Best Law Firm Payment Processing Solutions

law firm payment processing

What is the best law firm payment processing platform?

Getting paid is an important, though often under-emphasized aspect of running a law firm. After all of the intake, research, contract work, litigation and invoicing–its easy to forget that last step, which is why law firm payment processing is such an important component to the business of a law practice.

A law firm’s realization rate, the measure of what percentage of law firms invoiced time is paid, should be one of the key business metrics that law firm leadership reviews regularly. And one of the best ways to increase your firm’s realization rate is to remove any friction in the process by which your clients pay you.

That’s why we recommend that every law firm use a payment processing solution. A service that can facilitate clients paying their bill. For this, we recommend a solution that:

  • Allows clients to pay by credit card or ACH (electronic check)
  • Allows your firm to take payments right from your website
  • Handles your trust accounting/IOLTA requirements (if your firm manages trust accounts)
  • Can manage automatic/regular payments
  • Can facillitate custom payment plans
  • Charges reasonable and transparent processing fees

Broadly speaking, law firm payment processing solutions come in two groups: General solutions, which could be used by any industry or business; and legal-centric solutions, which are tailored to the unique needs for law firms. As a rule, we generally recommend the latter (namely for handling of trust accounting rules), but if your firm doesn’t, and will never manage a trust account, a general solution may also work.

In this article we’ll provide an overview of each of the leading law firm payment processing solutions, both general and legal-centric platforms.

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Best Law Firm Payment Processing Solutions

LexCharge

Legal-Centric

The LexCharge law firm payment processing system bridges the gap between payment processing and the leading legal software. LexCharge is payment processing exclusively for lawyers and law firms, and includes built-in capabilities for managing trust payments, accounts and disbursements. LexCharge was founded by the CEO of the popular Rocket Matter practice management application, and as a result integrates with Rocket Matter and other legal practice management applications.

LexCharge capabilities include:

  • Credit Card Payment Processing
  • IOLTA Trust Accounting
  • Payment Plans
  • Recurring Billing
  • Practice Management Software Integrations
  • PCI Compliance

Related Resource from LexCharge:

HeadNote

Legal-Centric

The Headnote law firm payment processing solution is a relative newcomer to the space. Headnote’s payment processing solution includes both credit cards and ACH (eChecks), and provides a number of AR automation and workflow tools to go beyond just processing payments. Headnote offers one-day payment processing, with a simple client interface and an easy-to-use management platform. Headnote also integrates with many legal practice management and accounting applications, including Clio, Rocket Matter, CosmoLex, QuickBooks and more.

Headnote’s capabilities include:

  • Credit Card Payment Processing
  • IOLTA Trust Accounting
  • Payment Plans
  • Recurring Billing
  • Practice Management Software Integrations
  • PCI Compliance
  • ACH / eCheck Capabilities
  • Optional AR Professional Services

Related Resource from HeadNote:

LawPay

Legal-Centric

LawPay is a long-standing law firm payment processing platform. LawPay boasts the most law firm using its system, and for good reason: Its easy to use and battle-tested. LawPay integrates with popular legal practice management software, and has been approved y 48 state bar associations. LawPay accepts payments in compliance with ABA and IOLTA guidelines, making it a strong solution for law firms looking for secure, compliant payment processing.

LawPay’s capabilities include:

  • Credit Card Payment Processing
  • IOLTA Trust Accounting
  • Payment Plans
  • Recurring Billing
  • Practice Management Software Integrations
  • PCI Compliance

Related Resource from LawPay:

Authorize.Net

General

Authorize.net is a general, multi-industry payment processing solution. A division of Visa, if your law firm payment processing needs don’t include trust/IOLTA accounting, Authorize.net may be a great fit. The service boasts one of the most secure platforms for accepting, processing and storing payment information, and includes an additional layer of fraud prevention. Authorize.net also offers an open API so you can develop software that connects directly to the platform.

Authorize.net’s capabilities include:

  • Credit Card Payment Processing
  • Payment Plans
  • Recurring Billing
  • PCI Compliance
  • Advanced Fraud Prevention
  • Open API

Stripe

General

As law firm payment processing goes, Stripe bills itself as “the payment processor for Internet companies.” But don’t let that fool you: Stripe is a great online payment platform for any business with an internet presence, such as your law firm. Stripe can manage your law firm’s payments from your website or a mobile app. Stripe integrates with many other cloud-based platforms such as Slack and Kickstarter, and offers an open API for developers. Being a general payment processing tool, however, Stripe does not handle trust/IOLTA accounting. Our own LawLauncher uses Stripe to manage payment for our Pro subscribers.

Stripe’s capabilities include:

  • Credit Card Payment Processing
  • Payment Plans
  • Recurring Billing
  • PCI Compliance
  • Advanced Fraud Prevention
  • Open API

PayPal

General

PayPal is a pioneer in monetary transfers and online payment processing. They’re known as a consumer-level way to easily send or receive money between two parties, but they also have a business offering that could make for a great law firm payment processing solution. Many law firms accept payments via PayPal (you’ll often see a “PayPal Accepted” icon on a law firm website). PayPal is easy to setup, use and link to your bank accounts. PayPal boasts over 19 million online merchants and vendors that use their service.

PayPal’s capabilities include:

  • Credit Card Payment Processing
  • Payment Plans
  • Recurring Billing
  • PCI Compliance
  • Advanced Fraud Prevention
  • Open API

Closing the Loop

Law firm payment processing is a must-have for any modern law firm. We recommend that your law firm research each available option, rank the functions and capabilities that are important to your firm, and select one that most closely meets your firm’s needs.