Ten years ago, I missed out on buying my first home. Having scraped enough money together to pay the deposit and associated government tax, I only had to figure out how to pay for the legal fees. My plan was to use my 0% purchases credit card to pay my lawyer, and eventually pay this off over a series of months. It didn’t work out.  My wife and I were left disappointed when we discovered that the lawyer we had hired and counted on to execute the real estate transaction would not accept credit card payments. While we quickly looked around for another lawyer who did accept credit cards we lost the home to another family. And a law firm lost my business.

Fast forward 10 years and now almost every law firm accepts credit card payments. As a provider of software solutions to law firms, including practice management systems, it’s incumbent upon us at Thomson Reuters to bake in solutions in our products to make operating easier for the firm. Solutions such as credit card processing. So that nobody loses out on business again.

I’m a Product Manager currently working on our Firm Central practice management solution.  Firm Central enables firms to manage their client and matter intake, schedule calendar appointments, bill for time and create professional invoices, among lots of other great features.  Last year, we partnered with ClientPay and delivered credit card processing to Firm Central customers. The feature enables the firm to process card payments easily, all without leaving Firm Central.  Our current clients love it!

For a Product Manager, the real prize is to deliver a feature that delights customers and is innovative. By definition, that’s a feature that customers haven’t asked for 100 times before. It’s a feature that gives users what they need before they realized they really needed it.

We wanted our credit card solution to be even more valuable by enabling law firms to get paid faster and by enabling their clients to pay directly, round the clock, without having to call the firm up first. We wanted a solution that didn’t just think about the firm but also thought about the consumer of legal services. We knew the key was convenience! To make the feature as convenient as possible, we would have to remove obstacles to paying the invoice, such as not requiring a client to call in, or physically come into the firm, or login to a website etc.  We needed to make it safe, seamless and convenient. We finally found our innovative piece.

Once we conceived the framework of a solution, we assembled a small team and got to work to deliver the vision of real convenience for our customers.  After overcoming some technical challenges, late nights and long weekends we were able to do just that.  Recently launched, is an even deeper integration between ClientPay and Firm Central.  Now firms can choose to insert a link and QR code onto invoices they send out to clients. Clients can follow the link or quickly scan the QR code with their mobile device and pay their bills in under a minute. This automatically updates Firm Central in real time and delivers a notification to the firm that a client has made an online payment. This is a win-win for everyone. It’s easy and convenient for clients to pay their bills and laws firms get paid expeditiously!

If you’d like to learn more about leveraging these features for both you and your clients, visit FirmCentral.com and get started with a free trial today!