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Frank Hagan


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    Integrating with PayPal

    About Standard PayPal

    Applies to: ONTRAPORT Plus and above.

    PayPal Standard was the first easy to use, non-bank related payment gateway. PayPal uses its own proprietary gateway completely independent of your website, simplifying matters if you are not using a payment processing platform like ONTRAPORT.

    ONTRAPORT's integration with standard PayPal has the following limitations:

    • You cannot process Trial Periods, Payment Plans or Subscription Payments through ONTRAPORT
    • You cannot create manual transactions within ONTRAPORT and bill them through the PayPal gateway
    • You cannot issue refunds to PayPal purchasers within ONTRAPORT

    Note: As of August, 2018, the PayPal gateway can be set to bill in your account's currency, or in USD. The only exceptions are the Japanese Yen (JPY), Hungarian Forint (HUF) and Taiwan New Dollar (TWD) that can only process USD in our integration. We recommend using your account's currency when setting up the gateway as ONTRAPORT does not perform any currency conversions for sales reporting.

    PayPal Payments Pro and Payflow Pro do not have these disadvantages, but they are also more costly with monthly fees and, in the case of PayFlow Pro, a requirement for a traditional merchant account.

    The Stripe payment gateway may be a better choice. It has a similar cost structure to PayPal Standard but works like a more traditional credit card gateway, without any of the limitations cited above.

    Add PayPal Standard in ONTRAPORT

    1. Log into ONTRAPORT
    2. Go to Sales > Settings > Gateways

      Sales Settings for Gateways
    3. Click the New Gateway button in the top menu bar
    4. Select PayPal under Select a Gateway Type

    5. Name the gateway. The name is not shown to customers but helps you identify the gateway.
    6. Enter your PayPal email address
    7. If you have set your account currency to something other than USD you will see the drop down to choose either USD or your account currency. We strongly recommend choosing your account currency.

      Choosing your currency in the PayPal configuration screen

    When a customer buys, they’ll be sent to PayPal to complete the transaction, and then sent back to your page.

    Note: If your account currency is set to the Japanese Yen (JPY), Hungarian Forint (HUF) or Taiwan New Dollar (TWD) you cannot choose to have PayPal use that currency. You must choose USD at this time.

    Configure PayPal

    Note: PayPal split-tests their page designs and the settings and images shown below may not match your login. Use PayPal help or their Support department to find the location of the setting.

    1. Login to your PayPal account
    2. Click the Profile button and select "Profile and Settings" OR click the gear icon shown.

      Click the profile and settings button
    3. In My Profile select My selling tools

      my selling tools

      This menu may appear in the left sidebar instead of full width on the page as shown.
    4. Click the Update link for Instant payment notifications

      instant payment notification link
    5. Set the options as follows:
      1. Notification URL -
      2. Set Receive IPN messages (Enabled)

        IPN settings
      3. Click Save. The Current Settings should look like this:

        IPN current settings
    6. Click the Back to My Profile link at the upper right, or repeat the process to return to the My Profile page. Click My selling tools

      my selling tools

      This menu may appear in the left sidebar instead of full width on the page as shown.
    7. Under Website preferences click the Update link

      Website preferences update link
    8. Set the Website Payment Preferences:
      1. Auto return - On
      2. Return URL -
      3. Payment Data Transfer - On
      4. Block Non-Encrypted Website Payment - Off
      5. Paypal Account Optional - Off
      6. Contact Telephone Number - Off
      7. Express Checkout Settings - No
      8. This page autosaves your entries; click "Back to Profile" at the top when done.
    9. If you are setting up the PayPal gateway to accept a currency other than the PayPal account's currency, you must complete these steps:
      1. Click the Back to My Profile link or repeat the process to return to the My Profile page. Click My selling tools
      2. Under Getting paid and managing my money click to update Block payments

        Update the Block Settings
      3. Under Allow payments sent to me in a currency I do not hold click the radio button next to Yes, accept and convert them to <your account currency>. When "Saved" appears you can click the link at the top to return to your profile.

        Check Yes accept and convert them to your currency
      4. This setting is necessary to enable the IPN settings to work correctly to send your customer to the right thank you page and complete the sale. If the payments are held for you to approve them in PayPal the sales process fails in ONTRAPORT.

        Currency exchange fees are charged by PayPal. If you don't want to incur these fees, we recommend charging in your account's currency only.
    10. You can now log out of PayPal.

    Dealing with Fulfillment, Declines and Abandoned Carts using a Campaign

    Create your order fulfillment campaigns to work with PayPal or any other payment method within ONTRAPORT:

    1. Create a Campaign to handle order fulfillment, declined card charges or "abandons" from the order form.
    2. Add a Trigger that acts when the Contact visits your order form landing page. In the Settings, configure the Trigger to work for any contact in the account and have the Contact move to the Trigger.

