Website Payments Pro Integration Guide

DocsDeprecatedLast updated: October 12th 2021, @ 6:58:00 pm

Merchants and developers can use Website Payments Pro to accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal payments directly on their website. Website Payments Pro also includes PayPal's Express Checkout and Virtual Terminal.

Important: PayPal isn't accepting new users for this feature, and we require existing users to upgrade to our Advanced Debit and Credit solution that supports EMV 3DS (3DS 2.0) for PSD2. Our Advanced Debit and Credit solution enables highly customizable custom-card fields and reduced PCI Compliance requirements. For more information, see Set up advanced credit and debit card payments.


To accept payments on your website with Website Payments Pro, you can integrate with the Direct Payment and Express Checkout API solutions.

  • Direct Payment enables you to accept both debit and credit cards directly from your site.
  • Express Checkout enables you to accept payments from PayPal accounts in addition to debit and credit cards.

These payments are immediate, authorized for payment later, recurring, or reference transactions.

Website Payments Pro also includes standalone applications for accepting payments, such as Virtual Terminal and Fraud Management Filters, for automatic review and management of risk.

The following diagram shows the relationship between Direct Payment and Express Checkout to a buyer.

  1. From your shopping cart, a buyer can either:
    • Click Checkout with PayPal on your Shopping Cart page to check out with Express Checkout.
    • Use Direct Payment to pay directly by credit or debit card.
  2. If a buyer uses Express Checkout to pay, PayPal provides a checkout experience that streamlines checkout. Even if buyers do not pay using Express Checkout, they can still pay by credit or debit card using Direct Payment. In this case, buyers might need to enter payment, billing, and shipping information. In both cases, buyers can stay on your website or are sent to the page of your choice.
  3. You must implement both an Express Checkout flow and a Direct Payment flow to use Website Payments Pro. You implement the Express Checkout flow by calling PayPal's Express Checkout API operations, which guides a buyer through the checkout process. You implement the Direct Payment flow using your own code, for which PayPal provides an API operation to process the credit or debit card payment.

Note: Purchases through Direct Payment are not covered by the PayPal Seller Protection Policy.


Direct PaymentThe Direct Payment API lets buyers who do not have a PayPal account use their credit cards without leaving your website. PayPal processes the payment in the background.
Authorization & CaptureAn authorization places a hold on the funds and is valid for 29 days.
After a successful authorization, PayPal recommends that you capture the funds within the three-day honor period. Success of the capture is subject to risk and availability of funds on the authorized funding instrument. Within the 29-day authorization period, you can issue multiple re-authorizations after the honor period expires. A re-authorization generates a new Authorization ID and restarts the honor period and any subsequent capture should be performed on the new Authorization ID. If you do a re-authorization on the 27th day of the authorization, you get only two days of honor period.
Card VerificationsA card verification is used to verify that a card holder's account is in good standing without processing a purchase transaction or applying a card authorization.
Recurring PaymentsA recurring payment handles subscriptions, billing agreements or other payments that occur on a fixed schedule.
Reference TransactionsA reference transaction is a financial transaction from which subsequent transactions can be derived. For example, a buyer purchases an item on your site, and you use the PayPal transaction ID or reference transaction ID later to initiate another transaction, which you and the buyer have agreed on.
Express CheckoutWebsite Payments Pro merchants can use Express Checkout, PayPal's premier checkout solution.
Security FeaturesPayment processing that uses Strong Customer Authentication must provide a payment indicator to ensure the transaction is approved. Also, UK merchants can take advantage of 3-D Secure to authenticate buyers via Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode.
Virtual TerminalPayPal's Virtual Terminal is a web-based application that allows you to accept credit card payments. It is available to merchants in the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. Virtual Terminal provides your business with the functionality similar to a stand-alone credit card-processing terminal. Virtual Terminal is ideal when you receive orders by phone, fax, or by mail and want to accept credit cards. An optional card reader is available to process face-to-face purchases; however, some restrictions apply. You can use Virtual Terminal on any computer with an internet connection and a web browser.
Hosted SolutionHosted Solution, which is available to merchants in the United Kingdom as part of Website Payments Pro, is a fast and easy way to add transaction processing to your website. It is a secure, PayPal-hosted, web-based payment solution that allows you to securely send your buyers to PayPal's payment page to authorize and process transactions. Buyers pay with a debit or credit card, or their PayPal account. You do not have to capture or store credit card information on your website, thereby helping towards achieving PCI compliance. Hosted Solution is the choice for merchants who prefer a solution where all financial details are handled by PayPal.
Event NotificationIn most cases you can use the GetTransactionDetails API operation to determine the information you need about a transaction. However, there may be some cases in which you must set up Instant Payment Notifications (IPN); for example, when you need automatic notification about actions, such as disputes and their resolution. IPN is a message service that PayPal uses to notify you about events, such as, payment transaction status changes, chargebacks, recurring payment / subscription actions, eCheck payments and more.

