Default icon

Account structure

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

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

  • Your Adyen account.
  • The resources within your 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 more merchant accounts.

In your merchant accounts, you can configure:

  • Payment methods
  • Processing currencies
  • Account-specific risk management rules
  • Stores
  • Reports

The number of merchant accounts you should have depends on your business. In most cases, it is enough to have a single merchant account. However, having multiple merchant accounts can sometimes be useful. For example, if your users operate in multiple regions, you can manage regionally available payment methods by using a different merchant account for each region.

You can create stores in your merchant accounts to route payments to the right users. Stores allow you to aggregate settlements and make reconciliation easier.


The following resources represent your business in Adyen's payment processing platform:

  • Company account: represents your core business entity and holds your merchant accounts.
  • Merchant account: the account where we process payments for your users. You can have multiple merchant accounts.
  • Store: ensures that the transactions you process for your users correspond to an accurate payer statement.

You can use the Management API to manage these resources.

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

Adyen for Platforms

In an Adyen for Platforms integration, your merchant accounts are connected to your balance platform. The balance platform is an accounting system that manages the flow of funds within your business. When we process a sale for your user, the balance platform enables you to split the incoming funds between your platform and your user. Users are third parties in your platform: sellers, service providers, or contractors, for example.

In your balance platform, you can:


Depending on your business model and use case, you need to create the following resources for each of your users:

  • Account holder: specifies what your user can do in your platform, for example, receive fund transfers to their balance account and payouts to their verified transfer instrument (bank account). An account holder must be linked to your user's balance account and main legal entity.
  • Balance account: holds the funds of your user. All financial activities in your platform, such as paying out to a bank account, happen through balance accounts.
  • Payment instrument: an Adyen-issued card or business account.
  • Grant account: enables you to track the total amount of offers for business capital your users have accepted and must repay on your platform.

Similarly, your business has its own account holder and balance account on the balance platform:

  • Balance platform: the accounting system on which you manage your users and funds.
  • Liable account holder: represents your business in the balance platform.
  • Liable balance account: the account where your business' funds are held. Funds can be deducted from this account if your users' balance accounts incur negative balances due to refunds and chargebacks.

These resources are created by Adyen. You can use the Configuration API to manage these resources.