Special Offer

For Law Firms with EPSG Esquire Payments

 

Now Law Firms can utilize our electronic invoicing solution at no cost!

 

Get Started

 

With EPSG Esquire Payments, Law Firms can accept secure payments from anywhere, at the office, or in the courtroom!

 
Join the many law firms and Bar associations that use EPSG Esquire Payments to fully optimize cash flow. With our transparent pricing structure and robust product offering, you’ll spend more time winning and less time manually managing your invoices.

 

  • Lower payment processing fees in a customized, transparent structure
  • Card present, virtual terminal and online payment options
  • Invoicing and recurring payment features
  • Separate trust and operating accounts for fees and deposits
  • PCI Compliance program with leading industry leader Trustwave

Contact:

 

Bradley Sommer, Esq. is an attorney and sales partner for EPSG’s Esquire Payments. Brad has first-hand experience and knowledge to show how Esquire Payments can better payment processing for your firm or practice. Call or complete the form below today:

 

888-459-0474

PAYMENTS 

Whether on the road or in the office, you can accept EMV Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover and receive funding the next day, all in one batch! Alternative payments such as electronic checks and ACH payments are also fully integrated in one easy to use gateway.

ELECTRONIC INVOICING

Collect fees faster and eliminate paper statements with our electronic invoicing product! This easy to use invoicing solution integrates with our payment gateway and helps your firm increase operational efficiencies.

RECURRING BILLING 

Keep all your client information in a centralized database and bill your clients automatically. Create specialized payment plans or simple monthly payments, it’s up to you!

Not only has Esquire Payments lowered our rates by 1%+, but they have provided first class service! We would recommend them to other law firms.

- 50+ Attorney Firm in Uniondale, NY

Working with Esquire Payments has been a pleasure. They saved us five figures annually in a transparent manner! They took the time to educate us and offer personal service that other processors never did previously.

- Specialized Litigation Firm with Offices in NYC and Long Island

 

Esquire Program Contact Form

Please leave us your contact information and an EPSG Esquire Program representative will contact your shortly.

 




 

Legal Beagle Blog

Are You IOLTA Compliant?

If you are a lawyer who maintains a client trust account, then this program applies to you.

IOLTA stands for Interest On Lawyer’s Trust Accounts.  It requires law firms to take monies related to a trust and keep it in an interest bearing depository account.  Participating financial institutions take the interest earned on deposits held in IOLTA accounts and remit the interest directly to the IOLTA Fund. The Fund generates millions of dollars and these funds help to finance legal aid for those in need. 

Why was this program created? 

Unlike the criminal justice system, people with civil legal problems are not guaranteed an attorney. From the abused woman trying to find safety for herself and her children, to the elderly woman unlawfully evicted from her home, legal aid exists to ensure that all Americans have access to our civil justice system. 

Just as lawyers must find a financial institution that supports IOLTA, they must also research which merchant services providers can support a process whereby trust payments and unearned income (such as retainers) get deposited into a trust account, while income for earned legal services get deposited into the operating account.  The IOLTA program also prohibits fees from being debited from a trust account.  All business expenses, including merchant services fees, must come out of the operating account.  

Once you’ve taken the time to ensure you’re compliant with IOLTA, why don’t you let your clients know!  Display some information about the IOLTA Program,  advertise its purpose and let people know your firm proudly supports it.  You can also post this information on your website and any marketing collateral your firm produces.  Small businesses who support local charities proudly let their customers know by advertising it at their place of business – why shouldn’t you?  

For some examples of how the IOLTA program has helped those in need you can visit http://www.iolta.org/what-is-iolta/iolta-makes-a-difference.

All 50 states participate in IOLTA and to find your state’s site, visit this directory. Your state’s site should also provide a listing of local financial institutions that support the IOLTA program.

Top 5 Tips for Law Firms to Improve Cash Flow

Thought passing the bar was the hard part?

Managing a law firm’s day to day operations can be a daunting task – you have cases, mounds of paperwork, deadlines and hours of prep work to ensure a positive outcome for your clients.  Because your services come at a high price, many firms find that when it comes time to collect your hard earned fees, it can take up to 90 days or more to get paid.  Meanwhile, your living and business expenses continue to pile up.

The administrative burden associated with paper invoicing and accounting distracts you from the valuable time you could re-allocate toward building your practice.

So, with respect to your time, let’s get right to some solutions.  Here are the top 5 tips to help your law firm increase cash flow, collect more revenue and improve operational efficiencies:

1. Accept Credit Cards as a Form of Payment 

Offering your clients the ability to pay with a credit card provides your clients with the option of paying off your services over time, rather than all at once.  Here are some powerful facts to consider:

  • Research shows that firms that offer credit cards as a means of payment collect up to 29% more revenue
  • 66% of consumers prefer to pay by credit card, the percentage is even higher among millennials
  • Credit card funds can be deposited into your bank account as quickly as the next day

If you’re currently waiting three months to get paid by traditional invoice, accepting credit cards is a huge win.

