PayPal Website Payments Standard is an offsite payment service provided by PayPal that allows your customers to use a PayPal account balance or credit cards to make payments securely and safely. PayPal Standard is an offsite payment system, meaning payment is made on a PayPal page, not directly on your WordPress/Shopp-powered website.
When a customer is ready to checkout with their PayPal account, they simply click the Checkout with PayPal button which will redirect them to a Shopp-powered checkout form to collect non-sensitive, required order information up front before sending the customer to PayPal. Sensitive payment details are entered on the PayPal Standard checkout page at paypal.com before the customer is returned to your website.
It should be noted that while payment by credit card without a PayPal account is supported, the payment process by credit card is also a signup form to create a PayPal account with the supplied card tied to the account.
PayPal Account Setup
To start using PayPal Website Payments Standard:
- Set up a Verified PayPal Premier or Business Account. If you have an existing Personal account, you can upgrade your account to a Premier or Business account.
- Confirm your email address, which verifies the email address where PayPal sends payment receipts and account emails. (You might have done this already if you upgraded your account.)
- Provide and confirm your bank account information, which allows you to easily withdraw funds.
- Add your Social Security number to remove the monthly withdrawal limit for transferring funds to your bank account.
- Set up Shopp’s PayPal Standard settings
PayPal Website Payments Standard uses two methods to communicate payment status to your Shopp store, Instant Payment Notification and Payment Data Transfer. You will need to configure one or both of these notifications systems in your PayPal Premier or Business account to track customers and orders in Shopp. It is recommended that you enable both Instant Payment Notification and Payment Data Transfer for the best possible customer experience, and to ensure proper tracking of order status changes.
Instant Payment Notification
Relying only on IPN may adversely affect the customer’s checkout experience.
The PayPal Instant Payment Notification (IPN) system enables PayPal payment servers to send transaction information to your Shopp-powered storefront. When IPN is enabled in your PayPal account, PayPal will send order status notifications to your Shopp store for such events as fraud review (hold), payment completion, refunds, payment reversals, etc. PayPal IPN messages are sent “behind the scenes” directly from PayPal’s servers to your own, and do not require your action, or the action of your customer.
To enable IPN:
- Login to PayPal.
- Go to Profile → My Selling Tools → Instant Payment Notification preferences:
- Click Turn On IPN on the PayPal site.
- You will then be prompted for a Notification URL, which can be set to your storefront homepage’s address URL. Shopp will automatically override this URL as needed to a proper URL for receiving notifications.
- Save your Settings.
After enabling IPN notifications, you should also see a link to the IPN History page in the first paragraph of the page. This link is useful for resending IPN messages to your Shopp-powered storefront if necessary to your Shopp store. We recommend enabling Debugging Messages in the Shopp system log (enable and view on the Shopp → Setup → System admin page on your Shopp site) to log how Shopp handled payment notifications that were received.
Payment Data Transfer
Payment Data Transfer (PDT) is the preferred method of getting completed transaction information from PayPal, while completing the checkout experience for the customer. When using Payment Data Transfer, the PayPal website payment settings must be set up with auto-return to automatically return the customer to the Shopp storefront website. During the return, transaction information is made available to the Shopp storefront with payment status details.
Even with auto-return enabled, the customer may interrupt PDT by closing the browser. For this reason, setting up IPN is recommended as well.
Payment status updates from PayPal will automatically trigger notifications from the Shopp storefront to the store owner and customer.
To prepare your Shopp installation to receive PDT information, you will want to enable it on your PayPal account, and your Shopp Payments settings.
To set up Payment Data Transfer with PayPal:
- Log into your PayPal merchant account.
- Go to Profile → My Selling Tools → Website Preferences (Under the Selling Online heading.)
- Set Auto Return to On.
- Add your Shopp site’s storefront homepage address to the Return URL (Note: what you put here doesn’t matter, it is overridden by the PayPal API calls from Shopp.)
- Set Payment Data Transfer to On.
- Scroll down and save your settings.
- Copy your Identity Token from the yellow box.
- Log into your WordPress Admin.
- Under Shopp → Setup → Payments → PayPal Standard, enable Order Verification.
Order Verification protects your site from counterfeit orders.
- Paste your Identity Token into the field labeled PDT identity token for validating orders.
- Save your Payment Settings.
Test with the PayPal Sandbox
By toggling on the Use the PayPal Sandbox setting, you will be able to run test checkouts using PayPal Standard without any money changing hands or accounts being debited. This setting switches the PayPal Standard gateway to use the PayPal sandbox environment for test transactions. You will need to set up a PayPal Sandbox account to use the test mode setting. Successfully processed orders will show up in your Orders page as if they were fully processed.
PayPal Payment Reviews and E-Check Processing
From time to time PayPal will arbitrarily decide to review a payment due to warning flags that they determine make the transaction a fraud risk. In these situations, the payment made by the customer will be held and the payment status will be set to Review. This status will be returned by PayPal to Shopp, if you have Instant Payment Notification enabled.
Shopp will honor the Review status to ensure that any digital goods remain unavailable until payment has cleared. The review process can take 1-2 days to complete before the funds are cleared.
Shopp orders that are delayed by the payment clearing status, such as e-Checks also will be set to a pending transaction state, and will be subject to the same problem as above except with a longer delay.