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
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:
- Onboard users of your platform and initiate their verification process.
- Hold your users' funds and pay out to them.
- Move funds within your platform.
- Reconcile transactions based on webhooks and reports.
- Offer additional financial products to your users (only if you have a platform setup).
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.
Legal entity management
As required by payment industry regulations, Adyen must verify the users in your platform before you can process payments, pay out their funds, and offer financial products to them.
To verify your users, you must create legal entities and associated resources. When you create these resources, you provide Adyen with the information we require to verify your users.
You must create the following resources for your users:
- Legal entity: contains information about your user, for example, the legal name, address, and tax information of the organization. Adyen uses this information to perform verification checks as required by payment industry regulations.
- Transfer instrument: your user's verified bank account where they can receive payouts.
- Supporting document: a document that allows us to verify your user's legal entity or transfer instrument.
- Business line: contains information about your user's line of business, including their industry and source of funds.
You can use the Legal Entity Management API to manage these resources. The following diagram shows how the resources are connected.
Depending on your business model and payment processing needs, you can choose between two Adyen for Platforms setups:
As a marketplace:
- You process online payments only.
- Your brand is known to both your users and their customers.
- Customers recognize that they are doing business directly with your brand.
Examples of a marketplace setup include ecommerce websites and mobile apps.
For more information on the marketplaces at Adyen, see Marketplace setup.
As a platform:
- You process in-person and/or online payments.
- Your brand may be invisible to your users' customers.
- You want to have the option to offer additional financial services—such as card issuing, business accounts, or business financing—to your users.
Examples of a platform setup include commerce platforms, ordering or point-of-sale solutions, and retail management systems.
For more information on the platforms at Adyen, see Platform setup.