How to Use Abacus Payment Exchange (APX) in Amicus Attorney
To get more info on APX, visit abacusnext.com/apx
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We're going to talk about Abacus Payment Exchange or APX, as we call it. We're going to do a quick overview here and a bit of comparison just so you can appreciate what APX is all about. Then we are going to jump in and do a demo and you can see actually how to sign up for APX and actually handle some payments.
So let's start out with what is APX. Really we talk about all about its payments made easy. So what we have here is a secure credit card and ACH payment processing tool. The idea is this is now integrated inside of Amicus Attorney and we can handle any of your payments as well as trust receipts. It is … any of your credit cards will be the MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or any of your ACH so if you have a client’s account and ready number, we can have direct withdrawals as well.
The idea here is … what we're looking to do is simplify your life, make it easier for you to collect the funds from your clients, and ultimately spend more of your time actually dealing with the practice of sort of looking after collections. So what we're going to look at today is when we say a payments made easy, it's really on a couple different levels. One is that the sign-up is super easy. So we're going to show you how to do that in just a second.
The second part is really the pricing is really easy. In that compared to other credit card payment processes out there that may have all kinds of different fees and such. Really simple with APX. The idea is there's no … it's really just 3% for all of your credit card transactions, 0% for all ACH or e-check withdrawals. There's no contact to sign however so you're not tied in.
There's no cancellation fee should you wish to move to something else. There's no monthly fees. So the idea is if you're not using it for any kind of period of time, you're not dinged for that. No per transaction fee. And there's also no minimum so you can choose to process any size transactions you wish and know that you're always paying the same amount for those.
So really straight forward and the idea here is that what we're talking about is the fess themselves are deducted from your operating account. So the idea is your client is still paying their $100 bill and those fees are then deducted from that $100 so we can talk about that a bit further as well. But what I also want to talk about is what sets APX apart. So there's other credit card payment processors out there.
And again, where I want to instruct here is one that's just really straightforward in terms of pricing. Some of our competitors have low advertised rates, for instance. But when you calculate all of their additional fees that are on top of that like a cancellation fee, security fee, PCI compliance fee, they really add up. That we actually had a client who sent us their card statement for a competitor processor that they had advertised rate of 2.5% and when we actually did the math, they were paying closer to 7%.
So the idea is really straightforward. You always know what you're actually going to be charged with in APX. And of course we can handle both your trust and operating accounts and then of course any transactions deposited in the trust always remain whole so any fees associated with those transactions would come out of your operating account. And just before we jump into a demonstration here, want to talk about obviously the update for APX has been great and now with the introduction of the latest version of Amicus attorney, we're now able to … we've seen a big jump in our Amicus attorney users.
So that's what we’re going to jump in and look at today and that is how do we actually use Amicus attorney to work with APX. So we're going to talk about the onboarding wizard. Couple of things I just want to say right off the bat is of course you need to upgrade the latest version of Amicus attorney. So if you have not yet upgraded to Amicus attorney 20, I encourage you to do so now. Not only do you have access to then APX, but a bunch of other great new features including access to the mobile app.
So please make sure that you do upgrade or have your firm upgrade to the latest version ASAP. So let's jump in right now and take a look at how we actually sign-up for APX. So I'm logged in, in my [inaudible 00:05:05] here. I'm actually in as Lucy. And Lucy is an administrator so she has access to this option here called Firm Settings. So clicking on the Firm Settings, I can go and sign-up. And again, when we're talking about how easy this is, this is different than some other payment processors out there in that maybe you fill out a form and have somebody call you back in a couple days.
What we're actually able to do right from within Amicus attorney is handle the onboarding. So we're actually able to capture the necessary information and start the underwriting process as a part of a nice wizard, such that within 24 to 48 hours, you can be up and running and accepting credit card and ACH transactions for when your clients want to pay their bill.
