We refer to third parties on your platform or marketplace – sellers, service providers, contractors, and so on – as sub-merchants. Your platform is referred to as a merchant.
For every one of your sub-merchants you'll need to create a corresponding account holder. The account holder represents the sub-merchant's business entity, if onboarding a company, or individual entity, if onboarding a person. KYC verification is performed against the account holder. Each account holder can, in turn, hold one or more accounts.
Most platforms will create a single account for each account holder. However, we do support multiple accounts per account holder for platforms that require additional payment control. For more information, see Account holder with multiple accounts.
Legal entity types
An account holder may be either an individual or a business.
If a sub-merchant is registered with their local government as a business (which they may be required to do, depending on their local governmental regulations), then the representative account holder must be designated as a Business.
Otherwise, the representative account holder must be designated as an Individual.
Sometimes sub-merchants sign up with an incorrect legal entity type. If you are using our API v5 or later, you can fix this by changing the legal entity of the account holder.
Your platform will receive its own account, which we refer to as the Liable Account. The liable account has its own corresponding
accountCode that is used to process transactions for your platform. It can be used in our APIs wherever
accountCode is normally used.
It's also possible to have multiple liable accounts. This can be used for accounting purposes, to keep sets of transactions and funds separate.
Account holder with multiple accounts
While most platforms will only need one account per account holder, having the option to create multiple accounts gives you the ability to maintain separate funds and accounting history for each account.
An example of where multiple accounts can help could be a crowdfunding platform. The crowdfunding platform will onboard the person by signing up onto their platform and creating an account holder for them, but will want to keep the funds of each campaign separated. They would create an account for each campaign their account holder starts, allowing the platform to keep the transaction history and balances independent for each campaign.
Another example could be an ecommerce platform where their user, an account holder, might run multiple ecommerce shops at a time. The ecommerce platform wants to keep the transaction history independent for each shop, so they would create an account for each shop to give them this separation.
If you want more help in understanding whether your platform requires multiple accounts or not, reach out to our Support Team.
Account holder statuses
The account holder status indicates whether a given account holder can process payments and payouts:
The default status of an account holder. Payment processing and payouts are not disabled.
The information required by a verification check was not provided within the 30 day time limit.
Providing the required information specified by the verification check will restore the account holder status to Active.
The information required by a verification check was not provided within the 6 week time limit.
An account holder has been closed and no operations are allowed. This status is final.