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Since law firms have strict ethical and legal obligations, finding a credit card processor that has all the features you need can be a challenge. There are several law-specific payment processors out there, but I’ve found that they lack the security and support that exist in leading payment processors. To ensure you’re protecting your clients’ information, you’ll need top-tier security and data protection, along with the ability to easily move payments around to comply with trust account laws in most states. Plus, since many clients still prefer to pay via eCheck or ACH, having this functionality built-in is crucial.
While there are several that may work well for your firm, my extensive research revealed that Stax is best suited for most law firm needs. It offers easy trust and operating account separation and has the best overall pricing for high-volume law firms.
What We Look For in the Best Law Firm Credit Card Processing
When researching credit card processors for law firms, I looked at industry-leading, highly reputable payment processors that would offer these key features.
High security standards. Given the sensitive nature of legal transactions, I looked for credit card processors that are fully compliant with industry standards and regulations. All of the processors on this list are PCI DSS compliant and offer robust security protocols to protect client data and prevent fraud.
Robust software integrations. Many law firms use software to track case files, streamline accounting, and manage operations. I prioritized processors that can integrate seamlessly with other software.
Competitive pricing models. Law firms, like any business, want to keep costs under control. I looked for credit card processors with competitive processing rates and reasonable fees to help minimize the impact on your bottom line.
Great customer support. Finally, I also considered the quality of customer support when reviewing credit card processors. Law firms have unique needs and requirements, and having access to knowledgeable and responsive support staff can be invaluable in resolving issues quickly and minimizing disruptions to business operations.
Stax is my top choice for law firms, thanks to its ability to easily split payments into separate trust and operating accounts in compliance with state bar requirements. While it’s possible to manually do this with any processing software, having this ability built-in simplifies the steps and minimizes the risk of errors, saving you time and money. Plus, with end-to-end encryption and tokenization, you can trust that your clients’ data is secure.
Since many law firms have high value transactions, Stax’s simple subscription-based pricing model is particularly beneficial. There are no contracts and no hidden fees – instead, you pay one monthly fee and a flat 0% + 10¢ (in-person) fee on transactions. With Stax, you can save up to 40% on processing fees, enabling you to keep costs low to maintain profitability.
Stax also offers a host of in-depth reporting tools, allowing you to easily track and analyze your payment data. Stax’s reporting features are customizable, so you can choose what information is most vital for your law firm. For law firms that need detailed payment data to manage their operations, Stax’s reporting features are an invaluable asset.
Features and Benefits
Integration with popular software. Stax integrates with popular legal billing software, such as Xero and Quickbooks, making it easy for you to reconcile payments with billing records.
Multiple payment types. On top of credit cards, Stax also accepts other popular law firm payment methods like ACH and eCheck, so you can offer your clients the flexibility to pay the way they prefer.
Recurring payments. With Stax, you can set up recurring payments for specific clients, such as those on monthly retainers or payment plans. This can save time and reduce the need for manual invoicing and payment processing.
Reliable customer support. Stax provides a range of customer support options including live chat, email, and phone to ensure that you receive fast assistance from their knowledgeable sales and technical team.
Read our expert Stax review for more details.
Payment Methods Available
Credit/debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, and bank transfers
Payment Depot is a top-notch credit card processor that’s ideal for law firms seeking a transparent and cost-effective pricing model with no long-term contracts. Like Stax, Payment Depot charges a subscription fee starting at $79.00 a month with low per-transaction costs. But it’s more affordable than Stax, making it a good alternative if your law firm is processing less than $8,000 a month. Payment Depot offers chargeback protection that can help you avoid costly fees – especially if an unhappy client commits “friendly fraud.” In addition, Payment Depot’s 24/7 fraud monitoring team helps minimize the risk of fraudulent transactions, ensuring that you can concentrate on your legal work without worrying about payment processing issues.
Payment Depot’s excellent customer support is available round-the-clock via phone to assist you in resolving any issues or concerns you may have. Although it lacks an online knowledge base, its responsive customer support team makes up for it,guaranteeing that you can always receive the help you need quickly and easily.
