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What is a payment hold?
A payment hold reserves funds for up to 7 days on a client's payment card. It does not charge the card or withdraw money from an account. It sets the amount aside so that it cannot be spent until the hold is either released or converted into a charge.
A payment hold is sometimes referred to as an auth, pre-auth or authorisation only transaction.
What would I use a hold for?
A hold is used to verify that a payment card is valid and has available funds for a given amount. It also reserves the funds, ready to be converted into a charge. Holds are often used for:
Appointment bookings: a hold can be a handy tool to reduce no-shows, and provides a mechanism to easily process cancellation charges.
Pre-orders: holds can be used to take equipment orders, and only process charges once an order is shipped or given to a customer
Facility reservations: just like a hotel authorises cards for incidental charges.
A few things to note
A payment hold will not remove money from the cardholder's account, and the cardholder will not be charged interest on the hold amount. However, cardholders will not be able to spend the funds reserved by a hold if the account reaches its limit. This also applies for debit cards linked to a bank account.
A hold is temporary. Payment holds created in Medipass expire 7 days from creation. After expiry, the hold is released and the funds are no longer reserved.
We recommend that you create a payment hold for the highest possible expected amount. When it's time to convert a hold into a charge, you can charge a smaller amount than the hold. However, if you need to charge a higher amount, you would need to cancel the hold and then just create a payment.
Payment holds are available to all customers using Medipass Card Payments. The functionality is billed in the following way:
A hold is charged at $0.30 per hold. If the hold is converted to a charge, standard transaction fees for Medipass Card Payments of 1.7% + $0.30 per transaction apply. If the hold is released, no additional fees apply.
Hold is created, then auto expires after 7 days: Total charge = $0.30
Hold is created, then canceled: Total charge = $0.30
Hold is created, then payment is taken for hold amount: Total charge = $0.30 for hold, then 1.7% + $0.30 for payment
Hold is created, then a separate payment is taken for an amount higher than hold amount: Total charge = $0.30 for hold, then 1.7% + $0.30 for transaction
The entire Medipass pricing structure is detailed here.
Creating a payment hold
Begin by logging in to Medipass and clicking on 'Holds & Plans' on the left hand side. If you've created any holds or plans before, they'll be listed here.
Click '+Add a new payment' to create your hold.
Up the top you will see the option to select whether you're creating a hold, or instalment plan. Make sure 'Hold' is selected, and select the amount you want to reserve.
Note: Always create the hold for the highest possible amount you could end up charging. If the final charge ends up being less than the hold amount, you can just charge that amount and release the rest. However, if the final charge ends up being more than what was reserved, you will need to cancel the payment hold and create a whole new charge.
Next, optionally add an invoice reference number. This is handy if you're using a practice management software system that is not yet integrated with Medipass.
Setting up the payment
You have three options for capturing the payment card details from your patient in order to create and process the payment hold.
This option allows you to enter a patient's payment card details (card number, expiry and CVV/CVC) yourself. You need verbal consent from your patient to capture and store this information. If their details are already saved to a Patient Record in Medipass, you can search for their name here.
SMS to patient
This option will send an SMS from Medipass to the patient's phone number. That SMS will contain a link which, when opened, will prompt the patient to enter their payment card details and approve the hold.
This option generates the same link that we would send via SMS in option 2. You can then copy that link and send it to your patient however you'd like - for example, via email or in a digital invoice.
Finally, enter which location and provider this payment hold should be allocated to. This step is not mandatory, but is often helpful for record-keeping. If you selected 'Enter details' above you will also need to indicate that you received consent from your patient to capture and charge their card.
When you're ready to go, click 'Create payment hold'.
Reviewing a hold and converting it to a charge
After you create a payment hold, you'll see a page with all the details and the hold's status. You can get back to this page any time by going back to the main 'Holds & Plans' section and clicking on the hold you want to view.
There are three actions you can take with a payment hold by clicking on one of the pink buttons up the top.
In this example, the payment hold has been created, but it is not yet associated with an invoice in the 'Invoices' section of Medipass. You don't have to create an invoice for a hold, but if you want to, click this button.
You will then have the option to create a Medicare, DVA, HICAPS or patient funded invoice to be paid for using the funds reserved in this hold (note: your options here will depend on what features you have set up in Medipass).
Clicking this button will convert your hold into a charge, and actually withdraw funds from your patient's account. When you click it, you will see a summary of the charge and have the option to change the final amount you want to process. Click 'Take payment' to finalise the charge.
Clicking this button will cancel the hold, and release the funds that have been reserved.
A payment hold will expire 7 days after creation. If it is not converted into a charge or cancelled before then, the funds will be released.