Single Use Account (SUA)

The Virtual Card, also known as “Ghost Card” or Single Use Account (SUA)


The Virtual Card, also known as “Ghost Card” or Single Use Account (SUA), provides an electronic payment option that offers speed, convenience and flexibility while eliminating the need for a physical card.  When a payer, such as an insurance carrier, has a large volume of transactions that are traditionally paid via paper check this could be an ideal alternative.

The use of virtual cards to pay claims have propelled the insurance industry’s adoption of electronic forms of disbursement by leveraging established, proven payment networks to facilitate funds transfer between carriers and providers/vendors.

As an example, using single use accounts to pay claims can improve the way P&C insurers pay auto body shops and towing services or health plans pay their health providers and labs.  Virtual cards are also a more efficient way for providers and vendors to receive their payments, such as reimbursement for medical claims or auto glass claims.

Inherently, physical card products still require the logistics of inventory management, shelf-life of the cards and whether to pre-load or “load-as-you-go” along with issues of who and how to distribute to the payee.

Virtual cards and single use accounts allow the payer to issue a single electronic card for each payment. Each virtual card payment has a unique 16-digit account number that can be assigned a customized credit limit to match the specific payment amount and the valid date range required for each payment.  In the example of a health insurance claim payment, this number is sent by the payer to the provider along with an Explanation of Payment (EOP) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB), the stub information.  The payee is able to get funds quicker and use the familiar "card-not-present transactions" process.  Vendors, like medical providers who have their own point of service (POS) or merchant systems, can simply enter the card number and the exact amount to receive payment immediately. As the virtual card payments are settled through the POS devices, these payments are applied to the provider’s bank account, thus speeding up the process and improving their cash flow.

The distinct coupling of each card account to each payment, making a 1:1 match, provides the payer significant transaction security and anti-fraud control related to this payment method over other options.  Prelude’s PayPilot solution enables virtual card and SUA payment processing while safeguarding against unauthorized use, automating the transaction matching and simplifies reconciliation.

PayPilot allows virtual card and SUA payment processing to be either a stand-alone payment method or in tandem with other payment options among the payer’s multiple payment types. Using single use accounts to pay claims is one of the most sought-after payment methods by both claims and finance professionals today because it offers both efficiency and effectiveness for both the payee and the payer.

Prelude created PayPilot to be a disbursement hub.  And, as a disbursement hub, PayPilot makes it possible for outbound payment processing to be more efficient, including the easy implementation of new payment methods like virtual cards and SUA. No longer do companies need to have each of their back-end applications up to date with the current methods of payment or ancillary processing. Without PayPilot, this old-fashioned approach would require lots of time and effort (cost) and possibly delay potential ROI (opportunity cost).

PayPilot facilitates the migration to new payment methods, such as virtual cards and SUA to pay claims.  Companies continue to send the payment requests to PayPilot.  PayPilot, as their disbursement hub, not only allows better control and better security but also better options for issuing their outbound payments. PayPilot provides the flexibility to react quickly to adopt new payment methods with greater ease.

For more information how PayPilot can help enable virtual cards or single use accounts for you, please contact Bill Clausen 508.650.0033 x321.