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Implement recurring payments with Adyen.

With Adyen, you can securely store one or more payment details per shopper. This allows you to offer subscription payments, automatic top-ups to shopper accounts, and give your shoppers a faster checkout experience by using their stored card.

We refer to these saved payment details as tokens and storing a shopper's payment details as tokenization.

We support over 30 card and local payment methods, including major card brands, ACH, and SEPA direct debit. See Payment methods for more information.

Benefits of tokenization

  • Let shoppers store their payment details for a faster checkout experience later.
  • Offer shoppers their stored payment details for later payments.
  • Save payment details for a subscription or a non-fixed schedule contract.
  • Submit later payments for subscriptions or for automatic top-ups to shopper accounts.

To save your shopper's payment details, you only need to pass some additional parameters when making a payment. In the first payment, we collect the payment information from the shopper and generate a token for it. The token is then sent to your server for future use. For later payments, you need to make a request with the shopper reference and the token.

Tokens are stored per merchant account by default.

You can create token groups under a company account if you want a number of merchant accounts to share tokens. Ask our Support Team to enable token groups. If you want to use this functionality, each shopper reference must be unique across all merchant accounts in the group. This is why we recommend that you always use unique shopper references. Also, each shopper reference must have a minimum length of three characters, and should not include personally identifiable information (PII) such as name or email address.

If you want to use existing recurring contracts from another payment service provider, you can migrate and import recurring payment details to Adyen.

Recurring payment types

You can create and make payments with tokens for the following recurring payment types:

  • One-off payments: one-off transactions where a shopper can either store their payment details or pay in your website or app at a later time using their saved details.
  • Subscriptions: a recurring transaction made at regular intervals for a product or a service.
  • Automatic top-ups and other non-fixed schedule contracts: contracts that occur on a non-fixed schedule using stored card details. This includes automatic top-ups when the cardholder's balance drops below a certain amount.

The recurring payment types available for your integration depend on your server-side flow. If you are using the Sessions flow, making token payments for transactions where the shopper is not present, such as subscription payments, requires to use the /payments endpoint.

Recurring payment type
Sessions flow Advanced flow
Create a token Make a payment Create a token Make a payment
One-off payments -white_check_mark- -white_check_mark- -white_check_mark- -white_check_mark-
Subscriptions -white_check_mark- -x- -white_check_mark- -white_check_mark-
Automatic top-ups and
other non-fixed schedule contracts
-white_check_mark- -x- -white_check_mark- -white_check_mark-

PCI compliance

If you're not fully PCI DSS compliant, we recommend that you use Adyen tokens to make payments. With tokens, you can offer an improved checkout experience to your shoppers.

To collect raw card data, you need to be fully PCI DSS compliant. If you are fully PCI DSS compliant, you can either create your own token vault or store raw card data to offer faster checkout options.

To use network tokens that are issued by card networks (like Visa and Mastercard) for your payments, refer to Network tokenization.

Import recurring payment details

If you have existing recurring contracts with another payment service provider, you can migrate and import recurring payment details to Adyen. When you import the data, you won't need to collect your shopper's payment details again to create a token.

When the recurring payment details are successfully migrated, you receive an output file. From this file you can get the parameters that you need to use the tokens in future payments.

Set up tokenization