Activating a Card

This guide explains how to activate physical cards using the Activate Card endpoint.

Follow this procedure to:

  • Activate a physical card for the first time.

Do not follow this procedure to:

  • Activate a virtual card; most virtual cards are active upon creation. For those that are not, use the Modify Status endpoint with type: 7.
  • Activate a Digital First card; instead, follow the steps in Protecting the physical card in the Setup for Digital First guide.
  • Restore a card to active status; instead, use Modify Status with type: 7 to change only the card status but not trigger any other processes.

See Card activation in Setting Up a Card Program for information on other activation methods.

Result of calling Activate Card

When Activate Card has run successfully, the card is changed to status: N (active). If the CANOC parameter is set, the cardholder's other active cards have been canceled. If temporary cards were issued and the TEMPC parameter is set, the temporary cards have been canceled. (See Galileo setup for more information.)


This table explains the parameters that are specific to the Activate Card endpoint. See the Activate Card endpoint reference for details.

accountNoPass the PRN, PAN, or CAD. If you pass the PRN you may also want to request cardNumberLastFour from the cardholder to select the correct card. To pass in the PAN you must be PCI compliant.
cardExpiryDateCardholder-provided. Use this value to test against the card to be activated.
cardSecurityCodeCardholder-provided. Use this value to test against the card to be activated.
cardNumberLastFourCardholder-provided. If the cardholder has more than one card associated with their account, and if you passed PRN as accountNo, use this parameter to ensure that the correct card is selected.
deactivateTemporaryCardsIf you issued one or more temporary cards while the cardholder waited for the physical card to arrive in the mail, pass 1 to deactivate those cards. This applies to cards that are associated with the account of the card that is being activated (same PRN), not cards that are associated with other accounts that the account holder has. The TEMPC parameter must be set for this parameter to take effect.

Card-activation workflow

This flowchart shows the logical progression of the Activate Card endpoint. The actual sequence of events in the Galileo system may vary.

  1. Retrieve cardholder input, populate the Activate Card endpoint, and send.
  2. Galileo performs a number of preliminary checks. Failures return the status codes shown in the diagram. Consult the Status codes table for next steps.
  3. Galileo checks for a card with the accountNo that has an emboss record in status: Y. Failure to find such an emboss record returns status_code: 467-02.
  4. Galileo verifies that the card's account is not in an improper status:
    • If it is in a status that is specified in the CRDBL parameter, the endpoint returnsstatus_code: 467-06.
    • If it is in status: F (fraud), the endpoint returns status_code: 467-05.
    • If it is in status: R (charged off), the endpoint returns status_code: 467-04.
  5. If the data the customer supplied matches the data on record, Galileo activates the card and sends the webhook BACT: card_activated, if you are configured to receive it. If there is no match, the endpoint returns status_code: 467-01.
  6. If deactivateTemporaryCards: 1, Galileo attempts to deactivate any temporary cards that were issued. If Galileo cannot deactivate the cards, the endpoint returns status_code: 467-03. If the cards are successfully deactivated or deactivateTemporaryCards is not set, the endpoint returnsstatus_code: 0.

Sample endpoint request and response

Consult the Activate Card endpoint to see how to build the API request and to see the response schema.

Status codes

Consult Activate Card to see status codes and next steps.

View the activated card

Call the Get Card or Get Account Cards endpoint and check card_status.

Galileo setup

These product/program parameters affect card-activation behavior. Galileo sets these parameters according to your use case.

CANCSUsed in conjunction with CANOC, it specifies the status that a card must be in to be canceled when a new card is activated. Default: N,X,Y,W
CANOCWhen this parameter is set and the new card (new PAN) is activated, other cards in the statuses specified in CANCS and belonging to the same cardholder are canceled (status: C):

  • Y — Cancel all cards regardless of prod_id.
  • Prod — Cancel only the cards with the same prod_id.

    When this parameter is not set, other active cards are not canceled.
  • CRDBLContains statuses of cards that should not be activated.
    TEMPCCancels temporary instant-issue cards when the personalized card is activated. The instant-issue card and the personalized card must have the same balance ID but different product IDs. Set this parameter on the instant-issue product.