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Processing a vCard or insurance credit card

Processing a vCard or insurance credit card

Insurance companies often send payments to providers in the form of virtual credit cards (vCards). Our Online Payments feature only supports charging client’s cards. This means that if you charge a vCard or insurance credit card in SimplePractice, it’ll be recorded as a client payment. 

We recommend processing vCards 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, or if the insurance payer will only send payment in the form of a vCard, follow these steps to record payments in your account: 

Important: When charging a vCard through your Online Payments account in SimplePractice, you won't be able to collect the full payment amount due to the of the processing fee and authorization charge. 

Adding a vCard

We recommend adding the card to the client’s file as soon as you’ve received it 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.

Important: Don’t charge the card until 10 days after the pre-authorization has taken place since vCards typically include the exact amount being charged. If you try charging the vCard within 5-10 days of adding it to the client’s file, the remaining amount may not cover the charge due to the $1.00 pre-authorization, and the card will be declined. By waiting 10 days until charging the vCard, the $1.00 will have been returned, and the full amount of the card can be charged.

We recommend giving the card a nickname, such as [Payer vCard] to make sure you don’t accidentally charge it before you intend to.

Charging a vCard

After adding the card to your client’s file, we recommend creating an Other appointment type on your Calendar for 10 business days out as a reminder to charge the full amount listed on the vCard.

You can do this by following these steps: 

  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage 
  • Click + Create > Schedule appointment
  • Choose Other as the appointment type
  • Title the event to remind yourself to process the client's vCard
  • 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 charge the the card for the full amount. To do this: 

  • Click Add Payment


  • Enter the Payment amount 


  • If the client has an unpaid invoice(s), uncheck them so the payment doesn't go toward the client responsibility


  • Click Change and select the vCard on file


  • Review the Summary and charge the card

If you're still experiencing a card decline, please reach out to our support team for assistance. 

Refunding the client's balance

After the vCard is processed, the payment will show as a client payment. You can record a manual refund so that the payment collected through the vCard won’t be recorded as payment coming from the client. Here’s how: 

  • Locate the payment in the client's Billing page
  • Click View


  • Click Refund in the Payment details page


  • Use the Method dropdown to select the CashCheck, or External card option


Important: Don't use the Stripe credit card option. This will issue a refund to the vCard. 

  • Enter the full Refund Amount
  • Click Refund

Addressing unallocated payments

After the amount charged to the vCard is refunded, the client will have two unallocated payments. One of these payments will be negative. To allocate these payments: 

  • Use the Unallocated filter in the client's Billing page


  • Click View next to the negative unallocated payment
  • Click Select invoice and allocate the negative amount to any paid invoice
    • If the payment amount is greater than a single invoiced amount, you can allocate the payment across multiple invoices:


  • Click Allocate 

This will mark the invoice(s) as unpaid and will leave only a positive unallocated payment. To allocate this amount: 

  • Use the Unallocated filter in the client's Billing page
  • Locate the remaining unallocated amount and click View
  • Choose Select invoice
  • Select the unpaid invoice(s) and use Apply available credit to allocate the amount 


  • Click Allocate credit

The invoices will be marked as paid and the unallocated payments will be resolved. For more information on unallocated payments see Navigating client payments

Adding a manual insurance payment

Once the client payment is marked as refunded, you can add a manual insurance payment to reflect the payment the insurance payer made.

When adding the insurance payment, you can enter it as either a Check or Wire payment type and record the last 4 digits of the card as the payment reference number.

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