What to Know Before Getting Started
Starting a New Business?
Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.
Considerations For Current Business Owners
Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.
Law firms require credit card processing that is both simple and sophisticated. Since most client payments are billed upfront and placed in an IOLTA or other trust account, there are no intense point-of-sale demands to consider. However, there are still some challenges when it comes to securely routing transactions, re-charging client cards, accepting ACH payments, establishing payment plans, invoicing clients, refunding unearned payments, and tracking incoming and outgoing payments. Using the right payment system can keep cardholders happy and their funds moving smoothly, while making the wrong choice can result in delays, excessive fees, and dissatisfied clients.
To help you make the right choice for your law office, we’ve compiled the following list of the best merchant account providers for lawyers. These merchant account providers offer processing solutions that keep equipment and processing costs to a minimum while still facilitating the management of retainers, payment plans, and trust accounts. In most cases, the best solution for attorneys will be the virtual terminal option offered by each company, but there are also mobile and online payment products that could be useful under certain conditions. You are encouraged to contact multiple providers on this list to determine which one offers the most appropriate solution for your law firm.
Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.
Why These Merchant Account Providers
Host Merchant Services
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for law offices. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, and mobile credit card processing. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce business types and can provide a free website and email address to new law office clients looking to build a web presence. These comprehensive options are essential for any law firm that wants to maintain a strong web presence and to easily process payments online.
Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. Host offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving standard to high risk business types. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. These features allow merchants to accept payments over the phone and generate detailed invoices that can be paid through a virtual terminal. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for law firms as it allows them to easily deal with clients directly and provide them with online payment options that can process credit card or ACH payments to easily resolve outstanding balances.
PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”
Active since early 2014, Fattmerchant is a merchant account provider leading the industry’s move toward flat-rate, subscription-style pricing. The company’s products and services include EMV-compatible countertop terminals, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, mobile phone processing, QuickBooks integration, online invoicing, and recurring billing. Fattmerchant is capable of serving all standard-risk attorney’s offices and offers a comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.
Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates. Merchants can select either a plan that charges a flat fee on all transactions or a plan that charges a fixed monthly fee plus a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, merchants can choose whether or not they are charged a percentage markup on each transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.