Things Lawyers Should Check Before Using Credit Cards
For lawyers and other legal professionals, handling credit cards for their operation purposes can be quite tricky. Credit cards are often associated with minimum transaction volumes, ludicrous fees and restrictive contracts. All too often, these notions are completely justified. The problem can be so troublesome that some lawyers choose to forget about using credit cards altogether. They choose to use cash and debit cards whenever possible, so they have one less hassle to deal with. However, not having credit cards can prevent some law firms from operating more smoothly. As an example, lawyers should always be open to the possibility of allowing clients with credit cards. Having one more channel of payment will help to increase the overall sales.
The truth is, you can flexible and affordable credit card service for your law firm, especially if you are a solo professional. Unfortunately, good offers are not easy to recognize, because they don’t stand out among others. Even so, you can check the following details:
- Statement fees: Statement fees are the amount that credit card providers charge you to compose and send your billing statement. A normal statement fee is around $10 per month. If possible, you could negotiate with the provider to simply send you the statement through email. Often, they can do this freely for you.
- Monthly minimums: These are not related to the minimum sales volume, but more about the minimum charges. Usually, the monthly minimum is around $25 per month.
- Transaction fees: These are flat fees for each transaction using the merchant account, which could be around 25 cents per transaction. If possible, the transaction fees are lower than that, especially if you plan to make plenty of transactions.
- Annual fee: Most credit card services require you to pay annual fees that may range from $45 to $100, depending on the type of card. As an example, a premium card with plenty of benefits and features will have the highest amount of annual fee.
- Program fees: Program fees are also known as the monthly fee. They may range from $5 to $25 each month.
- Discount rates: Discount rates are also known as the flat rates. With every sale, a percentage is automatically commissioned to the merchant service. It may range between 1.95 percent and 5.95 percent, depending on the type of service.
- Cancellation fee: In the account contract, we could find the “minimum term of duration” clause. It means that if you cancel the contract before the expiration of the term, you may need to pay anywhere between $95 and $250.
- Equipment lease: You will need to lease the necessary equipment to allow for credit card swiping. You can purchase the equipment, but it’s quite expensive. The leasing fee could range between $30 and $80 each month with average term of 3 or 4 years. You can’t cancel these leases and even if you don’t use the equipment, you will still need to pay the monthly fee. When the leasing period ends, you need to return the equipment in working and good condition. The purchase price of the equipment could be equal to six months of lease.