Secured charge accounts

A secured charge account (CHARGE_SECURED) is a type of open-ended non-revolving credit account, secured by a customer's own funds. This account type forms the basis of a Synctera Smart Card product.

Creating a security

A CHARGE_SECURED account first requires the existence of a security. This acts as a funding source for securing any credit transaction to be applied against the secured charge account: any change to the security's available funds will also change the CHARGE_SECURED account's ability to spend.

Using a customer DDA as a linked security account


For details on creating a CHECKING or SAVING account, refer to our guide here.

This approach enables a Synctera Smart card product offering. Using a customer's CHECKING account to serve as the linked deposit account allows the customer to adjust their CHARGE_SECURED account's spending ability, while still enabling them to move money out of their DDA if desired.

Although the linked deposit account in this case is simply a DDA, it must have certain characteristics for the linking to be successful:

account_typeMust be CHECKING or SAVING.
relationshipsThe account holder for this account must be the intended account holder of the secured charge account.
balance_ceilingMust be null.
balance_floorMust be null.
interest_product_idThis links to an interest product, to configure an interest rate on the deposit account. Refer to our interest guide for more details.
is_ach_enabledMust be true.
is_p2p_enabledMust be true.


It is not currently possible for a linked deposit account to secure more than one charge account.

Creating a secured charge account


While we continue working on our V1 specifications, examples in this section will refer to V0 routes. You may refer to our V0 guide on accounts here.

A secured charge account is a credit account which infers its spending ability from its linked security. Once the security account is available for linking, a CHARGE_SECURED account can be created.

Creating a CHARGE_SECURED account template

Our system will mostly fill in default values for CHARGE_SECURED account templates, but a few specific attributes must be set for this account type:

template.account_typeMust be CHARGE_SECURED.
template.minimum_paymentMust be set. Currently, only type FULL is supported.

The following is a sample valid request:

curl -X POST \
    -H 'Authorization: Bearer $apikey' \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -d '
        "name": "Charge-Secured-Template",
        "description": "For creating charge secured accounts",
        "is_enabled": true,
        "template": {
            "account_type": "CHARGE_SECURED",
            "currency": "USD",
            "bank_country": "US",
            "minimum_payment": {
                "type": "FULL"
    }' $baseurl/v0/accounts/templates

Creating a CHARGE_SECURED account

The account template will populate most of the required values for a new charge account, but you will need to provide details about the security:

account_template_idSet to the ID of the account template created in the last step.
relationshipsSee guide here. If linking to a deposit account, the account holder must currently be the same customer as the linked account.
security.linked_account_idIf using a linked deposit account as the security, this field is required.
application_idThe linked application for a charge secured account. This field is not required, but if provided, the application must be approved.


It is not currently possible to change the security of a secured charge account.

The following is a sample valid request:

curl -X POST \
    -H 'Authorization: Bearer $apikey' \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -d '
        "account_template_id": "23ce6444-2648-4399-832c-adc1ac0a8e4d",
		"relationships": [{
            "relationship_type": "ACCOUNT_HOLDER",
            "customer_id": "4abc9499-0184-43ca-9a14-e9648152f9da"
		"security": {
			"linked_account_id": "c1a58202-0cae-436d-9984-e1b951b95c87"
    }' $baseurl/v0/accounts

Balance management


All examples in this section are expressed in US dollars.

This section serves as an overview of what to expect when transacting against an account of this type.

Loading funds into the security account

If the security and secured charge accounts are both new, then they will have no available funds.

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge00

The first step for enabling transactions at this point would be to fund the security account. Let's simulate a $100 credit:

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge100000

As the available balance goes up on the security account, the secured charge account responds in kind by increasing its available credit.

Transacting against the secured charge account

Now, let's simulate what happens if we spend some of that newly available credit. Initiating a pending transaction of $20 against the secured charge account:

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge80000

As you can see, the pending transaction reduces the available credit of the secured charge account, but it also reduces the available balance on the security account.

If the transaction settles:

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge80002000

We can see that the balance of the secured charge account changed to reflect the posted transaction.


Secured Charge accounts are credit accounts

This means that the balance will express what has been spent against the account. This is in contrast to a DDA, such as a CHECKING or SAVING account, which is a debit account that expresses funds deposited in the account.

It's important to keep this distinction in mind when displaying these account balances to your customers.

Transacting against the security account

If the security account is a customer DDA, then we can also transact against the security. This concept is crucial for Synctera Smart card product offerings, as the user keeps the ability to move their security funds if they so choose.

Continuing with our scenario, let's immediately transfer $50 out of the security account:

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge30002000

After this action is complete, we can see the following effects:

  • The security account's balance was adjusted from $100 to $50 as expected.
  • As a result, the security account's available balance was also adjusted by $50, to reflect the transferred funds.
  • The secured charge account responds to this change in available funds by reducing its available credit to match.
  • The secured charge account's balance does not change, as it was not the subject of the transaction.

Note that the available balance of the security account continues to be critical to this equation -- although the security continues to hold $50 in funds, it only has $30 available. This means that if we were to run this scenario again, we would see an error due to a balance violation.

The $20 unavailable in the security is subject to a hold, as a result of the transaction applied against the secured charge account. Until the $20 balance on the charge account is repaid, the $20 hold on the security remains.

Repaying the secured charge account

Let's simulate a partial repayment against our example secured charge account for $10:

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge40001000

We can see now that the balance on the secured charge account has gone down, but this also freed up the security account's available balance by the same amount.

Repayment of the secured charge account


The account holder may need to authorize the auto-repayment logic described below. Please discuss with your compliance officer and ensure proper disclosure is included in the account agreement.

Once a statement is issued for a CHARGE_SECURED account, the account holder will be given a due date for full repayment of the statement balance. If account holder opts-in to the autopay feature after acknowledging the proper autopay disclosure, Synctera system will automatically repay any outstanding statement balance using funds held in the security account when a statement is generated.

If we take our example scenario, we left an outstanding balance of $10 on the secured charge account. Assuming that the balance does not change by the time a statement is issued, and the account holder has opted in for autopay, once the statement is generated, the following scenario will occur:

AccountAvailable (cents)Balance (cents)
Secured Charge40000

As a result of this auto-repayment of the statement balance, the security account balance was debited, which reduces the total security available for lending, and the secured charge account was credited in turn, which eliminates the need for a hold on the security funds.

This functionality ensures that a secured charge account never enters a state of delinquency.

Account holder can also opt out from autopay and choose to repay their statement balance on their own using other supported payment methods, e.g. ACH, Wire. If the account holder does not pay in full by the due date listed on the account agreement, the account will not be able to spend anymore. The account holder will still be expected to make payments until the due amount is paid in full.