APX is a NEW, integrated credit card and electronic payment processing tool. In this free 30 minute training, learn how easy it is to sign up and immediately start collecting payments from all major credit cards.

 

About Free Training Friday: Since the beginning of 2017, we have been holding these free, 30-minute training hosted by our industry-leading experts and innovators who will teach you about AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, the Abacus Private Cloud, and now, Results CRM and OfficeTools Software. If you would like to request a topic, please email webinars@abacusnext.com.

Video Transcription

Welcome everyone, and thank you so much for coming to today's Free Training Friday. My name is Kalei White. I am a Marketing Coordinator here at AbacusNext. Today I have with me Andrew Cummins. He is a product manager at Abacus. He's based in our Toronto office, welcome Andrew. This will be the first of a regular, weekly series. In the past we just did Free Training Friday alternating different AbacusNext products. Now we're going to be doing Free Training Fridays for most of our products every Friday, so from 11:00 am PDT to 11:30 am PDT we'll be featuring Amicus Online or Amicus Attorney. Welcome, and thank you all for being here. Take it away Andrew.

Hey, thanks very much. Again, everybody, my name is Andrew Cummins, and today I have the pleasure of talking about Abacus Payment Exchange. I'm going to go through a couple of quick slides, but I'd like to devote most of the time to actually demonstrating how we can use APX, as we call it, within Amicus Online. This demonstration happens to be related to Amicus Online. Later this month there is a separate webinar that we will be conducting for using APX within Amicus Attorney proper, but I do want to thank you guys all for joining. We're just going to do a quick overview of what is APX, what it's all about. We'll do a demonstration, and as we said there'll be some opportunity for question and answer at the end.

What is APX?

Just to jump right in, what is Abacus Payment Exchange? This is our new electronic payment processing system that handles credit cards as well as e-check or AHC transactions, and it's really all about getting paid quickly. Really, our motto, one of them, is "Payments made easy". The idea is it's, one, very easy for you folks to go and sign up for. I'm going to demonstrate the onboarding process of how you actually get started. It's also, as you can see on my slide here, there's a lot of no's. The idea is there's no monthly fees, there's no per-transaction fee, no different fees for premium credit cards. It's really straight-forward pricing, and that is 3% on all credit card transactions, and 0%, or therefore free, for any ACH or e-check direct withdrawal transactions. It's really straight-forward, and I hope to be able to demonstrate to you today just how simple the product itself is. Again, simple sign-up, the pricing is easy. We accept all major credit cards and e-check.

Also, what we're introducing with this is the ability to offer self-serve options for your client. We're adding-in the ability for your clients to go and make payments in the client portal and, ultimately, cut down on your collection costs because your clients actually have some self-serve options. At the end of the day this is all about getting paid quickly, and that's also what sets APX apart in that we can have deposits as quickly as same-day or next-day for most of your transactions. There's no holding onto these payments and waiting for you to get paid. The idea is you can quickly signup, get started, and then, ultimately, as soon as you process those transactions you're getting those deposits very, very quickly.

Let's not spend anymore time within PowerPoint itself because I want to jump in and take a look at the app itself. The first place I want to start is just an overview of the latest update. As of September 20th, that's when we introduced the APX integration. At the same time we also added a bunch of other features, including the QuickBooks Online integration has gone to live and a bunch of other features. I would encourage you if you want to learn more about the various features that we added you can always go into help within Amicus Online and go to "What's new", and then you can see the features and just expand on it and you can learn more about the APX, in this case, or whatever feature you want to learn more about.

How to Get Started with APX

Let's jump in. Now, we know what APX is, and this is a way to go and handle credit care and AHC transactions so that you can actually collect money from your clients quickly. How do we get started? I've just got a quick demonstration to show you where you do this. As an administrator you'd log into Amicus Online and go to options up at the top. I've got a nice little arrow here to demonstrate it too. You go in the options window you'd then choose billing. Then in the bottom right you choose the option for “Configure APX” under the credit card processing. If you click "Configure APX" it brings up a new window where you can then click the option to learn more or apply now. The beauty of APX is that the signup process is all driven through a wizard that you're actually able to do all through Amicus Online. You're not going in and filling in a form and hoping somebody calls you back in a couple of days. The idea is we can actually have you do the onboarding process right from within Amicus Online.