Features and Benefits
PCI compliance. Payment Depot’s payment processing is Level 1 PCI compliant and meets strict security standards for credit card processing, ensuring that sensitive payment information is safe.
Next-day funding. With next-day funding, your firm will be able to easily manage cash flow and access funds more quickly.
Virtual terminal. If you process credit card payments over the phone or through email, you can use Payment Depot’s virtual terminal. This can be useful if you have clients who are unable to make payments online.
User-friendly dashboard. Payment Depot’s online dashboard allows you to create branded invoices, track payments, and get notified when clients pay.
Due to its high approval rates and quick onboarding process, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is an excellent credit card processor for newer law firms. It offers a streamlined application process so you can start accepting payments in no time.
If you want to make sure your law firm is up-to-date with the latest payment technology, LMS offersmobile payment options to cater to younger clients who prefer to pay with their phone. Plus, you won’t have to sacrifice security for convenience, as LMS’s mobile payments are just as secure as other payment options, so you can rest assured that your clients’ sensitive data is protected.
LMS offers a”meet or beat” policy that guarantees it’ll beat your current rates or give you a $200 gift card. While I found it somewhat frustrating that pricing isn’t readily available on their website, the ability to negotiate pricing ensures that law firms can enjoy some of the best rates available on the market.
Features and Benefits
24/7 customer support. LMS offers an around-the-clock technical support hotline to assist you with any issues or concerns.
Dedicated chargeback support. LMS has an entire team available to assist with any chargebacks. They’ll walk you through the process and help you gather documentation needed to dispute a chargeback properly.
Authorize.net integration. For an extra monthly fee, you can seamlessly integrate the popular Authorize.net payment gateway into your website and enable online payments. Alternatively, you can use its virtual terminal to accept payments via phone, adding further flexibility to your payment acceptance options.
Cash advances. If your law firm needs a temporary cash injection, you can request a merchant cash advance from LMS. Once approved, you’ll repay the loan from a small commission on future sales.
PaymentCloud understands that different law firms have unique payment processing needs, and it works closely with each client to provide personalized solutions. While this means that pricing isn’t available online, it also ensures that you receive a payment processing system that meets your specific needs.
PaymentCloud is PCI compliant and adheres to all industry regulations, so you can be confident that your clients’ payments are safe and secure. It uses point-to-point encryption, tokenization, and fraud prevention tools to protect your clients’ sensitive payment data.Another key advantage of PaymentCloud is the vast number of integrations it offers (over 100!), including popular management and accounting programs commonly used by legal professionals like HubSpot and QuickBooks. This means that you can easily integrate your payment processing with your existing systems and streamline your workflow.
Features and Benefits
Advanced fraud detection. PaymentCloud uses advanced fraud detection tools to help law firms reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions.
eCheck and ACH processing. PaymentCloud offers eCheck processing, which allows law firms to process electronic checks from clients.
High-risk acceptance. PaymentCloud has a 98% approval rate and has specialized rates for high-risk businesses. Though you’ll have to pay slightly more per transaction, if you’ve had trouble securing a payment processor in the past, you’ll most likely be approved here.
International processing. PaymentCloud allows law firms to accept payments in 12 different currencies, which can be helpful if you work with international clients.
National Processing is another great option for law firms looking for transparency. It provides clear information about fees and plans right on its website. With National Processing, you’ll never have to worry about any hidden fees or surprises, as once you sign up your prices are locked in. There are a variety of plans to choose from, including specialty ones like non-profit plans if your law firm falls into this niche category.
One of the biggest advantages of working with National Processing is its same-day funding feature. This means that any transactions processed before a certain time will be deposited into your account on the same day, allowing you to access your funds quickly. This can be especially helpful for managing cash flow and staying on top of your finances.
While National Processing may not offer as many features as some other payment processors, its commitment to providing reliable and timely payment processing can make it a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable, no-frills option.
Features and Benefits
Invoicing availability. National Processing offers e-invoicing and recurring billing options – a crucial service for most law firms, especially if your clients prefer to split a large bill into smaller installments.
