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How do I create sub-accounts for individual users?

You can enable sub-accounts for an existing user by creating additional user objects and setting the existing user as the parent.

In general, an active card belongs to a single user for its lifetime. For some use cases, however, you might want to move an active card from one user to another, enabling the card to draw funds from the balance of a different account on demand. This allows the card holder to spend from multiple accounts using the same card.

For example, an expense program might have a card holder represented by a user named "John_Smith" with two child users named "John_Smith_Food" and "John_Smith_Travel". Note that in this example, these child accounts all belong to the same person but are distinct users on the Marqeta platform. Each child user has its own balance and is associated with its own card.

The card holder, John Smith, is at a restaurant and wants to spend from his "John_Smith_Food" child account using the associated card ("John_Smith_Food_Card"), but he accidentally brought the card associated with "John_Smith_Travel". He wants to be able to login to the mobile app he uses to manage his cards so he can update his "John_Smith_Travel_Card" card to draw funds from his "John_Smith_Food" account.

Note: This feature is disabled by default and requires activation by Marqeta. To learn more, contact a Marqeta representative.

Creating child users

To create sub-accounts for an existing user, send a POST request to /users. In the request, include the following:

  • Use the token of the existing user in the parent field.
  • Define a meaningful token for the new user, such as "John_Smith_Food", or "John_Smith_Travel".

Enabling spending from multiple users with a single card

To move a card to another user, send a PUT request to /cards/{token} and include the user_token of the alternate account you want to use.

For example, to update John Smith’s travel card so it spends funds from the account of "John_Smith_Food", send the following PUT request to /cards/John_Smith_Travel_Card:

"user_token": "John_Smith_Food"


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