I found that there a few payment-instruments being reserved and therefor can't be removed in the UI, while setting up CiviContribute. These are 'Credit Card', 'Debet Card' and 'Check'. I'm 100% sure that in this case these will never used, so I'd like to remove them. I've already removed all cards in Accepted Credit Cards. I know how to delete the instruments in mysql, but I wonder if it would cripple something else?


Don't delete them, but there is a trick to disable the ones you don't want without resorting to direct SQL queries. Check out this solution on households to see how to do it via API explorer. In your case we would use:

  • Entity = OptionValue
  • Action = Create
  • Option Group ID = payment_instrument
  • Option Value ID = 88 (e.g. for Debit Card)
  • Option Is Active = False.
  • I didn't think about using the API, thanks for point that out. I have tried a few times, but didn't manage it to get it right (yet). – Rutger Jul 29 '15 at 18:38

If you are sure you are not going to use payment instrument then you have an option of disabling it

But you should at least have one payment instrument in order to create contribution record etc

so you don't have to delete it just disable but setting the flag of is_active column to zero and if something goes wrong always you can enable it

  • Your first sentence made me all go "but that's the point, you can't!". But then your last sentence made so much sense. :) You are right, I should be able to disable them by setting is_active to false. I'm going to combine this answer with the one that @Nicholai gave me and try to do it through the API. Thanks! – Rutger Jul 29 '15 at 18:42

Credit card and Debit card could be used by the system if you do online payment with some payment processor.

Check is used by the system on online payment page when you let the user choose the Pay later option.

So, it's ok to disable them if you don't plan to do online payment forms (event, contribution or membership).


If you won't have any payment instruments (and what is left besides cash and sheep if you disable those?) you might consider disabling CiviContribute and any other components that aren't getting used. You can do it in Administer - System Settings - Enable CiviCRM Components.

  • 1
    We're paying in sheep now? ;-) – Nicholai Jul 29 '15 at 14:37
  • Well, we are based in the Netherlands. Credit- and debet cards aren't used as much here. So there is cash, bank transfers and online payment with a service called 'iDEAL'. Disabling components just because we don't want to use credit cards, is a bit excessive. – Rutger Jul 29 '15 at 18:15
  • No problem, that makes more sense. I just thought you were trying to disable them all. In that case, I'd suggest that you might only be 99% sure you'll never need those payment instruments (who knows in the future?), and Nicholai's suggestion to disable them is the right one. – Andrew Hunt Jul 29 '15 at 19:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.