We'll just click "Get Started", and there's basically three panes of information that we're looking to collect from you. There's the basic details, the personal information, and account details. Of course, because we're coming at this from Amicus Online we're able to go and fill in much of the information for you on this basic details pane. Sorry, I just needed some water. Then when we're happy with that information we can click "Next" or just click onto "Personal Info". This, of course, we aren't going to be able to fill in for you, so we would ask that you would fill this information. This is important because at the end of this we're going to ask some questions that only the person whose details we filled out should be able to answer. It is something that we would ask that it would be one of the firm members who have signing authority for your bank account who would actually go ahead and put in the personal information.

Then the final tab is the account details. What we're asking for here is for you to fill out the bank account information where you want your credit card transaction funds deposited. You can put in both your operating account and, optionally, a trust account. The important thing to appreciate within APX because this is geared toward legal professionals is that any transactions that are deposited into the trust account, any fees associated with those do, in fact, come out of the operating account. Any funds collected in trust do remain whole and those fees would come out. You can, of course, choose not to go and sign up for a trust account now and do so later if you so choose.

Basically, once we've filled out the necessary information we're going to click "Submit", and we're, actually now doing the underwriting process to our partner's advantage or just confirming the details that we provided in the first pane. Then they're going to ask some questions that, generally, you should be able to answer and, of course, as long as you’re able to proceed then we can just click continue. It now shows we've got our operating account, our trust account, the fees associated with those. Once we've agreed to the terms of service we can just click, "I agree". With that you've now submitted your application for APX, so really straight-forward. You don't need to go and do anything else. The idea here is that you've now submitted your application. It shows that, "Hey, it's in progress, and we'll get back to you very shortly." We just click "Close" for that.

You'll then get an email immediately to thank you for signing up, and then you'd get a follow-up email once it's actually been approved to show the transaction limits, for instance, what you're entitled to and so on. Once you've received the email you can go back into Amicus Online. When you click "Configure" it then shows the operating account and the trust accounts that have been configured for APX. Now you can start going and handling both credit card and ACH transactions in Amicus Online. Really straight-forward to actually sign up and start using it.

APX in Action

What I now want to do is jump in and actually demonstrate how we can go and record credit card information within Amicus Online, how to make a payment. Then I also want to jump into the client portal and show you how your clients can now go and take advantage of this by being able to pay right from the client portal via credit card or ACH. We're just going to jump out of this little demo environment and instead go to Amicus Online itself.

What we've got on our screen, we've logged in as Bobby Donald. We're going to go to contacts. If I open up Janet Bailey, she a primary client on a couple of different matters here. You notice at the bottom she has a new option called "Manage cards ACH". What we're doing here is this is the ability for us if we've already gathered Janet's credit card information, we can go and enter that into Amicus Online so that it could be used against future payments. We can see all the credit cards that we've actually gone and set up and we've got a default one as well. Then here's where we can also just add account and very quickly go in and enter in new credit card information or enter in new bank account information to handle those ACH transactions.

The important part I also want to show here is right at the bottom you can decide where those receipts are going to be sent. The client or perhaps their accounts payable team should be sent the receipt. You can go and set that up so that any transactions posted using this bank account or credit card are going to send a receipt there. That would be true of any payments that are collected as well as any void or refund against that card as well. We simply click the submit button, and we would then be adding another payment method here. You don't need to do this ahead of time, but I just wanted to demonstrate how we can go ahead and put a payment method against a client file.

What I now want to do is just jump into the billing module. This is where we can see a record of all of our invoices as well as any payments that have been recorded. We're going to quickly just go over the billing module at the very top. You can see I've actually got a couple of invoices here that exist already as well as a payment that we've recorded previously. What we're going to do here is just quickly open up an invoice and make a payment against it as well. I've got a Bailey re Kipling. Let's actually jump to the Janet Bailey file here and we'll go and do a bill right from there as well.

Again, from the matter we can click onto the billing tab, and we can simply click here to do a new payment. This allows us to fill in the details. Of course, it's already on Bailey re Kipling. Here's the payment number. Because Janet Bailey has been set up to handle credit card transactions, we can see that I've got two options for credit card payment APX under method as well as ACH payment. By selecting that I can see from the dropdown menu any of the payment methods that have already been recorded in the system.

