What do the different Circle API products do?

Circle has multiple API offerings. What does each do, and which API will best suit your needs?

Circle Core API Functionality

Each of Circle's three powerful API suites (Payments, Payouts, and Accounts) shares a common set of core functionality that allows businesses to manage their own Circle Account in a programmatic way.

This core set of APIs allows you to:

  • Transfer digital currency (USDC) in and out of your Circle Account.
  • Register your own business bank accounts - if you have them.
  • Make transfers from/to your business bank account while seamlessly converting those funds across digital currency and traditional fiat.

Circle Payments API

The Payments API allows customers to accept payments from their customers or users that settle as USDC. Businesses with users already holding USDC are also able to take on-chain payments on supported blockchains.

With the Circle Payments API you can:

  • Take card and bank transfer payments for goods or services on your commerce app or website.
  • Build a credit & debit card or bank transfer on-ramp for your crypto exchange.
  • Take card or bank transfer deposits for your savings, lending, investing or P2P payments product.
  • Take USDC payments directly through on-chain transfers.

Circle Payouts API

In the opposite flow to the Payments API, the Payouts API allows you to issue payouts to your customers, vendors, or suppliers in a variety of ways.

The Payouts API allows users to make a series of calls to send a payout to a third party via fiat or USDC.

  • Identify where funds will transfer from (master wallet, subwallet)
  • Select a linked bank account or USDC address
  • Execute payout

Circle's Account API

The Accounts API sits between the Payments and Payouts APIs in a funds flow. Just as the Payments and Payouts APIs provide the conversion function of the Circle Account to end-users, the Accounts API provides the holding and managing functions.

The Accounts API allows for the creation of sub-accounts, or “wallets."

  • End-user wallets
  • Brand/business separation
  • Accounting organization

Additional Resources

For more detailed information on our APIs, please review our developer guides.