Clio, the world’s leading provider of cloud-based legal technology, has announced the launch of Clio Payments in Canada—a foundational payments technology built for the legal industry—enabling lawyers to provide client-centered payment options in Canada.
“Through our work with hundreds of thousands of legal professionals, we know that the most frequent point of friction in attorney-client relationships is collections,” said Jack Newton, CEO and Founder of Clio. “Financial matters bear a heavy burden on firm operations, time, and revenue. Bringing payments to the Canadian market has the potential to fundamentally change where legal professionals spend their time—and who can access legal services. Canadians can now benefit from a better payment experience when dealing with their legal matters.”
Clio Payments makes the billing and collections process easier for lawyers while offering secure and compliant online payment choices for their clients. Flexible payment schedules are available for all Clio Payments customers, an important feature for Canadians with limited resources to access legal services.
It marks Clio’s first international expansion for legal payments
Clio Payments was launched in the U.S. at the 2021 Clio Cloud Conference, initiating Clio’s expansion into financial services for the legal industry. In the first year, Clio established its market dominance as customers quickly migrated to the built-in solution to process their legal transactions. Expanding payments into the Canadian market is a first step to broadening the payments offering internationally.
“Clio has steadily grown to solve the pain points between lawyers and clients by providing seamless and efficient solutions at every point of the client journey,” continued Newton. “Payments is an integral part of our centralized platform. Most legal payment services are complex and disjointed, impacting the overall client experience. Our goal is to offer seamless collections and payments experience while making legal services more accessible. Clio Payments had significant adoption in the U.S., helping legal professionals leverage the ease, security, and effectiveness of payment processing in the cloud. Now, with our launch in Canada, we can extend these significant benefits to our Canadian customers.”
Client demand for online payments
Clients can break large bills into manageable amounts on a schedule that fits their needs.
Despite consumers’ willingness and high use of online payments, most law firms in Canada only accept cash payments (certified check, EFT direct deposit, Interac) and manually record and handle trust payments. As a result, many lawyers experience difficulty billing and being paid while using out-of-date paper invoicing and payment methods. Cheque remains the least used payment method, representing 2% of the total payment volume in Canada – according to a 2021 Payments Canada Report. More than 60% of Canadians pay for transactions using credit cards, and debit cards account for 30% of the total payment volume in Canada.
Clio’s Legal Trends Report reveals that firms that have not adopted cloud-based legal practice management software and/or online payments struggle to be efficient with their billing workflows. They are prevented from scaling and growing amidst an increasingly digital world and changing client expectations. By contrast, 57% of online payments are paid the same day they are billed, presenting a great opportunity for better payment options for clients, and a more effective billing, payments, and collections process.
Closing the Legal Service Gap
According to the Canadian Bar Association, nearly 12 million Canadians will experience at least one legal problem in a 3-year period, and few will have the resources to solve them.
- As a result of inaccessible legal services, 50% of Canadians try to solve their problems on their own with minimal or no legal assistance.
- Over 20% of the Canadian population can not access legal services.
“For many clients, online payment methods and the flexible payment plans they afford may be the difference between being able to access a lawyer and not,” Newton said. “Clients may find it difficult to pay the upfront litigation costs in one lump sum. Clio Payments enables lawyers to break down payments into manageable installments, offering the flexibility clients may require.”
The Most Advanced Legal Payments System
Clio Payments makes it easy for clients to pay their bills with credit or debit cards anytime, anywhere.
Expanding the success of Clio Payments into Canada offers legal professionals a better alternative for accepting payments in compliance with trust accounting rules while reducing administrative work. From intake to invoice, it allows lawyers to securely store payment information in accordance with PCI compliance and keep their clients, billing, and financial records in one place for smooth three-way reconciliation.
Canadian law firms can access the essential financial capabilities of Clio Payments made available in Clio Manage:
- All-in-one, intake to invoice and three-way reconciliation with Clio Manage: Law firms can handle everything they need to get paid with Clio Manage. From collecting payment information upfront, securely storing it, sending bills, or setting up payment plans and trust requests—all the way to recording payments and gathering the necessary information to perform their accounting reconciliation. Clio Manage makes it easy, all while helping law firms remain compliant with Trust Accounting rules.
- Easy payment methods at every client touchpoint: More powerful than just a payment terminal or relying on e-transfer, Clio makes it easy for clients to pay directly from their bills, law firm website, on-the-go with QR codes, through their client portal, or with flexible payment plans that allow them to pay large bills in manageable installments.
- Simple, transparent flat rate pricing: Clio’s processing fee is flat—it does not vary by card type and does not pass-through interchange card network fees.
- Improved collections while reducing admin work: It’s easy to set up payment plans to break down large bills into manageable installments that work for the client and the law firm without adding any extra overhead. Bill payments are automatically recorded in Clio and synced to the integrated accounting platform, eliminating manual entry or room for error.
- Compliance with Trust Accounting Rules: Clio is designed to keep law firms compliant with trust accounting rules, allowing them to separate earned (operating) and unearned (trust) fees. Transaction fees and chargebacks (3rd party debiting fees) come from the operating account, not the trust account.
What U.S. law firms are saying about Clio Payments
Sarah Gold, Owner, Gold Law Firm: “You are in law practice, not the practice of bookkeeping. To be able to do it through Clio in three or four clicks and not worry about getting paid takes so much pressure off you as a practitioner that I can’t see why you wouldn’t do it.”
Tim Watson, Watson & Machado LLP: Quicker payments, seamless experience for the client, and easier accounting. All-in-all, [Clio Payments is] a great solution.
Carl D. Berry, Esq, Managing Attorney, The Strategic Legal Group, PLLC: “As soon as I found out that online payments were available, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. The set-up was fast, and I now have one integrated place for everything in a platform that works outstandingly.”
Leanne Collier, Tamara L. Harper: “Our office has seen the biggest impact [from Clio Payments] – not having to deal with multiple companies, multiple online interfaces, multiple different support teams. All transactions, reporting, and everything are in one place: Clio.”
Read more customer success stories here.
Clio is transforming the legal experience for all by creating the world’s leading cloud-based technologies for law firms—to keep lawyers and their clients better connected throughout the legal process. Firms of all sizes and practice areas use Clio products—Clio Manage, Clio Grow, and Lawyaw—to manage firm operations, streamline billing and payments, automate legal documents, and improve client experiences. Following its US$250M Series D funding, led by TCV and JMI Equity, and its US$110M Series E investment, led by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and OMERS Growth Equity, Clio has made history by becoming the first legal practice management unicorn in the world. Learn more at clio.com.