PayPal

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.)

Note

You'll be charged transaction fees each time a customer makes a purchase using this payment method, unless you also activate Shopify Payments.

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.

Note

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

Activate PayPal

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:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, then click Payments (or press G S P).

  2. In the Accept Payments section, find the PayPal panel.

    Paypal panel
  3. Click the Edit button.

  4. Click Deactivate.

  5. Re-select your PayPal edition from the drop-down menu.

  6. After you have selected your PayPal account type, click Activate to grant access permissions.

    Activate paypal gateway
  7. Do a test transaction before you launch to make sure everything is set up properly.

Tip

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.

PayPal's shipping and billing addresses

This is taken from the PayPal Express integration documentation:

Note

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

1-888-215-5506

The Frontline Support Team has a wealth of knowledge about the setup of accounts, troubleshooting merchant issues, and they are open 24-7.

Testing PayPal

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.

Common issues

There are a few common errors that can occur when using PayPal with Shopify:

PayPal account not set up to refund orders

Your PayPal account might not be set up to allow refunds at first. If you try to refund an order that was placed using PayPal and your account is not set up to allow refunds, then you'll see this error:

Set paypal to refund

To set up your PayPal account to accept refunds:

  1. From the Set up PayPal to refund orders dialog, Click the Set up PayPal button.

  2. If you are not logged into PayPal, then enter your credentials and log in.

  3. On the PayPal page, click Grant Permission:

Paypal permissions grant

After clicking Grant Permission, you will be redirected back to Shopify, where you can refund the order.

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 the Payments page in your Shopify admin. 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.

To resolve this issue, make sure you've:

  • signed up with PayPal for PayPal Website Payments Pro
  • agreed to the billing agreement of PayPal Website Payments Pro.

Want to discuss this page?

Visit the Shopify Community

Ready to start selling online with Shopify?

Try it free