There are four basic ways of processing your transactions:
- Virtual Terminal Internet Processing is one of the most popular and efficient ways for you to accept credit cards. You are able to check on the status of your transactions, easily determine which account (your trust or operating) you want the deposit to be made, review the past 6 months activity, and set up recurring payments.
- Mobile phone processing is an easy and convenient way to accept card transactions. You can swipe the transaction with a small device that attaches to your phone or key it in on your phone. Our phone programs are the only mobile programs that allow you to properly differentiate deposits between your accounts so you can maintain compliance.
- Private Payment Portal allows the firm to pass the transaction fees on to their client. This option saves the firm the processing costs. It also gives you flexibility in your billing as to how you appropriate the transaction costs between the firm and the client. Your client comes to a secured site to enter their card info and amount. The client pays the discount and transaction fees, at the higher ‘capped rate’ of 3.5% and $2.00
As a result of a class action settlement in January 2013 between merchants and the Card Companies, most state bars have also permitted attorneys to add a surcharge for the costs of a card transaction. However eleven states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Texas—and Puerto Rico still prohibit merchants from charging consumers with surcharges on credit card transactions.
Some firms have advised their clients that they accept cash or checks but if they want to pay by credit card they use a particular company that will process their transaction for a convenience fee. LawCharge is the third party that facilitates and securely processes the transaction for you and your client. You are advised to check with your state bar ethics committee for guidance on this issue of a ‘convenience fee’ that is NOT charged by your firm but by LawCharge.
- A Point of Sale (POS) terminal is what you find in retail locations. It is best used when the card is present and can be ‘swiped’ to read the magnetic strip or the new EMV chip cards. Most law firms do not have the volume to support the costs of the terminal, the paper, and the ink. These machines are good for high volume activity. Attorneys typically have 3-7 transactions per month.
Some law firms already have POS terminals in which case we can easily re-program them to set up your accounts. Never, ever lease one of these machines. By time your lease is up you would have paid for it three times over.