In an increasingly digitized and fastpaced world, the business of law is also evolving. Mountains of paper have been replaced by electronic files and letters by email messages. Paper checks and cash have become nearly obsolete, with clients preferring the efficiency and convenience of electronic money transfer.
When Persolvent began serving customers as a retail payment provider in 1993, the technologies that would drive current trends were just beginning to take hold. Persolvent became an industry pacesetter and one of the first companies to process payments online. A recognized innovator of payment solutions, Persolvent continues to adapt to the needs of customers across three primary verticals: general commerce; government/schools; and legal, by developing leading edge payment processing tools enhanced by custom software integration.
After proving themselves a trusted service provider for the legal market, Persolvent entered into a joint development effort with law services giant, Thomson Reuters. The winning result was ClientPay, a tool that strategically integrates payment solutions with Thomson Reuters Elite’s 3E; Enterprise; and ProLaw accounting modules. Today, ClientPay is a leading payment solution used by Am Law 200 firms, along with numerous small and mediumsized firms, who have found the tools they need to safely and reliably manage client funds.
A peer monitor study conducted by Thomson Reuters in 2014, revealed that law firms, on average, are writing off 17 percent of their accounts receivable. According to Ryan Beck, ClientPay general manager, “A lot of our clients say their write-offs would double if they didn’t take credit cards, especially those who practice in the areas of family law, DUI and criminal law.”
Persolvent’s mission to “make life easier through innovation and technology” results in technology that is easy for clients to implement. The company offers full training and support for its products, as often as needed, so new employees can always be brought up to speed. “Our interface is very intuitive,” Beck explains. “Over time, we have tweaked it by listening to the voices of our customers. ClientPay is designed so firms can use it the same day. In many cases, a firm has already begun to process payments before I can schedule training. They’ve logged in, created their credentials, and gone off on their own. It really is a testament to how easy it is to use.”
When clients need assistance, live help is readily available. “We are always striving to provide a great product,” said Vince Arnoldi, Persolvent COO. “Our customer support experience includes the ability to call and get a live person. We want someone to be able to call and speak with a person who is highly trained on our platforms. We also keep service score cards to monitor how quickly we are resolving issues and whether we are meeting expectations.”
ClientPay effectively addresses the unique compliance needs of law firms. “Our automation separates earned and unearned fees,” Beck said. “We find many firms are still processing their retainer payments into their general account and then moving to trust once they receive the deposit. We make sure funds are going to the account they were intended for. We help firms prevent comingling of funds by directing them to one, two or multiple bank accounts. ClientPay meets the critical need of handling all the fees for the service from the firm’s operating account, so the firm will never pay processing fees with trust account money.”
ClientPay also implements the highest standards for information security. The PCI Security Standards Council is the global compliance forum that sets the standards for account data security. ClientPay is hosted in a Level I PCI DSS compliant facility and “eliminates storing sensitive card data from the law firm’s clients, limiting the data compliance liability for a law firm. ClientPay makes it easy by storing credit card information for the firm and providing a secure portal for clients to pay online and attorneys to send an invoice with a link to pay online,” Beck said.
ClientPay helps firms of all sizes reach their revenue goals by tailoring services to meet their needs. There are no set-up or annual fees, making it affordable for small firms to initiate service. “Our competitive rates have to do with our product and ability to optimize every transaction that comes through. We support all four major card brands, and we want to make sure our customers are getting the lowest possible rate with each card. In some cases, our clients are saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month on processing fees,” Beck said.
Persolvent’s ability to deliver superior products and services begins with its people- centered corporate culture. The company exemplifies six core qualities: honesty and integrity; excellence; customer focus; passion; professionalism; and charitable giving. “New customer acquisition is critical to our growth,” explained Arnoldi, “but it is even more important that we make sure that our existing customers are happy. Every team member has a desk tent printed with our core values. It reminds them to exemplify these values when they are working with clients and with each other.”
That dedication is also reflected in the company’s commitment to community service. Persolvent donates 10 percent of its pretax profits to charity, and their employees dedicate many hours and resources to charitable works, with a particular focus on providing food to people in need around the world.
Persolvent works in partnership with customers to build better technology that is responsive to their changing needs. As a result, Persolvent is fulfilling its mission of making clients’ lives easier through innovation and technology, and it is earning the right to be recommended.
When Persolvent began serving customers as a retail payment provider in 1993, the technologies that would drive current trends were just beginning to take hold.