Small law firm and client management platform Clio is launching into the fintech space with the announcement of the digital client payment tool Clio Payments. The Canada-based legal technology company also announced on Monday the launch of its equity investment portfolio, Clio Ventures.
Clio Payments launched in the United States on Monday and is only available through the Clio Manage practice management platform at no additional cost, a company representative confirmed.
According to a press release provided to Legaltech News, Clio Payments features include automated payment reminders, billing message templates, and synchronization capabilities with QuickBooks and Xero accounting platforms. Law firm clients can also send automated, one-time, and installment payments online at a flat rate, said Shubham Datta, vice president of corporate development at Clio.
Clio is also “closely monitoring” cryptocurrency and Web 3.0 transaction functionality, but is currently focusing on processing payment cards and electronic checks, he said.
Clio’s shift to payment and invoicing met a growing expectation of law firm clients, Datta noted. According to the Clio Legal Trends 2021 report cited in the Clio Payment press release, âonline options are strongly preferred by consumers (66%), followed by automated payments (61%) and payments via the mobile app ( 61%). These expectations stem from the larger services market, where technology is more readily available, Datta said.
âConsumers’ expectations are just that, they should be able to pay from the comfort of their home, bed or sofa, whatever they do. This is their expectation. They expect them to be able to pay for legal services the same way they shop online or on Uber Eats. It should be that easy to do. â¦ I think the most important thing is that we don’t want to have friction for consumers with their payments, âhe said.
Granted, Clio has already provided billing services to its users through its integration with third-party billing and payment company LawPay.
But as LawPay integration continues, Datta said developing an in-house payment system frees up additional capacity for Clio and its users.
âWith the introduction of Clio Payments, we are offering a complete payment suite and a suite that we [can] update directly to meet customer preferences as they change, âadded Datta. For example, he noted that Clio Manage users taking advantage of Clio Payments benefit from a âreal-timeâ review of their transactions.
But as Clio internally develops tools to respond to an evolving legal market, Datta noted that the legal technology company cannot create all the valid solutions in the market. In turn, Clio announced the launch of its equity investment portfolio, Clio Ventures, aimed at advancing legal technology companies.
Datta described Clio’s legal tech startup grant program Start // Code, originally launched in 2018, as a first step for start-up legal technology companies, while Clio Ventures is the next growth opportunity for legal tech startups. (Editorial note: Legaltech News reporter Victoria Hudgins is a scheduled judge for the Launch // Code 2021 competition.)
âIt is not possible for Clio to grow with each innovation. We rely on our application integration partners and application integration ecosystemsâ¦ to meet these needs. Ventures is the next step in our deliberate investment in this innovation, not only within Clio but the platform around it, âsaid Datta.
Over the years, Clio has managed to become one of the few legal tech companies valued at over $ 1 billion after raising $ 110 million. this april and $ 250 million in 2019. Meanwhile, the legal technology company acquired the document automation company Lawyer and automated calendar software based on court rules Calendar rules in 2021 and customer welcome tool Lexicata in 2018.