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The ABCs of Accepting Electronic Fee Payments

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Risk Management Tip: Know the applicable ethics rules of your jurisdiction.

Want to get paid faster? Start offering your clients different ways to pay, and let them choose their preferred method.

Flexible and convenient payment options will keep clients coming back.

“[T]he majority of consumers prefer electronic payment methods, with online payments being consumers’ top choice (66 percent), followed by automated payments (61 percent) and payments via mobile apps (61 percent),” says this post from the CLIO blog. “Today’s legal technology offers solutions that make electronic payments secure and convenient while helping firms meet their compliance and ethical obligations.”

Risk Management Note: Be sure to check all relevant ethics opinions and Rules of Professional Conduct for your jurisdiction applicable to fees, billing, and accepting payments by credit card and electronic methods.

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Common Electronic Payment Methods

The following is from the CLIO blog:

“Online debit and credit card payments. Clients are used to the convenience and flexibility of paying for goods and services online via their debit or credit cards. With the help of a secure online payment processing platform like Clio Payments, law firms can easily accept debit and credit card payments from clients. 

ACH payments. ACH payments are a type of secure electronic funds transfer where money is sent from one bank to another bank via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. 

eCheck payments. As one of the most common types of ACH payments, an electronic check (or “eCheck”) is a digital version of a traditional paper check. eChecks contain the same details that a paper check would (like the payer’s account number and the payment amount), but eChecks capture and transmit the data electronically from the payer’s bank account to a merchant’s bank account. This type of electronic payment is simple, fast, and more convenient than paper checks (while also giving the benefit of lower fees than credit card payments).

Scheduled payments. Similar to payment plans, scheduled payments are a type of recurring payment. With this type of electronic payment, law firms and clients agree on a payment amount and frequency that works for all parties. By giving clients the option to break down their bills into manageable installments, scheduled payments make it easier and more convenient for clients to pay.”

SOURCE: Why Your Law Firm Should Use Electronic Payments | Clio

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In an age of consolidation where increasingly impersonal transactions have made customer service an oxymoron, we bring together independent agents, insurance companies, and other industry specific service providers to develop and deliver insurance products and risk management solutions that benefit our insurance customers.

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