the processing fees from the account the funds were deposited to. If your firm will be accepting retainer payments where the funds will be going into the trust account, then this can present an issue. There are credit card merchants who are familiar with the requirements of law firms, such as LawPay, and pull processing fees monthly from the firm’s operating account while depositing to the trust account.
Fees for merchants can vary, anywhere from 2% to 5%, and the prospect of losing that much revenue to fees can seem unfavorable but the benefits to accepting credit card payments often outweigh the downsides. Providing an option that makes it easier for clients to pay results in increased cash flow, less time spent on collection efforts and recording payments, and a more profitable law firm.
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