More importantly, I can also click the "Add" button. Just as we saw from Janet Bailey's contact card we can go and record new credit card or bank account information to essentially set up a new payment method. Let's just say we're going to go and payoff this whole thing. We'll click "Distribute" and we'll just click "Pay now." It's going to ask us are we sure we want to run this credit card transaction. We'll say yes to that. Just like that the credit card transaction itself has been recorded. We click "Okay". The payment is then received here, and the invoice has now been paid off.

What I also want to demonstrate from here is how we can go and handle refunds or voids. You'll notice when I selected this one the delete button disappears, and that's because as an APX transaction I can instead go and choose to refund or void that transaction. Let's click that very quickly. We'll go and choose to void that transaction. Again, the receipt would be sent out to the clients to indicate that that transaction had been voided if that had been set up on the client portal.

Now, the reason I voided it is because I want to go into the client portal in a minute and actually make the same payment as the client. Let's do a couple of things. Let's go and share an invoice so that it's visible in the client portal so that my client, when she logs in, can take a look. I'm just going to open up this invoice here. Down at the bottom I've got an option to "Show in portal". I click onto that and say, "Yes," and save and close for that. This item, so you'll notice a little swirl around that icon, indicates that it's been shared in the client portal.

Now, we're not going to talk about how to set up the client portal. That's another story, but the idea is Amicus Online has a great tool that you can set up for your firm and create a client portal that is fully-branded for your firm so when your clients log in they can choose to see all of their matters. They can see items on those matters that you've chosen to share with them, whether that's appointments, tasks, documents, notes, and now invoices and payments. We can see that that invoice has now been shared in the client portal, and because we voided the transaction our client still owes us $440.00. We'll just save and close that.

Now we want to jump into the client portal. We're going to go in as Janet Bailey here and take a look at what she can see. We're just going to log in. This happens to be for this firm, that we've got their branding on the login page, and we'll just sign in to that. It's just going to take a second in my demo environment here. Ultimately, what we want to demonstrate here is really how we're providing some self-serve options for your clients, how they can see what's going on with their cases, and also, then, make payments against those. Let's just get rid of that.

You'll notice we've logged in as Janet Bailey. If you've been in the client portal in the past it's going to look familiar to you in that these three panes already existed. Now with the introduction of APX we can now show those invoices, so we've got an invoice section here, and it, in fact, shows us that Janet has one outstanding invoice to review. If Janet clicks onto that tab, she'll be taken directly to the billing module. We can see she's in the billing module here. She's now filtered to the outstanding view on the left-hand side because there's an "All transactions", "Outstanding" and "Since last login". Then the invoice itself actually opens up because we've only got a single invoice for Janet Bailey.

Then you'll notice also at the bottom, this is the important part, that it does show that there's an amount due in red of $440.00 for this invoice. Now, it's just going to take a second to open up here. Once it does, I want to then click on the "Pay now" option so that we can go and actually pay this. I don't know why that's not doing it. We're just going to close that and reopen it here. Then we can just click the "Pay now" option and have the invoice paid.

We'll just move right along here instead. There, the invoice showed up at the back, but what's now on top is it's showing the invoice number, the date, the client file it's on. Because we've already got some payment methods recorded, whether this is something that Janet entered herself from the client portal or ones that we've gone, as the law firm, gone and saved to her contact card, she can choose from any one of those and click the "Pay now" option such that with that the credit card transaction has been processed. You'll notice there's now no longer any outstanding bills. If we go to "All transactions" we'll see here's our bill that we just opened up, and it now shows the "Paid" stamp at the bottom, so they've actually gone and paid it. Then the payment itself appears here so that Janet can choose to print out a receipt if she wants in addition to the email message that she received.

I apologize it's a bit slow in our test environment here today, but it's, obviously, much faster in the real world. We should be seeing a payment come up there. In any case, you can also see as the client that a little paid flag shows that their invoice has been paid. Here we can see now the receipt has appeared on the screen, and it shows that the transaction has taken place. They can also see even what credit card was used, the last four digits of that. Just like that, very easy for you to give some self-serve options to your clients to that they can quickly go and pay their bills.

