The Lawyerist Podcast with Sam Glover

“If you are a lawyer that is still sitting on paper checks and paper invoices and are trying to figure out how to collect with credit cards and echecks, man, what a good option. It’s worth a try.” – Sam Glover

Listen or read along and let us know what you think! 

Listen to the full episode here.


Sarah: Hi, my name is Sarah Schaaf and I am the CEO Of Headnote. I am also an attorney that practiced for 6 years and was most recently at Google, prior to leaving to start my own company Headnote is the new best practice for solo and small law firms that want to start accepting online payment without changing any of their current systems or processes.

Sam: Thanks for coming here Sarah and let’s talk briefly because I know one of Headnote’s things is that you’re really trying to encourage lawyers to adopt e-checks payments as opposed to credit cards, so maybe start up with what’s the difference? What are we talking about?

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely! So, eCheck is a form of ACH that’s been around since 1974 and it’s essentially the safest and most secure way that you can get paid or pay somebody online. It has something that is actually being used by banks and companies all over the world for decades but it is becoming a newer concept to consumers in the peer to peer payment verticle. It’s something that for a long time was the process that would require a user to provide their routing number and their bank number to then wait for a few days for a micro deposit to appear in their account and then return back to the platform where they wanted to make payments to verify those payments and it was a multi-day process but one of the things that we’ve done at Headnote is completely change that process so you can now pay with an eCheck directly from your bank account in under 10 seconds.

Sam: I have to say I’ve tried this and essentially the way it works is that when you go to an invoice you click on payment and you select your bank and you log in you enter your username and password for your bank and complete the transaction. Yeah, it was super smooth which is not what I was expecting given some of my previous experiences with e-checks.

Sarah: Yeah and that’s exactly what we went for when we set out to build that new experience and kind of revolutionize the way that echeck is being experienced by lawyers and their clients.

Sam: So are there advantages to eCheck apart from it just being now a pretty convenient alternative?

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely, I mean, the number one advantage is cost. So it’s going to cost less for lawyers or anybody that accepts an echeck payment vs. a credit card payment. Um, so the number one advantage there is just the price difference also it can be a faster payment time than a credit card payment today. ACH can be processed with the eCheck process in one day. Obviously, over a paper check, there’s a variety of benefits because it can happen instantaneously and you don’t have to deal with actually going to the bank. And one of the reasons that we are so passionate about making it so accessible for lawyers and their clients is kind of the way that the paper checks have dominated the legal industry for decades this is kind of a modern version of what your clients and law firms are already used to doing.

Sam: So just to be clear, echecks may be faster and cheaper and have some advantages but headnote absolutely still processes credit cards in case clients or lawyers prefer it?

Sarah: Absolutely, so we do offer both and the credit card process is super easy. Very similar to what you experienced when you paid with eCheck but like we said, we also want to make sure that we do whatever is going to help the lawyers especially solo and small firms bottom line and cash flow So offering a lower price alternative that is just as modern as a credit card payment is something that we love and that we work really hard to keep making better and better.

Sam: So I don’t usually go into a lot of detail about our sponsors products, but I was skeptical about the onboarding process that you said that Headnote had that was so great and so when you and I got off the phone I decided well, I am going to send Aaron Street, my business partner, an invoice for $1,000 bucks and I think it took me about 5 minutes tops for him to be opening the email and entering his payment details and then he canceled the transaction and I still haven’t gotten my thousand bucks. Which I am a little disappointed about, but really if you are a lawyer that is still sitting on paper checks and paper invoices and are trying to figure out how to collect with credit cards and echecks, man, what a good option. It’s worth a try.

Sarah: Thanks, Sam. Yeh, I mean, you and I have talked about it like you said and as a lawyer myself, I grew up also working at my parents’ law firms. My mom was a solo and my dad had a small law firm so I know what it’s like to try to get somebody to get you to onboard a new software and what a painful process that can be even if you know it will be helpful down the road. So as we have been improving and iterating on this product the number one thing is “this has to be as painless as possible” for a firm whether they are a one-man shop or a multi-firm with administrators as easy as possible. Five minutes or less is kind of what we aim for and I am glad that you had that experience when you tried it.

Sam: Well, and if you sign up in March 2018, you’re first $50 in transaction fees will be waived which means you will collect 100% of the bill and if you want to find out why more law firms are switching to eChecks you can go to headnote.com/laywerist to download an ebook with more information. Thanks for being with us Sarah.

Sarah: Yeh, Sam. Appreciate it.

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