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Can I Venmo You? How to Enhance Client Service as Payment Preferences Evolve

Accounting & ReportingLaw Firm Operations
payment apps on a phone
 
Many people now expect to pay bills online and people have been sending and receiving funds in their personal lives for years using apps such as Venmo and Apple Pay and banking apps such as Zelle.
 

Law firm clients increasingly favor the modern convenience and enhanced security of digital payments over paper checks. As this trend continues to accelerate, the payment options law firms offer will significantly impact clients’ choice of firms to hire. Read on to learn how enabling electronic payments through ACH bank transfers and credit cards can help your firm meet clients’ evolving payment preferences as well as get paid faster and hold on to more profits.

Enhance Client Service and Get Paid Faster

Requiring payment by paper checks generates needless friction with clients. In addition to costing more to process and causing extensive payment delays, checks remain susceptible to forgery, loss, and theft.

Nearly 8 in 10 consumers rank a digital method, such as paying with a card or mobile device, as their #1 preferred payment option, Visa reports. The same Visa survey found that processing digital payments cost 57% less than non-digital payments, and businesses report an 8% average increase in revenue after accepting digital payments. Meanwhile, the American Bar Association says that law firms that accept online credit card payments get paid 39% faster on average. Economic benefits like these help offset often-dreaded credit card fees.

So why are digital payments so popular? They are instantaneous and easily traceable. Strict banking regulations and safeguards such as two-factor authentication, 128-bit encryption, fingerprint access, and other security features help prevent outside interference. Plus, using a third-party payment processor ensures law firms never collect or store clients’ confidential data.

Online Bill Payment: The Preferred Way Forward

Many people—especially the 61% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 52% of 21 to 37-year-olds who never use checks—now expect to pay bills online. People have been sending and receiving funds in their personal lives for years using apps such as Venmo and Apple Pay and banking apps such as Zelle. And the pandemic only accelerated online payment trends.

Visa reports that contactless credit card usage grows over 100% year over year as more people opt to wave a credit card or mobile device over a checkout terminal to avoid physical contact. Similarly, 67% of small business owners polled by Mastercard agreed that one upside to the pandemic is that it prompted them to upgrade their digital/e-pay solutions. Some 81% say it improved customer satisfaction levels, which is likely why 73% agree that digital payments are the new normal for their business going forward.

Seamless and Secure Digital Payments: A Law Firm Strategic Priority

Positive digital payment experiences in everyday life buoy the confidence of consumers, who then justifiably expect the same expediency from law firms. Rather than waiting for checks in the mail, you can provide an easy payment experience that allows your clients and your firm to benefit.

When you implement a digital payments solution specifically for law firms, clients are more likely to see your firm as an efficient ally they want on their team far into the future. As other firms continue to frustrate clients with antiquated requests, you’ll allow clients to set up automatic digital payments you can rely on receiving securely and on time, every time.

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