November 9, 2020 –
As Delaware continues to distinguish itself as a fintech capital and an internationally respected hub for law firms that specialize in business law, banks and other service providers are creating innovative products in hopes of driving greater efficiency.
M&T Bank in August introduced Nota, which helps smaller law practices (up to five partners) and solo attorneys manage their trust accounts without having to hire additional back-office staffing to reconcile and manually balance their books against their client ledgers and their bank statement. This service reduces the risk of commingling funds, over-drafting trust accounts, or failing to comply with state requirements.
“We’ve been offering a 15-minute demo to our smaller law-firm customers and getting feedback,” said Barney Hughes, regional manager for business banking in Delaware. “The State of Delaware has a robust legal community, with a lot of very talented attorneys who may have been with larger firms and spun off. They don’t have the back office to manage these accounts. Nota can fill that gap and provide the same kind of customer experience, allowing the attorney to spend a lot more time practicing law and a lot less time on the intense record keeping required to manage trust accounts.”
Nota President Paul Garibian said Nota is the first success story from an M&T initiative to pioneer new ways of innovating business concepts with a customer-centric focus, initially targeting attorneys who work in family law, personal injury, real estate, and immigration.
“We’re not focused on monetizing this product,” Garibian said “We want our law-firm clients to spend less time stressing about trust accounting compliance and give them peace of mind. Lawyers don’t want to be accountants; they want an easy-to-use tool, and we identified a unique, specific problem and built it on a platform that allows us to make more frequent updates.
As an example, feedback from Nota users is leading the startup to integrate it with QuickBooks (launching in October) and offer the ability to print checks beginning in November.
“We’ve taken a ‘test and learn’ approach that enables us to be agile and iterative and also ensure that our users get incremental value – much like compounding interest – through the frequent updates,” Garibian said.