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Platforms account structure

Understand account structures to design a platform that suits your business needs.

This page is for classic Adyen for Platforms integrations. If you are just starting your implementation, refer to our new integration guide instead.

See examples

For a practical application of platform structures, refer to Example structures.

To design a platform that suits your use cases, start with learning about:

  • Your Adyen account.
  • The resources within a platform.
  • How your Adyen account and your platform are connected.

Your Adyen account

When you sign up for an Adyen account, you receive a company account and one or several merchant accounts. The merchant account is where you configure payment methods and processing currencies.

For many of our Adyen for Platforms customers, having one merchant account for each country is a common Adyen account setup. We refer to all your merchant accounts as your Adyen merchant accounts.

For more information about your Adyen account, refer to Adyen account structure.

Your platform

A platform is where you create and onboard third parties, hold funds, and trigger payouts.

We refer to third parties in your platform—sellers, service providers, contractors, and so on—as sub-merchants.

For each sub-merchant, you need to create the following resources:

  • Account holder: Represents the sub-merchant's entity. This resource contains all information about the sub-merchant, including individual details, company details, and bank account details for payouts. Adyen uses this information to perform Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.
  • Account: Holds the funds of an account holder. All financial activities in your platform, such as paying out to a bank account, happen through accounts. An account holder can have multiple accounts but a single account is sufficient in most use cases.

Similarly, your entity has its own account holder and account.

  • Liable account holder: Represents your entity.
  • Liable account: Your account where your funds are held. Adyen draws fees from this account. This account is liable if other accounts in your platform incur negative balances due to refunds and chargebacks. You can also have multiple liable accounts for accounting purposes to keep sets of transactions and funds separate.

We refer to all accounts where financial activities are carried out as accounts in your platform. To see examples of platform account structures, refer to Common structures.

How funds flow

Your Adyen account is connected to your platform through the flow of funds.

When customers of your platform make a payment, the payment is processed through your Adyen merchant accounts. Then the payment is captured and settled to the accounts in your platform.

For example, here's the process of receiving a payment to paying out the account holder:

  1. A customer buys goods or services on your platform. The payment is processed through your Adyen merchant account.
  2. The payment is captured and settled to the accounts in your platform. You specify which accounts when you split the funds at the time of payment or capture. The funds are held in the accounts in your platform until they are paid out.
  3. When you pay out an account holder, the funds are taken out of their account and sent to any of their verified bank accounts.

In case of a refund:

  1. You process refund requests through your Adyen merchant account.
  2. Funds are debited from the accounts in your platform, and credited to the customer.

For an illustration of how your Adyen account and your platform account are connected, refer to Example structures.

See also