To take payments from your customers using PayPal, there are two steps to the integration.
The first step is agreeing the permissions within your PayPal account.
The second step is setting the IPN URL in your PayPal account to send notifications to your ThriveCart account. Please note that Step 2 is very important.
If the IPN URL is not properly set up, then several features will not correctly work within ThriveCart, including’
- Tracking of successful or failed recurring payments
- Tracking of refunds processed directly in PayPal
- Tracking of subscriptions cancelled within PayPal by either yourself, the customer, or PayPal (after repeatedly failed payments).
- Affiliate commission related events (which can result in commissions not getting queued).
You’ll then need to enter the IPN URL for your ThriveCart account.
Replace ‘subdomain‘ with your ThriveCart account name (this is the xxx.thrivecart.com part of your checkout URL and what’s shown in the URL when logged into your account). If you’re unsure what to put then please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help.
Common PayPal Questions
We have a number of frequently asked questions around our PayPal integration and you can find these below.
- I already have an IPN URL set
- How do subscriptions work with PayPal?
- Does my customer need a PayPal account?
- Credit Card fields not showing on checkout
- What type of PayPal account do I need to take payments?
1. I already have an IPN URL set.
It’s not uncommon to have multiple platforms want to make use of the IPN URL in PayPal. If you still use another service that requires notifications from PayPal like we do, then you’ll need to look at either
- Creating a new business PayPal account (note that PayPal don’t support multiple business accounts connected to the same funding/bank sources).
- Use a 3rd-party solution to route IPN notification to multiple destinations.
As this has been a decades long issue with PayPal only limiting accounts to a single IPN, there are several methods in which you can use multiple URLs with PayPal and we have a helpdesk article here on a few possible solutions.
2. How do subscriptions work with PayPal?
When you’re selling a subscription-based product, or a product that has a limited number of rebills, your customer will be required to have a PayPal account so that the subscription can be set up between your PayPal account and theirs.
An important thing to note about ThriveCart is that we don’t ‘own’ your subscriptions or recurring revenue. We do not personally initiate the recurring payments from your processor/customer, this means you are not ‘held hostage’ to the platform if you wish to receive your recurring revenue.
The subscription is created directly within your PayPal account and PayPal will look to initiate the charge from the customer when the next recurring payment is due.
If that charge fails, PayPal will then look to retry after 5 days.
If there are 5 sequential failed charges, PayPal will cancel the subscription.
If it is a payment plan, and the customer misses a month due to failed payments, then the missing payment gets added to the end – ensuring they’re charged the number of payments required.
3. Does my customer need a PayPal account?
If you’re selling a one-time payment product with no recurring payments, then typically no – your customer doesn’t need a PayPal account to complete their purchase.
If you’re selling a subscription or anything with future/recurring payments, then yes – the customer will require a PayPal account so that those payments can be set up and tied to their funding sources in their account.
4. Credit Card fields not showing on checkout.
When using PayPal as a processor, your customer will be required to complete their order on the PayPal platform. We use the Express Checkout API with PayPal for maximum flexibility for vendors and this means that taking card payments via PayPal is not supported. You will need to integrate a card processor like Stripe or Auth.net.
5. What type of PayPal account do I need to take payments?
To take payments from customers, you will need a verified Business PayPal account. A Personal or Premier PayPal account are not compatible as they do not offer the required functionality.
6. Connecting PayPal in my vendor dashboard redirects me to my affiliate dashboard.
If you have previously connected PayPal under your affiliate dashboard in order to receive payments for commissions, then you try and add PayPal as an integration in your vendor dashboard in order to process payments from your customers, you may find that PayPal redirects you back to your affiliate dashboard instead of your vendor dashboard and things aren’t quite set up correctly.
You simply need to clear your browser cache/cookies, then log in and try again, or use a different browser. The issue here is related to PayPal caching and confusion on their end on where to redirect you in this specific scenario. Clearing your browser cache clears that confusion.
7. Unable to integrate PayPal – “We were not able to receive the information about this account” error.
If you’re trying to integrate your Business PayPal account with ThriveCart, you may encounter the above error. This is more common on newly created PayPal accounts.
The most common causes of this error from PayPal are:
- In 99% of cases, this error is caused due to the PayPal account not being fully verified, specifically the verification/confirmation of your email address. See https://www.paypal.com/au/smarthelp/article/how-do-i-confirm-my-email-address-faq1485
- You’re not logging into the PayPal account using the primary email address. PayPal allows you to have secondary emails on a PayPal account, but these don’t have the same level of permissions. Please make sure you’re using the primary email.
If you’re still having issues after noting the above, then reach out to support and let us know you’ve tried this. We can request further details from yourself and then escalate to PayPal merchant support to identify the cause.