How can I unblock a card after its is blocked from entering the wrong PIN?

After entering the wrong PIN three times, the card will be blocked. To understand how to unblock the PIN, it's important to know that there are two types of PIN.

  • Offline PIN: stored in the card
  • Online PIN: calculated in Adyen’s back-end.

Both PINs always have the same value. That’s a conscious design decision of Adyen's solution, to keep things simple.

If either offline or online modes get blocked, you can follow this flow:

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Offline PIN blocked

In the situation where the terminal is in offline mode, and the PIN fails for three consecutive times, the offline PIN is blocked and the card gets blocked. If the card gets blocked it means that the card is blocked for offline transactions. However, the card can still be used for online transactions. And when doing so, with the right PIN, the offline PIN gets unblocked. Because it's impossible to know whether an in-store terminal is in offline or online mode, it's advised to do a balance inquiry at an ATM when the card is blocked. Such a balance inquiry always requires the online PIN. And when the right PIN is entered, the ATM will unblock the offline PIN.

Just like the offline PIN, the online PIN also gets blocked after three consecutive failed attempts.

Online PIN is blocked

We can facilitate unblocking the online PIN in our database so that the offline PIN can be reset via the ATM as described above. Such requests need to be submitted to The support team might require additional information about the card holder to verify the ownership of the card. There are also two other ways to unlock the PIN. The first one is in the Customer Area. There, the card partner can unblock a payment instrument by updating the status to 'active'. The other way is via an API request to update the status of the card.

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