So let's jump in and under the settings here, we're going to go to APX. So I look at payment exchange here. Got a nice arrow just to help point us along here. And it brings up an option to learn more. So we just put the learn more option. And this is now going to start us through a nice little wizard where we can learn more about it, we can scroll down to see additional details, just press "get started" here. Up at the top. And basically we're going to ask for three pings of information.
When looking at your basic details, your personal info, and account detail. But because we're coming at this from your Amicus attorney, we already have a bunch of this information. So we're able to pre-fill much of this for you. And you can, of course, make any changes as necessary. So you've got your product detail, basics about your firm, your firm address, if you have a different address that's for legal purposes we can also track that.
The next ping is the personal information. And this is now the information we're going to want for one of the firm members who authorized to access your bank account information. Because as a part of this wizard, we're going to ask you to enter in some information such that we can take those credit card payments from your client and have those deposited directly into your firms bank account. So we're asking for some information here, which we are going to pre-fill.
You can go and put the necessary information in here. And then when you're ready to proceed, you can just click on "account details" or simply click on to "next." And it's going to take you now to the account details. So here's where we're looking to capture the bank account information. So this is the operating account and as well as optionally a trust account. So if you choose to accept a trust transaction, then we can also set up the bank account information for the trust account.
You can of course choose not to do so and add that at a later date. But of course most of our law firms do need to be able to record those trust transactions as well. And of course if you needed to find that information and come back, the next time you come into the wizard, we would be able to save whatever you had already entered in and then pick up where you left off. So if you don't that off the top of … if you don't know the routing number right off the top, then you can certainly find that information and move on.
And now the next thing what we're actually able to do here is we're going to start the underwriting process and this is our partner's advantage are actually taking information that we've submitted in the first three pings and they're going to ask some questions that only the person who filled in that personal information would generally be able to answer. So this is sort of a know your client. So we're going to ask some questions and they would need to be answered, obviously correctly to finish the approval process.
But the idea here is we're able to verify that the person is who they say they are and simply click "continue." It now shows we've got set up our operating account and our trust account and the fess associated with each. If we scroll down to the bottom, we can simply click "I agree." And just like that, we have now signed up for APX. So we can simply close that window right now. And we're taken back to Amicus attorney. We then get two email messages.
So the firm would get two email messages. One. You receive one immediately following the submission of your application essentially to say, "Hey. We've received it and the underwriting is proceeding." And the next one you would get that actually would say, "Hey, your account has been created. And here's the welcome aboard just sort of let you know some transaction limits for this particular account that we've gone and created. But the idea is very little work on your part.
You can go and fill in the necessary information. Behind the scenes we go and once that account has been approved. If you go back here to the Abacus Payment Exchange option, it now allows you to choose the operating a trust account information. Because, as you know, within Amicus attorney, the billing capabilities, you can go and set up additional … multiple bank accounts and we want to make basically map these for the purposes of Amicus attorney.
So just like that, we've gone and now signed up for APX. So we're able to now go and obviously you can use Amicus attorney to attract your time entries and record your expenses and then bill for those. So you send out the bill to the client and you now want to go and collect those fees. So I'm going to show you how to make a payment and also how to go in and, on a contact, actually manage the payments that, if we've already gone and stored their credit card information here.
The idea here is this allows us to record the credit card information for Janet Bailey so that we can go and run that for future transactions. Now it's important to understand that you're not actually storing this credit card information within your Amicus attorney. It is stored as a part of APX, which is PCI compliant.
So you don't need to worry about storing credit card information. That is stored securely as a part of APX and you know that it's well protected. So if we wanted to go and add additional and other payment method, we can simply click onto the "add me" button here. And this allows us to fill in the necessary information for either a credit card transaction, whether that's a Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, or even a Visa Debit or MasterCard Debit.
You could enter in that appropriate information here. And choose to submit that. Of course we're able to go a pre-fill some of this information to because we already have the basics about Janet Bailey on her contact card in Amicus attorney. Now the same thing if we wanted to an e-check or ACH transaction. And this of course would require that we have both the account and routing number information for the client.