API operations

To get started with the PayPal name-value pair (NVP) or SOAP API, see the NVP/SOAP API Getting Started Guide. Then, learn more about the NVP or SOAP message format:

The PayPal API supports a range of payment-related functions related functions. Though most API operations support both Direct Payment and Express Checkout, some are specific to Direct Payment and others are specific to Express Checkout. These API operations are available for both NVP and SOAP integrations.

Operation Description
Direct Payment core API operations: (Direct Payment only)
DoDirectPayment Process a credit card payment, such as a sale or authorization.
DoNonReferencedCredit Issue a credit to a card not referenced by the original transaction.
Note: Contact PayPal to use this API operation; in most cases, you should use the RefundTransaction API operation instead.
Express Checkout core API operations: (Express Checkout only)
SetExpressCheckout Initiates an Express Checkout transaction.
GetExpressCheckoutDetails Obtain information about an Express Checkout transaction.
DoExpressCheckoutPayment Completes an Express Checkout transaction.
Common API operations:
GetTransactionDetails Obtain information about a specific transaction.
ManagePendingTransactionStatus Accept or deny a pending transaction held by Fraud Management Filters.
RefundTransaction Issue a refund to the PayPal account holder associated with a transaction.
TransactionSearch Search transaction history for transactions that meet the specified criteria.
Authorization and Capture API operations:
DoCapture Capture an authorized payment.
DoAuthorization Authorize a payment. (Express Checkout only)
DoReauthorization Reauthorize a previously authorized payment.
DoVoid Void an order or an authorization.
Recurring Payment API operations:
CreateRecurringPaymentsProfile Create a recurring payments profile.
GetRecurringPaymentsProfileDetails Obtain information about a recurring payments profile.
ManageRecurringPaymentsProfileStatus Cancel, suspend, or reactivate a recurring payments profile.
BillOutstandingAmount Bill the buyer for the outstanding balance associated with a recurring payments profile.
UpdateRecurringPaymentsProfile Update a recurring payments profile.
DoReferenceTransaction Process a payment from a buyer's account, which is identified by a previous transaction.
Recurring Payment Billing Agreement API operations: (Express Checkout only)
BAUpdate Update or delete a billing agreement.
GetBillingAgreementCustomerDetails Obtain information about a billing agreement's PayPal account holder.
SetCustomerBillingAgreement Initiates the creation of a billing agreement.
Other Express Checkout API operations: (Express Checkout only)
Callback Define the shipping and handling parameters associated with Express Checkout.
GetBalance Obtain the available balance for a PayPal account. (Express Checkout only)
GetPalDetails Obtain your Pal ID, which is the PayPal-assigned merchant account number, and other information about your account.
MassPay Make a payment to one or more PayPal account holders.

Regional differences

Website Payments Pro is available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Minor regional differences include the kinds of credit cards accepted and address information. For the most part, this solution works exactly the same in each of these countries. This means that to integrate Website Payments Pro, UK and Canadian merchants can use the same information as US merchants. There are a few minor differences, however, that Canadian and UK merchants should note before they start to integrate.

The following sections identify regional differences:

Credit card support

PayPal accepts buyer credit cards issued in any country. For information on the major credit cards accepted in your country, see supported major credit cards and currencies.

Note: For Direct Payment only, American Express restricts direct card acceptance merchants in certain business categories. Merchants are required to accept the American Express Card Acceptance agreement in order to process American Express cards directly.

Currency support

Direct Payment, like other PayPal products, offers multi-currency functionality. See supported major credit cards and currencies for details.


  • For Canada, specify the province code in the State field.
  • For Great Britain, the State field is ignored; however, you still may need to specify a value in the State field; for example, you can specify the city for both the city and state.