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Instant Issuance programs

Card programs specify the characteristics, behavior, and capabilities of the cards issued.

A card program has attributes, such as:

  • card type (debit vs. prepaid)
  • card branding (logos, colors, & more)
  • supported transaction types (for digital and physical cards)
  • payment channel (Visa or Mastercard)
  • and much more

With Instant Issuance programs, you will be able to customize card designs, onboard cardholders, and issue cards immediately. The Instant Issuance program supports a variety of use cases, including neo-bank businesses, payroll programs, payout or disbursement products, gift cards, and many more.

Here’s a breakdown of how the Instant Issuance program works.

Bank and network approvals

Traditionally, launching a card program takes months, or even years. This is because it requires establishing many relationships, completing technical integrations, and obtaining many approvals. At a high level, to launch a card program in-house, you would need:

  • Issuing bank:
    • The sponsor for the card program.
    • The process includes strict due diligence, including reviewing and approving your company’s policies and procedures.
    • Requires upfront fees and monthly minimums, as well as multi-year commitments.
  • Issuer processor:
    • The backend connectivity to the card networks (Mastercard, Visa, Star, etc).
    • The integration process is difficult to scope as it is not well-documented, and it is cumbersome and time consuming.
    • Requires upfront fees and monthly minimums, as well as multi-year commitments.
  • Networks:
    • The Merchant Accepting Networks for the card program. For debit cards, two networks are required (e.g., Mastercard or Visa, and a secondary ATM network).
    • Establishing a brand deal with Mastercard or Visa is difficult without a track record or hard evidence supporting immediate growth.
  • Card fulfillment:
    • The physical card production and fulfillment partner for the card program.
    • The process requires coordination with the issuer processor to ensure sensitive card data is handled safely and securely.
    • Requires upfront fees and monthly minimums, as well as multi-year commitments.

The good news is that the Instant Issuance program takes care of all of these hurdles. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, let us work with our partners behind the scenes so you can focus on designing and building your customer experience and product using our developer tools.


The Instant Issuance program is a consumer debit card program. Behind the scenes, we create a bank account and link the debit card to it as the card’s “funding source.” As you can imagine, for these cards to work, funds have to exist in the underlying bank account.

We provide two options for funding these cardholder bank accounts: (1) you can load money into your card program and allocate funds to cardholders however you see fit; and (2) cardholders can load their bank account directly.

To learn more about how you can fund your card program and the different account associated to it see the "Funding your card program" guide.

Cardholder funding methods

Cardholders can add funds to their accounts through these methods:

  • Debit card
  • ACH
  • Reload Network (cash, check, ATM)

Additionally, companies can add funds to cardholder accounts from their overall Funding Account either through the developer portal or via our Core API. To learn how to do this see the funding guide.

Developer tools

To help you get started, Apto provides: (1) Android and iOS SDKs, and (2) GET access to our API.

You should use the SDKs to quickly integrate the card management functionality into your mobile applications. The SDKs are wrappers around our Mobile API, and are designed with extra consideration for security and compliance so final user applications interact directly with our platform. The SDKs make it easier to interact with the various API endpoints.

Production API keys for the Instant Issuance program are set to GET-only access. This means you will have access to read-only data via the API, and you should use the SDKs to provide card management functionality to cardholders.

Apto offers the following SDKs:

  • The Mobile SDK:
    • The Mobile SDK uses the cardholder’s session token so only authorized cardholders can initiate cardholder actions.
    • You build your own UI and use this SDK so your mobile application communicates directly with the Apto Platform.
  • The PCI SDK:
    • The PCI SDK provides a compliant solution to share PCI-protected data, such as the card number, expiration date, and CVV, directly with the cardholder.
    • Use this SDK to support digital card and card management use cases without taking on the burden of PCI certification.

We also offer a compiled version of the SDKs, which means you can take this white label mobile application and drop it into your existing application or you can distribute it as standalone mobile applications. The resulting Android and iOS applications are configurable to match your branding look and feel.

