How to Optimize Credit Card Processing for Law Firms

November 12, 2021

Credit card processing for law firms is a complex and confusing process. There are many different credit card processors to choose from, and each one has its own set of requirements and fees. A lawyer could spend hours researching the best card processor for their business before they even get started. This means that card processors need to have strong security measures, which can be difficult for small law firms. However, there are some simple steps that law firms can take to make card processing easier for themselves while still ensuring cardholder protection. This post will go over how you can optimize credit card processing for your law firm.

What Is a Credit Card Processing Service and How Does It Work?

A card processing service is a company that facilitates transactions between merchants and cardholders, either online or in-person. The card processor sets the rate for each transaction, including fees to use their system and costs passed on from banks and payment networks like Visa or Mastercard. This means that business owners have little control over what card processors charge them.

The card processing service will start the transaction by authorizing it with the cardholder's bank and then sending this authorization request to payment networks like Visa or Mastercard. Once these networks respond, either denying or approving the cardholders' request, they pass that information to card processors who relay it back to merchants through an online gateway.

Additionally, card processors will often provide cardholders with tools to track their card transactions. These are examples of online reporting, mobile apps for card balances and transaction history, e-receipts that go directly to email inboxes, or text message updates when a card payment is made.

What are the Benefits of Accepting Credit Card Payments?

Acceptance of card payments can help law firms grow their client base by making it easier for more people to pay invoices online or on the go using a smartphone, tablet, or another device. This convenience will help law firms attract new clients who want a seamless experience for paying invoices.

Furthermore, card payments can shorten the time it takes to get paid by allowing cardholders to transfer funds instantly from their bank account to yours, rather than having to wait several days or weeks. This makes cash flow more predictable and reduces late invoice fees assessed for late or missed payments.

Below are the benefits of optimizing card processing arrangements:

  • Lower fees associated with transactions
  • Increased card processing services for law firms
  • Streamlined card payments across multiple locations
  • More payment options available to clients and attorneys
  • With greater card processing security, card processors help keep cardholder and attorney information safe.
  • Faster transaction speeds and more accurate data retrieval.
  • It increased business revenue due to card rewards programs offered by card processors.

What Can a Law Firm Do to Make Card Process Easier?

Card processing for law firms is a complex task that must be completed daily. Several things can be done to simplify the process and make card processing more accessible and efficient. The following sections will go over some of these methods for making card processing work better for lawyers:

  • Use card processing software to optimize card transactions: card processing software can help simplify card transactions and make card processing easier for lawyers.
  • Using an online merchant account: Many law firms use an online merchant account instead of going through a card processing company to have a better card processing system. This is beneficial because it allows for better flexibility and more simple card transactions, saving time and money for lawyers.
  • Have a card processor on retainer: Many law firms will place the card processor on retainer when using card processing software. Hence, they have their services whenever needed instead of having to use an outside card processor. This card processing on retainer is also beneficial because it saves money and time for lawyers, which can increase profits.
  • Get card processing equipment: To have a successful card processing system that works well for law firms, many businesses will need card reader terminals and mobile card readers to accept credit cards anywhere at any time. These card reader terminals are beneficial because they allow lawyers to accept credit card payments at any time, which is better for business and can increase profits in the long run.
  • Use card processing equipment leasing: Law firms do not have to worry about buying card reader terminals or other types of card processing equipment because many leases these devices instead. This card processing equipment leasing is beneficial because it allows lawyers to acquire card reader terminals and other card processing devices without purchasing them.
  • Use rewards cards: Many law firms use rewards credit cards instead of traditional credit card options, which can help increase profits in the long run due to card reward points that will accumulate over time.

Credit Card Processing Fee 

The card processor will charge a percentage of your total sales for the service provided to accept credit card payments on behalf of your firm. This is called "card processing fee" or swipe fee, and it can be anywhere.

The card processing fee for law firms depends on some factors, including:

  1. Card type, e.g., MasterCard or Visa Credit Card vs. Debit card vs. Amex card: card type is a vital card processing fee factor because it determines the card processor's cost for providing card services.
  2. Amount of card transactions: The amount of card transactions can also determine how much credit card processing service will be charged to your law firm, which may increase or decrease depending on other factors involved in each transaction that is beyond your control.
  3. Customer card information: The card processor will also charge more for credit card processing if customer card information is required to be entered into their systems, which can increase your costs depending on the type of card used by customers when making purchases.
  4. Merchant category code: A merchant category code (or MCC) is an important card processing fee factor because it determines the card processor's cost for providing card services. Different card types have different MCCs. The card processing fee will change depending on which card type is used by customers when making purchases.
  5. Industry: The card processor's cost for providing services to your business varies depending on what industry you are involved in.

Card processing fees will vary based on business location and industry type too! It is essential to know that some service providers may have different pricing for the same kind of card depending on where your law firm operates.

How Can Law Firms Optimize Their Credit Card Processing for Increase?

Optimizing card processing means that the firm can take advantage of their merchant services provider's card payment tools and features. Firms must first ensure that they work within the "best practices" guidelines for credit card security. Doing so will not only reduce exposure to potential fraud, but card processing will be quicker and easier for cardholders. When working with card payments, it is vital that law firms can quickly access their funds following each transaction. The law firm must look towards providers who offer the lowest possible rates, combined with outstanding customer service.

Determine Your Credit Card Processing Needs on Your Law Firms

You must know what card processing services are offered so that you can choose the best card processor for your legal business. In terms of credit card processors, there are two main types: those who have a merchant account directly with a financial institution and traditional aggregators (middlemen).

The first type is advantageous because they do not require monthly fees, but the downside is that they can often only offer card readers. The second type will require monthly payments and be more flexible in what card processing services you need. Still, it may also mean needing a merchant account with your financial institution.

This option gives you better control over card processing features like interchange rates for different types of cards, real-time reporting, and chargeback protection. Whichever card processing service you choose to go with, remember that card processing costs will be high for your law firm if you are not properly assessing your needs beforehand.


Today's law firms are more than just a place to go when you're in legal trouble. They've become an extension of our daily lives, handling everything from business contracts to divorces and everything in between. To ensure your firm's success in this new world, it's critical to understand how the law works and what happens behind the scenes at your office every day with credit card processing for lawyers.

Contact BNG Payments to learn more.

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