practiceQ can be setup to auto-charge your clients at a specific time based on their appointment. The benefit of using the auto-charge feature is that it automates the payment process for you. practiceQ will charge your clients' credit cards for each appointment, and when a credit card is not on file, practiceQ will automatically send online invoices in order to collect payments.
To set up auto-charge in your account, navigate to "Bookings > Booking Settings > Payments". When your account is connected to an integrated payment provider, you will see the options shown in the image below:
The example above shows a typical scenario where the client is given the option to enter their credit card when booking an appointment online. Another common scenario is to make the credit card mandatory. In both cases, you can keep the card on file and not charge it until the day of the appointment.
Under "Appointment Auto-Charge Settings", you will be able to indicate when exactly the credit card should be charged. You can set it to 24 hours before the appointment or up to 24 hours after the appointment.
This is also where you indicate what to do when the client doesn't have a card on file, or when the credit card charge fails. The most common option is to have practiceQ send the invoice to the client, but you can also choose to not do anything or to have practiceQ create an invoice and not send it automatically.
Auto-Charge Setting for Services
practiceQ also offers the ability to override the credit card requirement and auto-charge setting at the service level. This allows you to have certain services where a credit card is required, while having other services where the client is not asked for a credit card upfront. This can be done by navigating to "Bookings > Booking Settings > Services > Edit > Overrides" for each specific service.
Auto-Charge Setting for Clients
If you have a client that you don't want to auto-charge for appointments, you can adjust a setting on their profile to disable this feature. Simply open the client's profile, click "Edit" to allow the editing of their demographic information, and adjust the "Auto-Charge" setting. The options are to use the default setting, "Charge on day of appointment", or "Don't charge automatically".
Auto-Charge Setting for Individual Appointments
At the most granular level, you can set the auto-charge behavior for each specific appointment. Simply open the appointment, click on More > Charge Automation, and select the desired auto-charge behavior.
Using Rules to Automate the Auto-Charge Setting
practiceQ allows you to use a question in your intake form to determine if a client should have auto-charge enabled or not. A common scenario where this would be useful is if you see clients who are insured and clients who are self-pay. In that situation, it's likely that you only want to auto-charge clients who are not insured. Adding a rule to a question in your intake form allows you to set the client auto-charge setting based on their answer to a question.
This article covers the details of questionnaire rules, but the image below gives you an idea of how to create a rule for this situation.
Multiple Cards on File
When a client has more than one card on file, our system determines which card should be charged for each appointment depending on how the booking is made:
- When staff is booking a client with more than one card on file, the system will auto-charge either the preferred card, or the card with the nearest expiration date if no card on file has been set to preferred.
- When a client books via the booking widget, the system will NOT auto charge unless the client enters a card for that appointment. If a card is not provided when the client books (Either due to CC being optional or the system is told not to ask), the system will not auto-charge that appointment, even if there is a card on file.
- If a client books via the client portal, they will be prompted to choose which card to be used for the appointment, or they can enter a new card. If the system is set to NOT ask for card information, the client won't be asked, and the system will not auto charge.