Now, a couple of other quick things I want to demonstrate. We'll just jump back in as Bobby Donald. We're not in the client portal anymore, we're back into Amicus Online. You can see in the navigation there's a little red dot over home, and that's actually a way to indicate that we've got a new client portal transaction. We can see here it does show last client portal activity today at 2:17. If we click onto that, it's going to then show us the recent client portal activity. I can see there's a payment added via client portal, and it shows that it was by Janet Bailey, the client. Hugely powerful for new options that really open up making collections easier for your firm. That's a really quick overview of what APX can do in Amicus Online. There's even more that you can actually process in terms of doing batch billing. You can have your transactions posted via credit card at the same time as a bill creation. There's file settings for an individual file. You can choose to do so.

Recap

APX is incredibly easy to sign up for right in Amicus Online. It's really straightforward in terms of the pricing and it’s so easy to do the math on what it is costing. At the end of the day, it's all about getting paid quickly such that you can make it easy for your clients to provide credit card information and collect those monies, and then also very quick for that money to be deposited into your operating or into your trust accounts. Now is a really exciting time to be with AbacusNext because of some really exciting integrations, and in particular with APX. With that I'd love to entertain any questions you've got or any comments.

Q&A

Is it legal in California and other U.S. states to accept client trust funds from a credit card account?

Yes. We can collect via credit card and ACH. I didn't actually demonstrate the collection of funds as a trust receipt. That's actually done from the file. Presently, clients cannot go and do that themselves from within the client portal. The clients themselves can make payments against an outstanding invoice, but they can't go and initiate a trust transaction from that. Something that is initiated by the lawyer, by the law firm to handle that transaction.

Can only the administrator enter credit cards and ACH, or can anyone in the company do this?

Sure. That's a good question. Yeah, the limitations for the administrator is really for signing up purposes, and that is for turning on APX within the firm. Once it has been enabled for the firm, then those other users would be able to go and enter in credit card details for clients. That would be possible for any registered firm member.

Is APX available in Canada?

That's a great question, and even though I'm doing this presentation from Toronto, Canada, at this time APX is just available to our customers located in the U.S., that we don't yet have functionality in Canada. We'll certainly keep you posted as we have any new news on that as well.

Can you explain more about the 3%? Is the 3% charge passed back on the client or is it deducted from the payment?

The transaction cost is invisible to the client, that if they are paying a bill for $100 they would have $100 deducted from their credit card. That’s $100 because it would be deposited to your account, and then the 3% fee would then be taken out of that account. The transaction to your client still looks like $100. It would be then the law firm is taking that 3% out of its operating account.

How can I use APX in AbacusLaw?

Within AbacusLaw you can also go and sign up for Abacus Payment Exchange. What we're demonstrating is the functionality just with in Amicus Online. Later this month we'll do the integration to show how it works in Amicus Attorney. Within AbacusLaw itself we already have the APX integration. You can absolutely go and sign up for that. Within Abacus Accounting you'd go in and under preferences, you can choose to sign up for credit card processing, and the option you'll see there is for APX. Of course, you then use that right through AbacusLaw itself. This we demonstrated today is actually for the Amicus Online users’ experience.

Can we set Amicus so that when all invoices are created, they are automatically uploaded to the portal of the corresponding clients?

Yes. You can actually do that as a part of the batch billing, for instance. If we were to go onto a file, under those details go to billing, and there is an ability. It's a check mark. This is on a per-file basis. You can say to share finalized batch bill invoices and payments automatically in my portal. That's such that if you are doing more than one bill at a time then it's considered batch billing so that, yes, you can have those shared. You can have a mixture, of course, doing 10 files, and five of them having a shared. Yes, absolutely we can make that happen within Amicus Online. You can also see right from here you can also choose how you want to make new payments from retainer or trust or via your credit card/ACH with APX as well.

Is the client portal customizable with our firm logo as you've shown here if the client portal is launched through Amicus Attorney Premium?

It's a bit different within Amicus Attorney Premium, that the login page is not branded for the firm. Once you've logged in then, absolutely, you would see the firm's logo and the firm branding at the top. So, yes, absolutely, that is the same within the Amicus Attorney Desktop product as well.

Thank you everybody for attending. If you have any other questions you can always shoot us a message at webinars@abacusnext.com. Get started with APX today!

To learn more about Amicus Online, click here.

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