So they would need to provide that to us and we can then simply enter that in and press the submit option here. So that allows us to go and save payment methods for reuse in future. Obviously pretty simple. So let's actually now go to the process of recording a payment. So let's go and we want to have our client pay us for their invoice and we'll quickly go and demonstrate that. Okay. So right off the bat we're back into Amicus attorney. We're going to go to the billing module here.
And if we go to "files," we can see all the files where they actually have money owed. So we have $800 here under Bailey [inaudible 00:12:29] that we wanted to collect. So we can just click on the dropdown menu here, choose "receive payment", and, of course, it then brings up the payment form within Amicus attorney, but you'll notice with the addition of APX there's a couple of new options on the top. So we can choose a method and we can choose to … now you've got options for credit card payments APX as well as ACH payment APX.
And what you'll notice is when we select one of those. We now can see any of those stored payment methods that we recorded for this client and that maybe a credit card one or if I go into the ACH, I can see the bank account information that we've gone and put in. But of course, if I don't know that and I'm just on the phone with Janet and she wants to provide that information to me, I can simply click the "add option" here. And it now brings up, again, that payment form where we can go and put in either the e-check information or the credit card information and just simply fill that information out.
And also I didn't point out earlier, but this is also key is that we can go and make sure that Janet receives an email receipt for any transactions that are posted using this payment method. So we just check the box and of course that is pre-filled with her primary email address as recorded in Amex attorney. Okay. So we just simply press submit. We can go in and we've now got our new payment method recorded.
If we know add in the amount. So we want to say we're going to pay all $800 of that. And we've checked that it's against one ticket or invoice. We simply click "pay now." And this recognizes that we're going to run an $800 charge against that credit card. Are we sure we want to do it? We'll say "yes" to that. And the payment is then processed and so their credit card is deducted and then that money is obviously deposited into your account.
So the important thing to appreciate here to is that Abacus Payment Exchange in Amex Attorney allows us for quick funding. So nothing like holding onto those client funds for a week before their deposit into your account. Those can actually be deposited as fast as the next day into your account. So the idea is your quickly collecting the money from the client and then able to go and have those recorded within Amex attorney.
Of course, should you need to go and void a transaction or issue a refund, Amex attorney can support that as well so you can simply open up the invoice and show the payment and choose to void that transaction. So if it's happened the same day, you realize that was in error, you could void that. Of course if it's after the money's have already been funded, then you would be able to issue a refund and such that those funds would then be reversed and sent back to the client.
But as you can see, incredibly easy to go and record those payments and store the payment information in Amex attorney itself. Also some exciting developments coming soon is the ability for adding the APX support into the Amex attorney client portal. Such that your clients can actually go into the client portal, see their invoice, and choose to pay right from there. So they don't need to go and provide you with the credit card information. They can in fact enter it themselves right from the client portal.
And that was the really quick and dirty of [inaudible 00:15:58] I had a chance to show off a bunch of it here too. Couple things I did want to talk about and that's just to make sure that everybody is sort of clear in terms of what sort of next steps are for you guys. One is that, as I said, you'll want to upgrade to Amex attorney 20 and such. So if you've not yet done so, please do. Of course you do need to be able to take advantage of the billing capabilities within Amex attorney.
Such that you can go and send invoices and record payments in Amex attorney. And that's obviously a key element. And then another question that I often get is explaining to the beat. And that is something I just want to jump in before we address questions. But such that again the fees are associated with any credit card transaction. So you pay a 3% for any credit card transactions and any direct deposit, so ACH or e-check. There is no fee to you what so ever.
And again those fees are always deducted from the operating account. So even if you're taking in a trust receipt, those funds remain whole in your trust account and the associated [inaudible 00:17:06] within come out of your operating account. And the fees are not added on to the charge. They are, if the client pays $100, they still only pay $100 and the fee then comes out. So the $100 is deposited into your account and then the fee is deducted from the operating account.
