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Processing a Vcard or insurance credit card

Processing a Vcard or insurance credit card

Insurance companies are increasingly sending their payments to providers in the form of Vcards, or virtual credit cards. Our integration with Stripe currently only supports charging client's credit cards. This means that if you were to charge a Vcard or insurance credit card in SimplePractice, it would be recorded as a client payment.

Currently we recommend processing these insurance credit cards outside of SimplePractice, and if possible reaching out to the insurance payer to have future payments sent via check or direct deposit.

If you don't have a way to process these cards outside of SimplePractice, then we recommend that you follow these 4 steps: 

Important: Keep in mind that when charging a Vcard through Stripe in SimplePractice, you won't be able to collect the full payment amount because of the processing fee and authorization charge. 


Add the vCard to the client's file

We recommend saving the card directly to the client's file when you receive the vCard in the mail from the payer. When you save the card, our processor will run an initial pre-authorization on the card for $1.00. This is a test charge that will disappear from the card's transaction list within 5-10 business days. We recommend giving the card a nickname, such as [Payer vCard], to make sure that you don't accidentally charge it before you intend to.

It's important to add the card to the client's file to make sure that you can charge the full amount on the card. The $1.00 pre-authorization occurs when a card is first added, as well as when it's charged for the first time. If you try to charge the card for the full amount without adding it first, the $1.00 pre-authorization won't leave sufficient funds on the card for you to charge the full amount. This will likely result in a decline.

Note: For more information on this pre-authorization hold, please see Why are my clients getting charged $1 by Stripe?


Wait 10 business days and charge the card

After you add the card to your client's file, we recommend creating an Other appointment type on your Calendar for 10 business days out to remind yourself to charge the full amount listed on the vCard. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage
  • Click +Create and select Create Appointment
  • Choose Other as the appointment type
  • Give the event a title to remind yourself to process the client's vCard and set the date and time to 10 business days after the card was added
  • Click Done

After the 10 business days pass, the pre-authorization amount of $1.00 will fall off the card, and you can safely charge the card for the full amount. If you're still experiencing a card decline, please reach out to our support team for assistance. 

Note: To learn more about adding Stripe card payments, please see Charging, refunding, and setting up AutoPay for clients with your Stripe account.


Add a manual insurance payment

For accurate bookkeeping, you will need to add a manual insurance payment to reflect the payment the insurance payer made. 

When adding the insurance payment, you can opt for either the Check or Wire payment type. Then you can record the last 4 digits of the card as the payment reference number.

paymentmethod.simplepractice.insurancepayment.png

You can also write a chart note on the client's Overview page to add a more detailed note about this insurance payment.

Note: If you're already set up to receive payment reports for this payer, you don't need to add a manual insurance payment. Refer to Payment reports (ERAs) to learn more about payment reports. 


Refund the client credit balance

After you process the Vcard, the payment will show on the client's Billing page as if it's a client payment. To resolve this, add an adjustment to zero out this credit balance.

Note: See Refunding a client to learn how to add an adjustment. 

By doing this, the payment you collected through the Vcard won't be attributed as money coming from the client. 

refund.simplepractice.clientbilling.png

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