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Create cards

Learn how to create and activate cards.

After you create an account holder and a balance account, you can start issuing cards. Cards can either be virtual or physical. Cards also have to be associated with a Visa or Mastercard pre-approved use case, called a scheme program. By default, Adyen handles the scheme program for you in the background.

PCI compliance

The scope for PCI compliance depends on your use case—the type of cards you'll issue and how the cards will be used. To know whether PCI compliance requirements apply to your use case, reach out to your Adyen contact.

Visual design for physical cards

Before you can create physical cards in the live environment, you must have a design for the card itself and the mailer it is sent in. Each card design must be approved by Visa or Mastercard.

Your Adyen contact will help you to complete and specify the designs.

Create a card

To issue a card, create a paymentInstrument resource. In the request, specify whether the card is:

  • Virtual: A card that has no physical form, and can only be used online. You receive the card details in the API response.
  • Physical: A card that is printed and shipped to the user. You do not receive the card details in the API response. Sending a request to create a physical card also starts an order to manufacture the card.

When creating a physical card, you must include additional information, such as the card manufacturing profile and the delivery details.

To create a physical card, make a POST /paymentInstruments request specifying:

Parameter Required Description
type -white_check_mark- The payment instrument type, set to card.
balanceAccountId -white_check_mark- The balance account ID that should be associated with the card. You can also update the balance account associated with a card at a later time as long as the card status is inactive.
card -white_check_mark- Object that contains card configuration such as:
configuration -white_check_mark- Object that contains the settings for the physical card, including design and the configurationProfileId.
status By default, cards are created with an active status. We recommended that you create physical cards with inactive status to keep them secure until they are delivered to the cardholder.

In your request, you can also include optional parameters such as a human-readable description to help your staff differentiate between multiple cards under one balance account.

Here is how you would create a physical card linked to a balance account with id BA1234123412341234. In this example, we create a card with inactive status.

Create a physical card
curl https://balanceplatform-api-test.adyen.com/bcl/v1/paymentInstruments \
-u "ws@BalancePlatform.YOUR_BALANCE_PLATFORM":"YOUR_WS_PASSWORD" \
-H "content-type: application/json" \
-d '{
  "type": "card",
  "issuingCountryCode": "NL",
  "balanceAccountId": "BA1234123412341234",
  "status": "inactive",
  "card": {
    "formFactor": "physical",
    "brand": "mc",
    "brandVariant": "mcdebit",
    "cardholderName": "Sam Hopper",
    "deliveryContact": {
      "address": {
        "city": "Amsterdam",
        "country": "NL",
        "stateOrProvince": "NH",
        "street": "274 Brannan Street, Suite 600",
        "houseNumberOrName": "50",
        "postalCode": "1020CD"
      },
      "name": {
        "firstName": "Sam",
        "lastName": "Hopper"
      }
    },
    "configuration": {
      "configurationProfileId": "YOUR_CONFIGURATION_PROFILE_ID"
    },
    "expiry": {
      "month": 8,
      "year": 2024
    }
  },
  "description": "{hint:Your human-readable description for the card.}S. Hopper - Main card{/hint}"
}'

The response returns the paymentInstrument resource, identified by its unique id.

Response
{
  "balanceAccountId": "BA1234123412341234",
  "description": "S.Hopper - Main card",
  "issuingCountryCode": "NL",
  "status": "inactive",
  "type": "card",
  "card": {
    "brand": "mc",
    "brandVariant": "mcdebit",
    "cardholderName": "Sam Hopper",
    "configuration": {
      "configurationProfileId": "YOUR_CONFIGURATION_PROFILE_ID"
    },
    "formFactor": "physical",
    "bin":"555544",
    "expiration":{
      "month":"08",
      "year":"2024"
    },
    "lastFour":"1589"
  },
  "id": "PI3227C223222B5BPCMFXD2XG"
}

In the test environment, you can create physical cards but you will not receive them.

Multiple cardholders under one balance account

This use case is only allowed in specific circumstances. Check with your Adyen contact if this is a functionality you can use.

Some business cases might require having multiple cardholders under one balance account, but only the account holder will go through the KYC process. For example:

  • Creating named cards for multiple employees in one company.
  • Creating additional cards for a spouse or children.

Only the main account holder must go through the verification process. After the verification is complete, you can start creating cards for additional cardholders by making another POST /paymentInstruments request.

Here is how you would create another virtual card linked to same balance account BA1234123412341234 for a different cardholder:

Create additional cards
{
  "type": "card",
  "description": "{hint:Your human-readable description for this card}Supplementary card{/hint}",
  "balanceAccountId": "BA1234123412341234",
  "issuingCountryCode": "NL",
  "card": {
    "cardholderName": "Jean Hopper",
    "brand": "{hint:Card scheme: mc or visa}mc{/hint}",
    "brandVariant": "mcdebit",
    "formFactor": "virtual"
  }
}

Next steps

Before your users can start making purchases with the newly issued card, you will have to choose how to fund the accounts, process payments, and manage the card lifecycle.