How do I create a payment instrument?

The creation of a card payment instrument depends on the card form factor (physical or virtual). Creating a payment instrument issues a card. Each balance account can have one or more payment instruments that can deduct funds from it. It requires in any case a proper onboarding and a Know Your Customer (KYC) screening.


Virtual cards

By using the Adyen API and developer documentation, our card partners can quickly and easily issue “ready to use” payment instruments. Most virtual card cases concern e-commerce transactions and one-time usage payment instruments.


The card is issued and can be used instantly as it doesn’t not depends on any physical production. The usual timeline for a virtual card partner to go-live is 2 months.


Physical cards

On the other hand the physical card takes longer to create as it requires manufacturing capabilities, approvals and configuration from different parties (i.e. card design and chip profile).


Physical cards is a 2-step process:

  • Manufacturing: plastic with the card design and the EMV chip is produced
  • Personalisation: personalisation of the card based on cardholder details


Following the personalisation stage, the physical cards will be shipped either to cardholder or card partner address. The usual timeline for a physical card partner to go-live is 4 to 6 months.

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