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Frank Hagan


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    Integrating with PayPal


    PayPal Standard is a popular choice of payment gateway for entrepreneurs. It 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. The benefit, at least at first, was a much lower initial cost without set up fees and monthly service charges.


    Mind the following PayPal limitations when integrating with ONTRAPORT:

    • Transactions are billed in US Dollars only

    • 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


    These limitations severely limit the use of PayPal as a universal gateway, however, PayPal also offers quite a few other payment gateway options such as PayPal Payments Proexternal link and Payflow Proexternal link that 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.


    For the entrepreneur seeking to minimize monthly costs while building a business, the Stripeexternal link 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 in the Navigation menu > Settings > Gateways Show / Hide

      Sales Settings for Gateways

    3. Click the New Gateway button in the top menu bar
    4. Select PayPal under Select a Gateway Type  Show / Hide

    5. Name the gateway. The name is not shown to customers but helps you identify the gateway.

    6. Enter your PayPal email address

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



    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". Show / Hide

        Click the profile and settings button

      3. In My Profile select My selling tools

        my selling tools
        Note: 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)  Show / Hide

          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  Show / Hide

        my selling tools
        Note: 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 to:

        1. Auto return - On

        2. Return URL -

        3. Payment Data Transfer - On

        4. Encrypted Website Payments - Off

        5. Paypal Account Optional - Off

        6. Contact Telephone Number - Off

        7. Express Checkout Settings - No  

      9. Click Save.

      10. You can now log out of PayPal.



    Product Fulfillment Rules on Order Forms

    ONTRAPORT Order Formsexternal link have two sections dedicated to reacting to a Successful Payment or Failed Payment. Found on the Settings tab, these Rules won't fire until the transaction is verified as successful or failed by PayPal. 


    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. Show / Hide

    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 cancelled, 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, etc. For this reason, we recommend you use another gateway such as Stripeexternal link 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
      Integrity Property Education Team

      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.

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