Contract and no-contract options. With National Processing, you’ll generally want to commit to a 2-3 year contract to get the best rates. However, you can also choose month-to-month contracts for added flexibility.
Online reporting. National Processing offers detailed online reporting tools that allow you to easily track transactions, identify trends, and monitor your revenue.
Accounting integrations. National Processing offers integrations with popular accounting platforms such as QuickBooks, making it easy for your law firm to reconcile payments and generate detailed income and expense reports.
For law firms looking for fast approval and easy onboarding, Flagship Merchant Services is a great option. When you sign up with Flagship, you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager who will guide you through the onboarding process and answer any questions you may have.
One of the standout features of Flagship is its negotiable pricing model. While pricing isn’t as transparent as it is with some other payment processors on my list, you can benefit from a personalized approach to pricing that can help you save money over the long term. This is particularly helpful if your law firm has unique processing requirements that may not be covered by standard pricing models.
Flagship also offers a powerful reporting tool, iAccess, which provides real-time reporting and analytics. This allows you to track your transactions to gain insights into your firm’s processing patterns. It’s not as advanced as something like Stax, but it provides you with basic information you may need.
Features and Benefits
No setup or cancellation fees. Flagship does not charge setup or cancellation fees, making it easy and affordable for you to start accepting credit card payments or change processors if you’re not happy.
Online payment gateway. Flagship’s secure online payment gateway allows you to accept payments through your website and offers fraud prevention technology such as . address verification (AVS) and card verification value (CVV2) for over-the-phone and transactions.
Fraud and chargeback protection. Flagship provides fraud and chargeback protection to help you mitigate the risk of financial loss due to fraudulent activities.
Recurring billing. Flagship allows you to set up recurring billing for retainer clients, making it easier to manage payments and reduce late or missing payments.
Which Law Firm Credit Card Processing Is Right for You?
For a credit card processor that’s perfect for law firms, Stax is my top recommendation. Not only is it an industry leader in terms of security and support, but it also offers easy account splitting, which is crucial for ensuring legal compliance when handling trust accounts.
If you run a smaller law firm with less revenue, Payment Depot is a great option. You’ll still get a ton of advanced features like integrations and 24/7 support, but at a more affordable price.
Or, if you’re a newer law firm or working on more of a budget, go with Leaders Merchant Services. It gives you everything you need to accept credit cards, plus the ability to also accept ACH payments and get started quickly.
Here’s a rundown of the best credit card processors for law firms.
Monthly fee on cheapest plan
Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Ability to split trust and operating accounts
Established law firms with large transaction amounts
How do I decide what credit card processor is right for my law firm?
When choosing a credit card processor for your law firm, consider the ability to handle recurring and ACH payments, security and data protection, and strong integrations with accounting software. Stax is the best overall option as it offers top-notch features, the ability to split funds into trust and operating accounts, and many high transaction law firms will save money with its subscription-style pricing model.
How long does it take to get set up with a credit card processor for my law firm?
The time it takes to set up a credit card processor can vary depending on the provider you choose. If you’re looking for a quick and easy onboarding process, consider Flagship Merchant Services. Once you apply, you can expect to receive a response within 24 hours. From there, your dedicated account manager will work with you to set up your account and start accepting payments.
Which credit card processor is best if I’ve just started my own law firm?
If you’ve just started your own law firm, Leader Merchant Services (LMS) could be a great option for your credit card processing needs. With transparent pricing and no cancellation fees, LMS offers a fast application process and integration with popular law firm management software. Its 24/7 customer support and next-day funding could also be beneficial for a new business.
Which credit card processor will best protect me from fraud or expensive chargebacks?
Payment Depot is an ideal credit card processor for protecting your business from fraud and chargebacks. Its 24/7 risk monitoring team, advanced data encryption, and dispute capabilities built directly into its dashboard help reduce chargeback risks, and it offers a chargeback assistance program to help you fight any disputes.
Ashley Hague is a freelance writer specializing in fintech, e-commerce, and sustainability in business. When not writing, she can be found working on creative film projects, trail running, and stalking dogs online.