With that, yeah, sort of next steps are once you've upgraded to Amicus attorney 20, you can go ahead and follow those same quick steps to sign-up for APX and start using it. So just like that it is incredibly simple, but at the end of the day what this is going to allow you to do is really increase your [inaudible 00:17:48]. You can certainly cut down on collections. You're not spending the time trying to get people to pay because you can very quickly go and take the credit card information and process it.
And ultimately those funds are then deposited very quickly into your account. Such that you're not waiting for … you can move on and worry about the practice flaw. So with that, I think we'll wrap it up. I appreciate you spending some time. And if you do have any questions, as we said, please use the panel on the right hand side to pose those and I would love to be able to answer any questions that you may have.
So the first question is from David and he wants to know, "Do the credit card fees get automatically deducted from the operating account? Specifically does the credit card fees the payment to trust accounts get charged only to the operating account?"
Yes. That's a great question. That's something I want to make sure is certainly clear. And that is that the fees are deducted always from the operating account. So if you have a trust receipt, that entire deposit remains whole in your trust account and only the fee is then deducted from the operating account. So the idea is that if they pay $100. That $100 deducted from their credit card, $100 is deposited into your trust account and this case that 3% you'd … a $3 charge would then be deducted from your operating account.
The next question is from Julie and she wants to know, "Does APX work with the link to QuickBooks?"
Sure. The APX itself is … yeah, if you're linked to QuickBooks, then you can still handle all of your … doing your billing within Amex attorney and handle those payments. Not a problem as far as working with QuickBooks. Yeah, that's the beauty of it is that we're adding functionality to Amicus, we're not actually taking any kind of functionality away.
So the next question is from [Karina 00:20:03] and she wants to know, "Do you use the billing module to block payments with APX or can you charge the clients card for an invoice created on another platform, such as QuickBooks?"
Sure. That's a great question. The … in order to use APX with Amex attorney, it does require that you have the billing module turned on. So it does need … you do need to have the Amex attorney billing such that you can go and record a payment absolutely by APX even if the original invoice was created elsewhere, but you need to be recording that payment in Amicus attorney had to be against an invoice.
So you'd have to go and recreate that same invoice in Amex attorney such that you could then record a payment against it.
Heather would like to know, "Can you set up monthly auto-pays?"
Sure. That's a great question Heather that right now there's not an ability to set up the auto-pays. However, as you saw, it's very easy to store those payment methods within … against the contact such that they can be very easily run against future payments. So, then in fact, through the batch billing process we can go and choose to apply those payments as well. So it is still a part of batch billing process, but there's certainly ways to automate that within Amex attorney's wall, but there's not sort of an always on the 30th automatically take those funds from a credit card. [inaudible 00:21:31]
Tina would like to know, "Can you only add payment methods from the people card, not the client file?"
Sure. The idea is it's against a … credit card is generally belongs to a person or contact so it's a business and you'd have a contact for that business. But the idea here is that while you're just creating a payment, you can also go and choose to pay that payment method. So it is against the primary client that you'd be able to store that credit card.
But yes, you can reuse it from any matters that they're working on. But the store payment method would be against the contact for storage purposes, but you can use it from anywhere.
So Lizawould like to know, "Usually they have to post a receipt payment entry after they take payments to their other merchant. When APX, will there be an automatic entry showing the payment was made?"
Yeah. That's the beauty is that because you're actually going and creating the payment in Amex attorney, it is storing that as a payment so that you can go and print out the receipts or whatever you need to from Amex attorney. But it's absolutely showing as a payment against that invoice in Amicus and we can very easily pull that information back up.
The next question from Layli is, "Can a link be send to the client so they can pay online?"
That's a great suggestion. And it's something that we are working on presently. So not in its current form, but stay tuned. We do have some exciting developments coming soon.
Julie would like to know if we provide a swiper.
Yeah, great question Julie. It's something we have had some feedback on it and we're actually looking into that presently, but it is a matter of the card information would be typed in presently, but we may be able to offer some card swipers in the near future.