      Trigger that acts when a contact visits a landing page
    3. Add a Wait element to wait for one hour
    4. Add a Goal for "Purchases Product" and select the product. In Settings, under "Who can acheive this goal?" select Any Contact in account. For "If Contact is already on map, then..." select Move here when achieved. Leave the checkbox for "This goal can only be activated once per contact" unchecked. This path of the Campaign will be used for the order fulfillment, including an email thanking the buyer, adding them to a Fulfillment List, etc. You can add those elements below the Goal, ending with an End element.

      Purchases product goal settings
    5. Click the arrow icon to the right of the Goal, and add another Goal. Select Credit Card is Charged or Declined and set it to Declined. In the Settings, under "Who can acheive this goal?" select Any Contact on this map. Under "If Contact is already on map, then..." select Move here when achieved. Leave the checkbox for "This goal can only be activated once per contact" unchecked. This path will be used for declined transactions from PayPal (or any other payment method). Add a Send an Email element under the Goal, and advise the contact their order did not go through. You can add more elements, such as a Task element to have a member of your team give them a call, or just provide an End element to close this path.
    6. The Wait element has an option for "Continue here if goal is not achieved within timeframe". Add a Send an Email element to send them an email encouraging them to return to purchase, or asking if they have any questions about the product. This path of the Campaign will be used to send encouragement, incentivize the purchase through the use of coupons, etc.
    7. Your Campaign Map will look something like this:

      An order fulfillment, card decline and cart abandon Campaign Map

    How this works: When your contact visits the order page they are added to the Campaign through the Trigger. If the order form is filled out and submitted, and the Goal of purchasing the product is achieved, the Contact moves immediately to the fulfillment section under that Goal and continues on that path. If their credit card or PayPal payment is declined, they move immediately to the other Goal for the decline, and they join that path of the Campaign. The Wait element, set to one hour in our example, sends the contact through the nurturing path of the campaign to encourage them to return to the page and fill out the order form if none of the Goals is reached.

    Because PayPal sends the contact to another page where they log into their PayPal account, the incidence of "cart abandons" is higher than normal credit card processing orders. The contact may have forgotten their PayPal login, or they see that they do not have a sufficient balance to purchase your product. This suggested Campaign addresses this possibility, as well as the possibility that a contact visits the sales page but never fills out the order form.

    Legacy Order Form Rules (not recommended)

    We strongly encourage you to use a Campaign to deal with the possibility that the PayPal order is abandoned or declined by PayPal. You can also use Rules on the Order Form itself, and use Legacy Sequences to deal with the issue. Using a Campaign is easier to implement, and provides better statistics "at a glance" for your entire sales process.

    In the image below the Successful Payment Rule adds the Contact to a product fulfillment sequence.

    successful payment rule

    ONTRAPORT will run this Rule after being notified by PayPal that the transaction is successful. Note that this is dependent on proper set up in your PayPal account as described in the Configure PayPal section above. Timing depends on how quickly your customer completes the transaction and how quickly PayPal communicates back to ONTRAPORT (allow 7 - 10 minutes in most cases).

    In the Contact Record on the Contact History tab, ONTRAPORT will indicate two actions, "Form Fillout" when the Order Form is first submitted, and then "Order Form Fillout" when PayPal has confirmed the transaction, triggering the Rule to run.

    PayPal contact log entries


    Q. Why can't I use PayPal Standard for Free Trials, Payment Plans or Subscriptions?

    A. PayPal does not communicate back to ONTRAPORT with each future transaction, eliminating the possibility that we can automate a decline sequence if your customer cancels the future orders. While some ONTRAPORT clients do use a separate PayPal Subscription button and manually track the subscription in PayPal, they have to watch their email for notification the customer has canceled, go into ONTRAPORT and manually cancel the customer's subscription or membership, add the customer to a decline sequence that attempts to get the customer to sign up again. For this reason, we recommend you use another gateway such as Stripe for any orders with trial periods, payment plans or subscriptions.

    Q. If I use PayPal Pro can my customers choose to pay by PayPal as well?

    A. Because PayPal Standard does not communicate back to ONTRAPORT properly, as noted above, we disable the "Pay with PayPal" choice in the PayPal Pro gateway.

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    • Avatar
      Permanently deleted user

      what if i run both would i be able to do payment plans


    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      If you have a product on an Order Form with a free trial period, subscription or payment plan then ONTRAPORT will not allow PayPal to be added to the form as a payment gateway. 

      You can use a different gateway such as Stripe and process all your subscriptions and payment plans through it, and then offer PayPal and Stripe on Order Forms with one-off purchases. 

    • Avatar
      Suite Stacy

      I have a Zippy Courses product to sell, and I was able to successfully integrate Zippy, OP and PayPal Payments Pro. I added PayPal Standard as a gateway, as well, but doing so gave an unexpected response from our landing page. (I removed the PayPalStandard gateway, and it performed as expected.)

      Is there a way to use both PayPal Pro and PayPal standard so we can offer the "Pay with PayPal" option?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      If you are using subscriptions, payment plans or free trial periods the ONTRAPORT integration of PayPal does not support those payment types. You can use PayPal standard only for one time, one-off purchases.