The LawPay system was built specifically for attorneys to ensure complete compliance by following strict ABA and IOLTA guidelines. If you have questions about what that means for you and your firm, read through our FAQs to learn more.
A merchant account is a business account established on a Visa/MasterCard/Discover processing network, which gives your business the ability to accept credit or debit cards from clients.
Unlike a standard merchant account, LawPay offers account options structured to handle the unique requirements of an attorney-client transaction. When your client pays by credit card, funds are immediately separated into trust and operating accounts as required by the ABA Code of Professional Conduct and most state bar guidelines on trust accounting. Payments for earned fees are deposited into the firm operating account. Payments identified as unearned fees, retainers or advanced fees of any kind are deposited to the firm trust or IOLTA account in order to avoid commingling of client funds.
With LawPay, any processing fees or banking charges associated with payment processing are deducted from the law firm’s operating account. This includes processing for payments designated for a trust or IOLTA account. For example: if your firm accepts a retainer by credit card, the full dollar amount of the retainer is deposited into the appropriate trust account. Processing fees for all transactions are then deducted at the end of the month from the firm’s operating account.
From the date of a transaction, deposits generally take 24 – 48 hours to credit to your bank account. Weekends and banking holidays are not counted toward deposit time frames.
Great! You already know the benefits of accepting credit cards. On average, our competitive program saves attorneys 20-25% off traditional bank merchant account fees. A member of our team can quickly compare your current program to LawPay and estimate your savings.
Absolutely! LawPay provides a secure web link that can be easily added to your web content. This does not require additional development or programming on your part. If you prefer to create something more customized, we are also happy to share our APIs with your web designer. Learn more about all of our features here.
We can generally work with any existing credit card equipment. Most systems are easily updated to LawPay through a simple download. This update takes approximately 10-15 minutes so you can begin accepting charges immediately. There is no charge to update or reprogram your equipment.
Specialty cards are non-standard payment cards such as corporate, purchasing, government and rewards cards. These card types are generally funded with higher fees from the issuing banks and are more expensive to process.
LawPay does not have a monthly minimum processing requirement. In addition, your firm is not penalized for inactivity. We understand law firms may not always have predictable charge activity. Your account is ready when you need it.
Your agreement with LawPay is always month-to-month. We do not believe in long-term contracts or forcing clients to work with us. If you are not 100% satisfied with your LawPay account, you may cancel at any time.
There is never a penalty for closing your LawPay account.
In 2013, Visa, MasterCard, and the card brands changed their policy to allow for credit card surcharging at the merchant level. However, be aware specific rules vary by state. Check with the card brands to determine if your state prohibits surcharging. Many law firms simply build the additional cost into their fees as a standard business expense. This is generally recommended as the proper and more professional way to handle the business expense of processing payments.
A chargeback is the reversal of a sale or transaction. A chargeback is different than a return and occurs when a transaction is disputed by a cardholder. Cardholders may dispute a transaction through their card-issuing bank if they believe the charge was charged in error, service was not received, or the law firm did not have their authorization to charge the transaction. With proper procedures in place, chargebacks can be avoided in your firm.
LawPay recommends adding authorization language to your client engagement letters and maintaining separate card authorizations on file. In the event of a chargeback, attorneys can generally have them reversed by showing this documentation, along with verification that the work was performed for the client. For more tips on preventing chargebacks, see our Chargeback Prevention Guide.
PCI Compliance is a set of guidelines for protecting credit card data ─ the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. These regulations were developed in 2006 and enforced by major card brands. Each year, the card brands require that you complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) as a way to evaluate the security in your office.
As a major benefit to our clients, we manage PCI Compliance on your behalf at no additional charge. For specific questions regarding PCI you may contact our PCI department at 866.376.0947.