The market for legal services has fundamentally changed, especially in the past two years, thanks to the fact that the world has embraced a new level of technology adoption. What this means for lawyers and legal professionals is that they need to reconsider how they deliver legal services to clients. In this challenge lies an opportunity to redefine how law firms truly deliver a client-centered experience—from the first client touchpoint to the very last.
How legal clients pay for legal services is an essential component of providing a client-centered experience. Clients are demanding and expecting more from law firms when it comes to how they pay for legal services. Many systems that lawyers have in place are at odds with the fact that consumers have been using debit and credit cards to pay for goods and services online for years.
Modern, cloud-based technologies have the potential to help improve individual interactions while also delivering compounding benefits to firm efficiency. By adopting an online payment system, firms not only create convenience for their clients, but also open the door to more automated processes that free up time for firm staff.
Online payment systems also enable passive bill collection. This way, legal clients can pay remotely and at any time, without the need for someone at the law firm to be physically present to process the payments. In addition, online payment systems automate back-end processes. This means that once a client makes a payment, a payment system updates the appropriate billing records at the firm, indicating exactly how much was paid, when it was paid, and if there are any amounts outstanding.
At Clio, we’ve recently added native payment processing to our cloud-based solution offerings. Clio Payments is currently available in our flagship practice management system, Clio Manage. This is a significant milestone for our company: Our customers will now have the ability to manage the entire legal client journey—from the very beginning of client intake, all the way through payment collection—through one secure, compliant, and trusted system.
Specifically, adding payment processing directly within Clio Manage means that our customers can now use Clio to accept credit, debit, and eCheck payments online. It also means our customers’ clients can pay through flexible payment plans, accept trust payments, and be confident that they are compliant with trust accounting rules.
Allowing clients to pay with automated, flexible payment plans has the potential to make legal services much more accessible to those who need them most by giving consumers the flexibility to pay over a longer period of time. This can be a competitive advantage for firms acquiring clients in the first place, but also a valuable tool for improving collection rates in the long run.
The decision to add an online payment processing platform was a natural one for Clio—it is fueled by our desire to simplify common, day-to-day interaction points between legal professionals and clients. We know that payment is in fact the most frequent point of friction that arises during attorney-client interactions—and this friction point places a heavy burden on a firm’s operations, time, and revenue.
Streamlining this single touchpoint has the potential to fundamentally change where legal professionals spend their time and energy. As a result of this new functionality, Clio Manage users can expect a seamless, end-to-end billing and collections process within Clio. And this is only the beginning—we’ll continue to innovate and improve the methods clients use to pay, so attorney-client interactions become even simpler in the future.
As the industry leader in the legal practice management space, we understand that legal professionals rely on Clio to help them navigate rapidly-evolving client expectations. And one of the major recent shifts in legal client expectations is the desire to pay online—as 65% of individuals now say they prefer to do so.
Therefore, it is essential for us to offer our customers the best billing and payments experience possible. To do this, we’ve added online payment processing to all Clio Manage subscriptions, and we’ve made things simple with one flat transaction fee, across all forms of payment. Unlike other providers, we’ve opted not to charge additional fees, such as those passed on from credit card networks. And as always, the people behind our software are here to make our customers successful. We’re offering:
- Premium chargeback protection.
- 24/5 customer support with dedicated payments experts.
Lastly, our vision to incorporate payment processing into all of our cloud-based solutions aligns with Clio’s mission to transform the legal experience for all. We see it as part of our responsibility to provide those who need legal assistance with more (and better) ways to pay for representation—because the people who need legal help aren’t always in a position to afford it. We aim to increase access to justice by driving an industry-wide shift towards more flexible and convenient legal service delivery. Enhancing consumers’ ability to purchase legal services in a way that works for them will help drive this shift.
You can learn more about Clio’s new online payment processing solution here, where you’ll also find many other initiatives we’ve been working on to make offering client-centered experiences even easier for law firms.
Thank you for the work that you do.