If the runner triggers an ability that says they "pay" a number of credits, who should they pay? The bank or the Corp?

Is "pay" the same as "loses"?

Examples of "pay" abilities and subroutines include Tollbooth and Pop Up Window.

1 Answer 1


All transactions are conducted with the bank, credits never change hands directly from one player to another.

Thematically, this makes sense as you can think of runner and corp using different scales of money. One credit to the runner may represent say $1,000 or $10,000, but for the corp it may represent 10 or 100 times that amount.

From a game design perspective, it makes sense as the game was intended to be played with the cardboard credit tokens, but also designed for play between people who own their own sets. With neither player directly giving money to the other, there's no confusion as to whose game pieces are whose.

I believe the most specific place in the rulebook is the Credit Pool definition on page 6:

Each player has a credit pool where he keeps the credit tokens he has available to spend. Spent credits are returned to the token bank.

"Pay", "lose", and "spend" have the same effect of credits returning to the bank. The difference is that payments and spending are often optional (unless preceded by "must"), and the payer gains something. "Loses" is common as a penalty from the other player, e.g., from an Account Siphon.

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    You can tell that the runner and corp money operate on different scales from the card Account Siphon, which establishes that a corp credit is worth at least twice as much in absolute money as a runner credit. This card is also about as close as you get to transferring money from one player to the other in Netrunner and it does so by using the bank as an interediate.
    – Zags
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 20:56

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