PayPal allows payment through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit, or PayPal account balances.
PayPal is one of Shopify’s default payment gateways. As soon as you open a store, you're set up with a PayPal Express Checkout account with the email you used to sign up for your Shopify store. (Don’t worry: PayPal will let you link this email address as an alias to your new or existing PayPal account at any time.)
As soon as you receive your first order through PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal will send you an email that contains a link and instructions to complete your PayPal account setup and claim your funds.
If you want to be able to offer refunds or automatically accept payment from your customers without having to manually capture funds, you must first deactivate the default PayPal Express account set up with your store, and then re-activate it. This new set-up will be able to process refunds and charge customers automatically when they place an order.
Supported PayPal gateways
Because of PayPal's global availability, it is one of the most commonly used gateways on the Shopify platform. Shopify supports these PayPal payment integrations:
PayPal Express Checkout
PayPal Website Payments Pro (US)
PayPal Website Payments Pro (CA)
PayPal Website Payments Pro (UK)
PayPal Payflow Pro
If you don’t have an existing PayPal account, there is no need to activate one before your first customer chooses to buy from your store using PayPal (they will be given this option on the checkout page). Once your first order comes in, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to activate your PayPal Express account and claim your funds at that time.
If you have an existing PayPal account you want to use, follow the steps below to activate it:
From your Shopify admin, click Settings, then click Payments (or press
In the Accept Payments section, find the PayPal panel.
Click the Edit button.
Re-select your PayPal edition from the drop-down menu.
After you have selected your PayPal account type, click Activate to grant access permissions.
Do a test transaction before you launch to make sure everything is set up properly.
Did you know?
If your store is on a trial plan, you will need to launch your store to make any transactions. Your trial end date will not change.
Reset your PayPal express gateway
If you are having trouble capturing payment for your orders, PayPal Express might need to grant Shopify permissions to make API calls.
If you experience discrepancies or functional difficulties using PayPal Express, most issues can be resolved by deactivating your PayPal Express gateway, and activating it again with the same credentials.
Resetting your gateway will allow you to capture or refund any order associated with that specific PayPal Express Account.
From your Shopify admin, click Settings, then click Payments (or press
Find the PayPal Express controller and click the Edit button.
In the dialog that drops down, click Deactivate.
Confirm deactivation by clicking Deactivate in the pop-up window.
Click the Select a PayPal method drop-down menu, then select PayPal Express Checkout from the list.
Click Activate. This will redirect you to your PayPal account.
Log in to PayPal if prompted.
Scroll down and click Grant Permission on the PayPal screen.
After clicking Grant Permissions, you will be redirected back to your Shopify Admin with the correct permissions configured.
PayPal's shipping and billing addresses
This is taken from the PayPal Express integration documentation:
As a convenience, PayPal fills out the billing address fields with the buyer’s shipping address as shown in the example figure below. The buyer can edit the information by clicking the Change links.
This is a limitation of PayPal and cannot be fixed. Shopify is only able to send a single address to PayPal. For normal PayPal payments (as opposed to credit card payments) this address has to be the shipping address, as PayPal already has the billing address. There is no way for us to know ahead of time whether the customer has a PayPal account, so we can't send the billing address, such as when the customer is not paying with their PayPal account, but a credit card instead.
You can upgrade your PayPal account to resolve this issue, PayPal Website Payments Pro is a much more robust solution and is fully integrated into Shopify, so your customers never need to be transferred to PayPal when paying with a credit card. If PayPal Pro is not available in your country we suggest another payment gateway for accepting credit cards (for example Moneybookers, which supports a lot of countries worldwide) and keep PayPal Express only for PayPal payments.
How PayPal integration works in Shopify
First of all we strongly suggest using PayPal Express instead of PayPal Standard for the following reasons:
- Standard is deprecated (support for it will be removed from Shopify eventually).
- Express is more reliable because PayPal doesn't have to send IPNs to Shopify (payment notifications) which have a tendency to get lost sometimes which causes orders to not get marked as paid correctly on the Shopify side.
- Express supports a detailed order summary with descriptions for all line items.
- Automated order cancellations: When you cancel an order in Shopify, the amount will get automatically refunded to the customer without requiring you to visit your PayPal admin interface.
- Accelerated Onboarding: Start accepting payments right away without having a PayPal account. You can signup later after you've already received payments from your customers.
- Express adds a One-Click Checkout button to the cart and checkout page to let customers log in into their PayPal account to pay without entering any address information.
When using PayPal Express customers will go through the Shopify Checkout process to enter their address if and only if:
- The customer doesn't click the PayPal Checkout button on cart page for quick checkout (this button is mandatory and enforced by PayPal policies, you're not allowed to remove it)
- You have more than one Payment Method activated for your shop. If not then customers get redirected to PayPal when clicking the Checkout button from your cart.
- The customer doesn't click the PayPal Checkout button on the first page of your Checkout (again this button is mandatory from PayPal, you're not allowed to remove it)
That means that most of the time the order address will be collected on the PayPal side. PayPal collects only a shipping address and sends that address back to Shopify when redirecting your customer to page two of your checkout.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate and contact the PayPal Frontline Support Team:
The Frontline Support Team has a wealth of knowledge about the setup of accounts, troubleshooting merchant issues, and they are open 24-7.
You can test the credit card processing ability by creating a test product and purchasing this from your own store.
PayPal has a minimum amount restriction for transactions, so your test product will need to be $2.00 USD or more in value.
If you are experiencing issues with your PayPal gateway, first try to resolve the error by resetting your PayPal gateway.
If PayPal is still unable to complete transactions, verify your account type and credentials with PayPal.
Here are some of the most common PayPal errors:
- You do not have permissions to make this API call
- Payment has already been made for this InvoiceID
- Error from gateway: Too many requests for operation
- Invalid Vendor Account
- This transaction cannot be processed due to an invalid merchant configuration
You do not have permissions to make this API call
This error typically occurs when API permissions are revoked from Shopify.
This issue is resolved by resetting your PayPal gateway.
Payment has already been made for this InvoiceID
This error typically occurs when using the same PayPal account on multiple stores on Shopify. PayPal reads the order ID as a duplicate and will not process the transaction.
To resolve this error, you must change your order ID format by adding a prefix or a suffix to your order IDs.
Error from gateway: Too many requests for operation
This error occurs when too many request have been sent to PayPal too quickly. PayPal mistakes this for a type of Spam attack.
Your account is temporarily suspended for 24 hours. You can contact PayPal to resolve this issue.
Invalid Vendor Account (PayFlow Pro)
If you are setting up PayPal and you get the message "Invalid Vendor Account" this is probably because you didn't enter all the necessary credentials.
You must generate Payflow credentials in your PayPal account and enter those in your Payment Settings. The Vendor/Merchant Login, User, and Password are mandatory.
This transaction cannot be processed due to an invalid merchant configuration (PayPal Website Payments Pro)
This error is typically caused by a problem with your PayPal account's permission settings on Shopify.
To resolve this issue:
- Make sure you've signed up with PayPal for PayPal Website Payments Pro.
- Agree to the billing agreement of PayPal Website Payments Pro
- Make sure the PayPal email address is set to the correct account
- Make sure your API permissions are set correctly.