You can download a demonstration app showing this compiled version via the Developers section of your Dashboard.

Card program features

The Instant Issuance program includes the following features:

  • Physical, contactless cards (all physical cards have digital capabilities)
  • Digital cards
  • Customizable card designs
  • Unique cardholder bank accounts
  • Direct deposit
  • ATM use
  • Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay

Bank accounts

All cards in the Instant Issuance program are issued with an accompanying bank account at our issuing bank. Your users will receive an account number and a routing number. They can load this account directly, and maintain a balance that their card will draw upon in any transactions. Please contact Apto sales to learn more.

Digital wallets

The Instant Issuance card program supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay use. Cardholders can follow the standard Apple Wallet, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay flows to enter their card details and load in their cards. Additional steps are needed to enable push provisioning. For more detail, see digital wallets.


True to our goal of simplifying and streamlining your ability to launch a card program, we also aim to deliver standard and transparent pricing. We minimized the number of fees and distilled the complexities behind the scenes to bring to market a true developer-first offering.

Platform fees with Apto start at $2,500 a month. We charge you for each card that is issued, for each transaction, and for any disputes. We cover the costs of KYC verification and cardholder support, and we share 50% of the interchange revenue with you.

  • Card issuance fees:
    • Includes cardholder onboarding and Know Your Customer (“KYC”) verification, cardholder bank account set up, and card fulfillment.
    • Options for physical cards (optional) and digital cards.
    • One-time fee per card.
  • Transaction fees:
    • Apply to transactions that are in-person, online, and at ATMs.
    • Flat fee per transaction.
      • Cardholders are charged an additional fee for any international transactions they make.
  • Interchange revenue share:
    • Interchange – as determined by the networks – is assessed for every transaction.
    • At the end of every month, we pay you a percentage of the net interchange earned for your program.
  • Dispute fees:
    • Flat fee per lost dispute.
  • ATM Fees:
    • ATM fees are charged to the cardholder.

For custom programs, we’ll work with you to identify pricing that makes sense for your business and needs. Contact a Program Specialist for more information.


Funds in the Instant Issuance card program are in U.S. dollars, and this program is available only in the U.S. That said, your cardholders can still use their Apto-issued card to make international transactions. Apto does not charge you anything additional for international transactions, though your cardholders will be charged a 3.00% international transaction fee. Be aware that international transactions are subject to exchange rates as set by Mastercard or Visa.

In an Enterprise card program, you can use any currency allowing your users’ store-of-value to be a foreign or crypto currency. In fact, Apto’s cards can draw upon any store-of value so long as we can complete a real-time exchange between that store-of-value and the desired fiat currency your user wants to transact with. If you need to work in other currencies or other countries, please contact us.

Card limits

The Instant Issuance program includes a set of withdrawal, spending, and transfer constraints, and allows a maximum of one card per cardholder. If you need to exceed these limits, please contact Apto sales.

Withdrawal limits

Cardholders can withdraw up to these amounts from their accounts.

Total daily maximum withdrawal amount (US)$500.00
Total daily maximum number of ATM withdrawals10
Maximum amount of a single ATM withdrawal (US)$500.00

Spending limits

Cardholders can spend up to these limits each day or per purchase.

Total daily maximum of purchases$5,000.00
Total daily maximum of number of purchases15
Maximum amount for a single purchase$5,000.00

Account load limits (via instant transfer)

Cardholders can fund their card account by pulling funds from an external debit card subject to these limits.

Total daily maximum instant transfer amount (US)$5,000.00
Total daily maximum number of instant transfers10
Maximum amount of a single instant transfer (US)$5,000.00

Cardholder agreements

In Instant Issuance, cardholders need to agree to the terms, conditions, and policies. Displaying and collecting consent from cardholders for these agreements is available by default in the UI SDK and Mobile SDK. If you’re designing your own UI, you need to ensure you display or link to the agreements and that your prospective cardholders consent to them. You can link directly to the agreements on the Apto website. In Enterprise programs, agreements can be customized to suit your needs.