Jess would like to know if the fees are deducted monthly or per transaction.
Sure. Great question. The fees are actually per transaction. So if you're doing several in one day, then those would of course be grouped together, but you can actually then see those … the deposit as well as the transaction for that fee taken out of your account as well.
So the next one is from Valerie who wants to know, "Is the 3% APX fee in addition to merchant credit card fees that they're already charged when they do credit card payments in office now?"
Well that's the beauty is that we're actually taking on that merchant processing here so that the only fee … so if you put in a client’s credit card information and set up to have it done through APX, that is the only charge that you would actually see. So again, that's what with doing with APX is really simplifying the pricing that in fact you are acting as you are a credit card merchant. You're accepting those payments, but the only fee that would apply is simply that 3% for any credit card or like a debit card, and then free.
There's no charge whatsoever for ACH or e-check transactions. So the idea that you don't pay any additional fees because we're actually doing all of the credit card processing within this. So that's why I will encourage people to really take a look at their current, if they are accepting credit card, that there advertised rates of whatever advertising. Often there's an awful lot of built in things that you end up paying an awful lot.
So this is really simple and it makes it very easy to understand what costs are involved.
Ned would like to know, "How do you add a payment method if it's a new client?"
Yeah, sure. Great question Ned. For billing purposes, when you're creating an invoice, you would put a primary client onto that contact, but the idea is, back if we can jump over quickly to the demo, that if we're creating a … so if we went to people. And if it's a new contact or an existing contact, you would always have that option under actions to say manage APX [inaudible 00:26:19] methods.
So the idea is you just create a brand new contact, put in their address information, and what not. You can then go and choose to add the credit card details for that client right then and there. So it could be as a part of the file intake process, but you're creating that contact. Just simply open up the newly created contact and add that information in.
Lolonza would like to know if there will be a link on the bill for the client to automatically pay or do they continue to call to make a payment.
Sure. That's a great question. Presently it is a matter of that they would call, for instance, to make a payment such that the firm member is actually going and pressing the pay now. But we will in fact, we're working presently on the client portal capability. So if you're already using the client portal with Amex attorney, where you can share your documents and notes and details of your files to your clients.
We are adding the ability to show them their invoices and also for clients to be able to pay from there. So that's a huge improvement to that adds the self-service option. And then further down the line we're also working on the ability to be able to pay from an email link. So some exciting development work that is coming. Presently when you upgrade to Amex attorney 20 now and use APX, it is a matter of a lawyer … it's lawyer facing essentially.
But very soon we'll have the client portal capability enabled for self-service options.
So Heather would like to know, "Will they receive a monthly statement from APX showing transactions and or fees?"
Yeah. That's a great question. That in fact right from within Amicus attorney, within reports, there's a report that they can run in any day they want and they can see the deposits, any fees associated with those, and there's a bunch of options. Unfortunately [inaudible 00:28:16] it doesn't allow me to display reports right now, but absolutely.
You can in fact go in at any time you want within Amicus and choose to run that report to see a complete breakdown of all those deposits and any fees associated. So of course you're doing those ACH transactions, there's no fee whatsoever.
So we are low on time. So we're just going to take one more question. But we will be able to … or Andy can definitely answer these questions via email. So Karina would like to know if any Amicus user charge credit card … or if any Amicus user can charge the credit card or only the administrator?
That's a good question. That in terms of there are billing security profiles. So that's something that's also been changed within the latest version of Amex, so within Amicus 20, you can go and create billing security profiles that really actually set a lot of granularity in terms of who can do what on the billing side. So absolutely that you're receptionist can or can … depending on your needs, can have access to that or not.
So you have the control to set that up for sure within Amicus attorney.
Thank you Andy. And thank you to everyone who joined us today. As a reminder, we will be sending out a copy of the presentation to all attendees. And everyone who could not make it, but signed up as well. Thank you and have a great day.