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Choose an integration architecture

Learn about local and cloud integrations with Adyen's Terminal API.

Our Standalone solution

If you don't need a fully featured API integration, we also offer standalone terminals.

Before you start building a point-of-sale integration, you need to choose an integration architecture. This determines how your integration connects to the Adyen payments platform.

We offer two integration architectures for our Terminal API:

  • Local communications: the POS system communicates directly with the payment terminal over your local network.
  • Cloud communications: the POS system communicates with the payment terminal over the internet.

Local communications

With a local Terminal API integration, your POS system communicates directly with the terminal over your local network. To make a payment, you make an API request directly to the IP address of the terminal, for the shopper to complete the transaction. You receive the result of the payment synchronously.

Cloud communications

With a cloud Terminal API integration, your POS system communicates with the terminal over the internet. To make a payment, you make an API request to the Adyen payments platform. This request is forwarded to the terminal, for the shopper to complete the transaction. You can choose whether you want to receive the result of the payments synchronously or asynchronously.

Choosing between cloud and local

There are various aspects to consider when deciding on your integration architecture.

  • Offline payments:
    A local integration supports offline EMV and Store-and-forward transactions. This means you can continue making transactions when there are issues with the internet connection.

    A cloud integration does not support offline EMV or Store-and-forward transactions. When the internet connection drops, you are not be able to make a transaction. As a fallback you can add standalone terminals, because these do support offline payments. Or you could set up a secondary, local integration with some of your terminals. Another option is to use 3G/4G failover to use a cellular connection as a backup.

  • Type of POS system:
    If your current POS system is cloud-based, a cloud Terminal API integration is the natural choice. However, the success of a cloud integration greatly depends on the infrastructure and management of the in-store network.

  • Ease of integration:
    With a local integration you need to take additional steps to ensure the local network communication between the POS system and the terminal is safe: you need to verify the terminal's certificate and encrypt and decrypt API messages. You can protect local communications yourself, or use one of our GitHub libraries to take care of this.

    Setting up a cloud integration is faster because there is no need for those additional steps.

  • Battery life of the payment terminal:
    A cloud integration uses WebSockets to establish and maintain the connection. The power consumption of the WebSockets connection reduces the time that terminals can run on battery power.

Characteristic Local Cloud Description
Offline payments When the internet connection is down, a local integration allows offline payments.
Ease of integration A local integration requires you to authenticate the connection and encrypt and decrypt API messages.
Battery life In a cloud integration the WebSockets connection reduces the time a terminal runs on battery power.

Next steps