Integration requirements and setup

This section describes the process of setting up a card program and explains what is required for your program to integrate with the Pismo platform.


The following figure summarizes the card issuing process.

Image illustrating the full Card issuing journey.

Initial setup

When you're ready to create your card issuing program, the first step is to get set up with the Service Desk, because many requests need to go through it. Your Pismo representative can help you with this.

Next, you must work with Pismo to create your core objects. These are the entities on the Pismo platform that correspond to your organization and your card issuing program. The following is a list of tasks you must complete to set these up.

  • Configure your Org – Before you do anything else, you must configure an Organization (Org). This is the top-level entity in a hierarchy of entities that you use to interact with the Pismo platform. The Org will contain your card issuing program, as well as any other Programs you set up. The implementation team creates and configures your Org using parameters you provide.
  • Configure your first Program – A Program defines a set of parameters for a group of accounts. You can think of it as a template for a specific type of account. For example, if you want to support both Visa and Mastercard, you must set up two Programs – one for Visa and another for Mastercard. In Visa and Mastercard issuing scenarios, a card program coincides with a product that is defined by a BIN range. You use the the Pismo Control Center to create a Program.
  • Create and configure parameters – You must provide the Implementation team with values for the initial attributes of your Org and Program, as well as the type of Program (credit, debit, etc.) that you want to set up.
  • Configure embossing – If you plan to issue physical cards, you must choose one or more embossers and set up contracts with them. Your Pismo representative can help you with this. After setting up your Program, you meet with your Pismo representative again to configure your embossing provider(s) and the embossing schedule. See Physical card embossing for more information.
  • Obtain a server key and secret key – You use the Pismo Control Center to generate a server key and a secret key that you can use to log in to your Org on the Pismo platform. Make sure you store these keys securely.
  • Configure holidays – You must list the dates that count as holidays for your Org (days that transactions cannot be processed), including weekends, if applicable.
  • Configure calendars of the statement cycle – You must set up the statement cycle for your Program. This sets the day of the month that statements are provided to account holders.
  • Configure operation types – Only certain operations are allowed for a given customer, for example: withdrawals, payments, etc. You can also set the type of impact of a given operation, such as a global purchase, a credit or debit withdrawal, etc.
  • Configure network acceptances – This configuration is created by Pismo based on the operation types that the customer has registered. In this way, it’s possible to validate if a certain Program can perform a certain type of operation. You can also set fees and other values.
  • Configure adjustment types – You use adjustment operations to add or remove funds from an account in order to correct discrepancies. An adjustment type allows you to configure an adjustment operation in a variety of customizable ways, for example, whether an adjustment affects credit limit, impacts statement balance, or is sent to timeline. For more information, see Adjustments overview.
  • Write accounting scripts – An accounting script tells the Pismo platform how to generate accounting entries when an event occurs. For example, it can show which debit account and credit account an amount flows into. For more information, see Accounting scripts.

See Core objects for more information on setting up your Org and Program.


Your card issuing program needs to support the following workflows.

  • Onboarding – The process of creating an account for a customer. Before you start creating accounts, you must set up a variety of management entities to support them. Entities must be in place to manage accounts and customers, to set limits on accounts, and to handle collecting on overdue accounts. Once all this is set up, you can use the Create account application endpoint to create an account.
  • Origination (credit only) – The initial process of capturing all the data and documents that you must decide if a customer can be issued a credit card, especially a credit card. This task is generally outsourced, since the origination process handles the direct integrations with KYC/AML, including credit checks, for example.
  • Card lifecycle – A card goes through a number of states from creation to termination. For more information, see Card lifecycle and statuses.
  • Transaction control – You must set up flexible transaction controls (flex controls) that the platform can use to determine if a cardholder has the money in their account to cover a transaction, if there is a minimum balance that the account should not be allowed to go below, what is the largest transaction a cardholder is allowed to make, and so on. The Flex controls API is used to set up flex controls for accounts and customers.
  • Transaction lifecycle – Just as every card has a lifecycle, every transaction also has a lifecycle. Your Program must ensure that a transaction is processed correctly and that a record of the transaction is created for accounting purposes. For info about how Pismo handles recordkeeping, see Accounting overview.
  • Disputes – A dispute happens when a cardholder calls the bank or card issuer to report an unrecognized or suspicious transaction and requests a cancellation or refund. Your Program must be set up to handle such disputes whenever they occur. For more information, see the Disputes overview.

After you set up your Program

You've set up your organization and your card program. Now you're ready to get down to the business of creating accounts and issuing cards.

  • Creating an account – To create a new account, you use the Create account application endpoint. You must designate one customer as the owner of the account. You provide this customer's details in the applicant object of this endpoint.
  • Creating additional customers – An account can only have one owner, but additional customers can use it. To add a customer to an account, you use the Create a new customer endpoint. A customer can be a 'person' (individual) or a 'company'. If a customer needs more than one type of account, you must run this endpoint for each account. There is a separate entity for each customer/account combination.
  • Issuing cards – Creating a card is simply a matter of calling the Create card endpoint. This endpoint enables you to specify whether or not a physical (metal or plastic) card is created. If you choose to create a physical card, the Pismo platform automatically sends out a print request to your chosen embosser.
    The first thing you need to decide before issuing cards is which Card network integration model you want to implement. You also need to get card network certified.
  • Authorizing transactions – Every transaction must go through a thorough authorization process.
  • Handling fraud – Anti-fraud is one of the services that Pismo provides with full balance integrations. For more information, see Anti-fraud integration. With zero balance integration, you are responsible for providing your own anti-fraud service. Pismo assumes that if you authorize a transaction, you have already checked it for fraud.
  • Handling disputes – When a cardholder creates a dispute, they're asking for a chargeback to their card. For more information, see the Disputes overview.
  • Managing statements – With full balance integration, the Pismo platform handles statement management. For more information, see Understanding statements.
    With zero balance integration, the customer is responsible for all statement management.
  • Data and reporting – Pismo sends data and reports via real-time event notifications or via files. Events occur during the course of normal processing (account actions, transactions, payments, auditing, and so on).
    Event notifications and data go to your cloud storage – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure – so you must be set up with one of these providers. For files, Pismo provides an alternative method that does not involve cloud storage. For more information, see the Data and reporting overview.

International issues

Every region has specific requirements that must be taken into account when planning a card issuing program. These might affect your timeline. For example, tax laws vary greatly from region to region, so if you need the Pismo platform to generate reports that you can use for filing taxes, you must take into account the time it will take to implement that feature.

Another area that is region-dependent is ATM integration. For example, Pismo uses Tecban integration for Brazil. Contact your Pismo representative if you're interested in integrating with an ATM system in your region.