With so many processors vying for your business, evaluating different pricing proposals can become overwhelming.  However, as long as you insist on what’s called “interchange plus,” or, “cost plus pricing,” your fixed and negotiable fees will be transparent, allowing you to see exactly what it costs to accept credit cards. Pricing options such as “tiered rates,” (which quote different rates depending on card types), or “promotional rates” that offer you a rate without even looking at your bank statements, are oftentimes, very misleading. These types of rates are typically marketing tactics with lots of hidden fees and surcharges. Upon closer review, you may find that the promotional rates only apply to debit cards, or, to Visa and MasterCard card types and not American Express. It is important that you fully understand your rate structure, because your effective rates can wind up being nearly double what you were quoted. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember that it’s not always about rate. Payment processing for law firms differs drastically from how the typical retail and restaurant merchant processes, and there are important regulations around how funds are allocated.  Make sure you find a processor that understands payments regulations and how they apply to law firms specifically.  A seasoned payments professional can offer knowledge and payments technology that is far more valuable than a low rate.

2. Replace Paper Invoices with Electronic Invoices

Paper invoicing costs your firm time and money.  Creating and printing the invoice, stuffing the envelope and using snail mail is not the most efficient way to bill a client.  Electronic invoicing is a far less manual solution that will allow your firm to:

  • create custom invoices online
  • send invoices via email
  • provide a means by which clients can pay for your services online, using a credit card, debit card or their bank account (this form of payment is called ACH)

If your services are on retainer, electronic invoicing can be scheduled to automatically send an invoice on a monthly basis, so your fees can be paid timely.  If you’re tired of following up with unpaid invoices, sending multiple pieces of mail and paying for postage, electronic invoicing is a much more efficient way to bill your clients and increase cash flow.

3. Offer Payment Plans

Many firms do not offer payment plans to clients because it increases the time it takes to collect your full fee.  Payment plans can also wind up being an administrative nightmare when trying to reconcile multiple payments against balances owed.  While these are valid concerns, offering payment plans may alleviate some of the sticker shock that can be associated with an invoice, and the software available in today’s marketplace can help to automate and reconcile balances on your behalf.  Some law firms feel that presenting a payment plan as an option helps to secure payment in full, since payment terms are a collaboration between the client and the firm.  This arrangement, commonly referred to as “recurring billing,” can be popular with Criminal Defense and Immigration Attorneys and because of the sense of relief your clients may feel knowing that they don’t have to come up with a large payment all at once, payment plans can prove to be an effective tool in obtaining referrals from your clients.

4. Accept ACH Payments

While yes, it is no longer common to write a check at the grocery store or in a restaurant, the service industry, specifically medical and law practices, still accept paper checks as a form of payment.  If your firm accepts paper checks, know that you can save trips to the bank and maximize cash flow by accepting ACH (automated clearing house)

payments, instead of paper checks.  This payment type deducts funds straight from your client’s checking account. Similar to credit card payments, ACH attempts provide an immediate “approval” or “decline,” letting you know the if funds are available.  Another benefit of ACH payments is that financial institutions will clear ACH payments before paper checks.  Consider this: if a consumer has $1100 in the bank and an ACH and paper check for $1000 goes through on the same day: the ACH will process, the paper check will bounce – that can mean the difference between you getting paid, or not.  It is worthwhile to know that credit card and ACH payments, recurring billing and electronic invoicing features can all be supported through the same software called, a “gateway.”  There are many gateways available in the marketplace today and the pricing and functionality can vary dramatically, so again, finding a consultative salesperson that has subject matter expertise in this technology is paramount.

5. Enroll in Next Day Funding and Amex’s OptBlue Program

Here’s an important tip when signing up for your credit card processing account – ask when you will receive your funds!  All credit card funding times are not equal.  Some processors have funding schedules that require you to wait 48 hours for funds to be available.

Enrolling in next day funding can fully optimize cash flow by shaving days off funding time.  Furthermore, funding for your American Express transactions may be delayed an additional 24 hours and show up in a separate deposit, which can complicate reconciliation.  With Amex’s OptBlue program, you can settle all your credit card transactions as late as 11 PM eastern time and get funded for your Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Amex transactions the next business day, all in the same batch.  Both next day funding and the Amex OptBlue program are available through your processor – there is no need to find these solutions through your bank or through American Express.  When evaluating processors, asking for these programs will be key to finding a solution that will contribute toward the success of your firm.

The credit card processing world has become riddled with regulations and complexities, but a processor and sales representative who specializes in payments for law firms can recommend the right technology and program that supports the diverse needs of your firm, while improving cash flow and reducing administrative costs.  You worked so hard to get to where you are today, take the time to ensure you’re doing what’s best for your firm – and your bottom line.  Ask the right questions, adapt the right technology and know what you’re paying for.