Company and merchant accounts

Understand Adyen's account structure, and how to configure it according to your needs. 


With Adyen, you have a single company account that represents your core entity with us. Your transactions are processed in sub-accounts called merchant accounts. You receive the payout of funds, as well as your financial reports, at the merchant account level.

For many of our customers, it is enough to have a single merchant account. However, having multiple merchant accounts might be useful or even required in some cases. For more information, refer to Multiple merchant accounts.

Account structure

Your company account holds all your merchant accounts and users, and is where Adyen's monthly invoice is issued to by default.

When you create a merchant account for a new legal entity, you will also receive invoices at the level of this merchant account.

Your transactions are processed at the merchant account level. At this level, you will receive the payout of funds, as well as the reports used for reconciling payments with Adyen. From your merchant account, you can also configure payment methods, processing currencies, and override risk management rules that you set at company level. 

Multiple merchant accounts

When choosing whether to create multiple merchant accounts, there are trade-offs to consider. Having fewer merchant accounts simplifies your operations and minimizes the number of reports you need for reconciliation, while having more merchant accounts allows for increased granularity in reporting, settlement, and user permissions.  We recommend that you have as few merchant accounts as possible, as long as you have enough to accommodate your business needs.

When defining your account structure, consider the following: 
  • Legal entities  You need a separate merchant account for each legal entity that you process payments with. For example, you may not associate a single merchant account to both a U.S. and a French legal entity.  
    On the other hand, you can associate several merchant accounts to a single legal entity. For example, a U.S. entity may be associated with multiple U.S. merchant accounts. 
  • Acquiring – Our customers often register legal entities with us in regions where we offer local acquiring.  This may provide several benefits such as reduced interchange and scheme fees, increased authorisation rates, as well as faster settlement.  
    Your acquiring connections are configured at the merchant account level, and a single merchant account can be associated with only one acquiring region. For more information, refer to Global acquiring.
  • Payouts to your bank account – Settlement in the form of payout batches to your bank account is performed at the merchant level.  The more merchants accounts you have, the more payout batches you will receive. 

    Your merchant account should be associated with the legal entity that owns the bank account(s) to which funds will ultimately be settled. If you are accepting payments in multiple currencies, you may link multiple bank accounts for settlement to a single merchant account.  

    Although you may have multiple bank accounts linked to your merchant account, you may only have one bank account per settlement currency. Therefore, if you want to split funds from different countries in the same currency, you would need to create multiple merchant accounts. 

  • Reporting –  The reports used for reconciling bank settlements are generated at the merchant level. You can choose to configure merchant accounts by individual business lines or geography, based on how you would like receive this information. Having fewer merchant accounts reduces the amount of reports required for financial reconciliation, which is especially important to consider if you reconcile manually.
  • Risk management – You can configure risk management (rules for RevenueProtect and Dynamic 3D Secure) at the company level, with the option to overrule settings at the merchant level. Merchant-level risk rules are useful if you want to establish a different risk profile based on business line or geography. For example, risk considerations for physical goods can differ from those for digital goods, and risk considerations for transactions originating in the U.S. can differ from those originating in Mexico. 
  • User permissions – Users that you create at the company account level have access to all merchant-accounts under that company account. To limit user permissions, you need to create separate merchant accounts. For example, having a separate merchant account for a webshop allows you to limit user permissions to that specific webshop.
  • Merchant accounts for point-of-sale (POS) – We recommend creating separate merchant accounts for Ecommerce and POS. If you operate multiple physical stores, you can link these to one merchant account, using the storeID to identify the individual store location. 

    Local entities are required for POS processing, and thus you need to create a merchant account for each market.

    Having separate merchant accounts for different stores is required if you need to:

    • receive separate payouts (in the same currency) or invoices for the different stores
    • limit user credentials to a particular store 

If you need help defining your account structure, contact our Support Team.

Example

Let's assume you sell widgets through your Widgets Shop, and you have a company account called WidgetHolding. You process your payments through the WidgetShop merchant account, a sub-account of the WidgetHolding company account.

Some time later, you start selling grommets as well, and you want to keep this business separate from the widgets: you can add a dedicated GrommetShop merchant account to your WidgetHolding company account.

This lets you keep distinct reporting and payout operations so that you can manage these accounts separately. At the same time, you benefit from consolidated reporting at a company account level to have a complete financial overview. 

Switching between accounts

To switch to a merchant account, click on the name of your company account in the top-right corner of your Customer Area. Then select the merchant account you want to switch to:

  

To switch to your company-level account, click on the name of your merchant account in the top-right corner of your Customer Area. Then select the name of your company account: