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Sorting out the Paypal options

Sooooo... confusing



7:46 pm on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I found a post from 2010 with the same request, guess things haven't changed much.

Can't seem to find any help online, either.

Paypal has so many options, can anyone help me pick one to use? It would take me a week to explore all the documentation. Also, any suggestions or things to watch out for, based on the description below?

I suspect the Express Checkout might be what I need...

Site is sort of a social networking site. I just need to quickly and easily charge a small one time lifetime subscription to everyone that registers. So it needs to blend in with the registration form, and to report successful payment via php/ajax. I also want to allow refunds to be processed with the least hassle (possibly even by the user clicking a button, and have the process reverse itself). I'm not too concerned about refunds, since the price is so small and it would likely be a week or so before they know whether or not they want a refund, it wouldn't be worth their time. But I need to plan on having enough refunds to build a system that requires very little ongoing time from me. Traffic should be at least 10 purchases / day, may get up to 1000 before a major rewrite would be required. I need the registration form to know: payment successful or not, transaction code that I generate, and email address used for payment.


8:23 pm on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

What options are you talking about ?


8:24 pm on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

And how do you use it ?


10:15 pm on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Starting at: [developer.paypal.com...] but then you have the "Process Orders" page of the "Merchant Services" tab of the account pages. I've yet to find one page that lists all the options, let alone compare features/ pros and cons. If you start digging through all the documentation, by the time you follow all the links, you'd have a thousand pages to research, none of them clarifying anything with respect to each other.


12:12 am on Mar 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Looks like I'm going to have to sort this out myself, unless I have better luck on the phone tomorrow. I called PayPal tonight, but the two techs that I talked to, aren't familiar enough with integration. I'll try calling during the integration team's hours (7-4 Central). I'll try to take notes as I go, and save someone else some time. Here are some raw notes that I've made so far:

What types of integrations are available?

HTML integration

If you're building your own shopping cart or storefront, start with the HTML overview of PayPal Payments Standard (formerly known as Website Payments Standard).

Or you can jump right into the Standard Variable Reference, which provides reference information for all the relevant HTML variables.

API integration

This type of integration allows you to create and manage buttons within your own application. It is often used by developers who provide shopping carts for merchants. To get started, go to the Button Manager API overview.

profile > My Selling Tools > API Access > Option 2

CredentialAPI Signature
API Username XXX
API Password XXX
Signature XXX
Request DateMar 18, 2014 16:16:39 PDT

Accept payments from your online stores before setting up APIs

Enable Express Checkout to accept payments from your online stores right away. You can set up API permissions or credentials later.


PayPal API Concepts and Terminology

API call
* Specific API services that allow you to make payments, refund payments, search or view transaction data, and more.
API signature
* A PayPal-generated unique digital signature, such as a line of text or hash marks, that you copy from the PayPal website and use with your API username and password when making a call. An alternative to the digital signature is the API certificate; if you’re developing a custom solution with PayPal APIs, we recommend this option.
API certificate
* A file that you download from the PayPal website. The API certificate, an alternative to an API signature, is used with your API username and password when you make API calls. The API certificate is a text file that must be readable by your application each time an API call is made.
API username and password
* A PayPal-generated name and password that identify you when you make API calls. The API username and password are different from your PayPal login username (email address) and password.
Three-token authentication
* Your API signature, API username, and API password together are called three-token authentication.


5:11 am on Mar 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

If you used a hosted cart system, most stuff would just be predesignated. Then you'd just set it up to connect with PP. You wouldn't have to worry as much about actual programing. But I'm not sure how the auto refund/registration matching would work. Maybe there's some sort of existing app dedicated to your niche.

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