Card Issuance: Setting up Physical Cards

This overview provides information on what to expect when setting up physical cards. Please note that turnaround times can vary based on custom options, printer schedules, network approval processes, etc.


  • Setup Fee: $1k initial setup fee per card image 
  • Per Card Pricing: ~$6 per card (custom art may vary)
  • Additional Changes: Changes to your programming, inventory or art may come with additional change fees.

Step 1: Submit your Platform's Due Diligence

To submit your card information to the networks, we need to review all requested due diligence for your platform and beneficial owners/controlling persons. We cannot begin the card art process until this is complete.

Step 2: Select your printing options & submit art

  1. On Demand [Recommended] - This is a custom card that allows you to scale without holding inventory.
  2. Inventory - For advanced customizations you can pre-purchase and print inventory. This is not recommended and timelines are significantly longer, but we can explore this for platforms that want additional options on materials, finishes and other designs.

Step 3: Sign off on Pre-Proof

Pre-proofs usually take a week to turn around. Additional edits will add additional time. Please review your pre-proof for errors and make changes as needed. When this is ready, we will ask you to sign off on the pre-proof and any inventory we are ordering.

Step 4: Submit to Networks for Approval

Synapse will submit card art to the network for review. This is a two part process:

  1. Affinity Co-Brand - The card network reviews your business model to ensure it does not violate their brand guidelines. This only has to be done once. This typically takes 2 weeks, but it could take longer for non-traditional industries, highly regulated industries or use cases that they are not very familiar with (ex: lending, crypto, etc)
  2. Art Approval - The card network reviews the art itself to ensure it does not violate their brand guidelines. This typically takes 2 weeks on average, but can be longer in some situations. Special exceptions from will require waivers that could lengthen this timeline.

Step 5: Order Remaining Inventory (Inventory Cards Only)

For inventory cards, inventory will need to be ordered after Visa approval. The time to receive inventory varies based on the customizations.

Step 6: Submit a Test File

Synapse Default Card Art: If you are not yet approved to go live with a branded card, you can still begin internal testing with our default card art after your code review. You will be capped to 20 users. Our API docs provides a general guide for testing, though you should also test further for your specific use cases.

Your Platform's Branded Card Art: Once you have completed your compliance review and are approved to go live with branded cards, you may submit a test file for your branded card art. Testing takes about a week. After the card request is received, the printers will ensure everything is setup, then mail you the card for sign off. 



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