Express Checkout with In-Context flow

Important: This integration method is deprecated as of January 1, 2017. PayPal continues to support existing merchants using this method, but please be advised new features and enhancements will not be applied to these integrations. For new integrations, see the PayPal Checkout Integration Guide.

Express Checkout with In-Context offers a streamlined checkout flow that keeps customers local to your website throughout the payment authorization process. With this flow, customers remain on your website, which ensures a natural and user-friendly checkout experience.

On desktops, customers check out in a secure window that overlays your website. On tablets and smart phones, the PayPal payment screens are optimized for full-page mode.

The following steps correspond to the steps in the diagram:

  1. To check out with PayPal, the buyer clicks the PayPal Check out button. In response to the button click, these actions occur:

    • The In-Context JavaScript opens a pop-up window and waits for your form submit to call SetExpressCheckout from your server.
    • A successful create payment call returns an alphanumeric token, in EC-123456789 format.

    You now redirect the buyer to PayPal with the token appended. If the In-Context JavaScript is correctly implemented, the redirect is managed within the pop-up window.

  2. In a secure window that overlays your website, the buyer logs in to PayPal.

  3. The buyer reviews and authorizes the PayPal payment.

  4. After the buyer clicks Continue to approve the payment, PayPal returns the buyer to your website to review the charges and transaction details on your confirmation page. You make a GetExpressCheckoutDetails call to get the details of the buyer from PayPal.
  5. When the buyer confirms payment, a DoExpressCheckoutPayment call is triggered and executes the payment.


Review the prerequisites.

Additional information

Read the guidelines for designing an the optimal checkout flow.