Stripe is a widely-used internet payment processor with powerful features. It’s designed to get users up and running as quickly as possible with a simple interface. It also allows more sophisticated developers to set up complex payment workflows and integrations if needed. However, it isn’t specific to law firm use.
Multiple payment types. You can accept payments in nearly any format. You can take major credit cards, currency from 135 different countries, Apple Pay, ACH debits, and Bitcoin, among others. Stripe also lets you take phone and in-person payments.
Recurring billing. It isn’t uncommon for lawyers to have clients who are on payment plans. Stripe will handle billing your clients on a regular basis. It’s even able to support usage-based plans, where billing varies from month-to-month based on services used.
Stripe has no monthly costs, but all credit card transactions have a fee of 2.9% + 30 cents. International cards carry an additional 1% fee, plus a 1% conversion fee.
It also has a customized package option for businesses with large payments or with unique business models.
If you want to give it a test run, you can create a test account to play around in their sandbox.
|Starting Monthly Fee||$0|
|Starting Processing Fee||2.9% + $0.30|
|Support||Phone or email|
|Accepts Major Credit Cards||✓|
|Trust Account Compliance|
Things You Might Want to Know
Customer support. Stripe offers excellent customer support with its 24/7 live chat and phone support to all its customers, in addition to its knowledge base for those who prefer a DIY approach to problem solving.
Security. Stripe is certified as a Payment Card Industry (PCI) Level 1 Provider, which is the most stringent level of certification in the credit card payment industry. All data passing between your browser and Stripe is transmitted via a secure server and encrypted. All credit card numbers stored in Stripe are 256-bit (bank-grade) encrypted and decryption keys are stored on separate machines.
Apps and Integrations. Stripe integrates with many different invoicing programs, including FreshBooks and Zoho, accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero, and notification platforms such as Slack. Thanks to an open API (Application Programming Interface), Stripe can integrate with any number of programs if those programs support connecting with other pieces of software and you have a developer that is capable of doing that sort of programming. Stripe has apps for iOS and Android so you can view your payment, customer, and subscription data.
Who Stripe is For
Stripe is very full-featured but isn’t quite a perfect fit for law firms. Unlike law-specific payment processors, there is no easy integration with law practice management software (though you may be able to use Stripe’s API to create an integration). This also means that you won’t automatically be trust account-compliant when using Stripe, though you can set up separate accounts. Further, while Stripe can be used to simply run and collect online payments, such a use wouldn’t nearly be tapping into its potential. However, for the firm that needs to quickly and easily accept payments via its website and doesn’t want to deal with monthly subscription costs or complicated programming issues, Stripe is likely a good fit.