Payment Review

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.

Payment Review is an Express Checkout feature that identifies high-risk transactions and notifies you so that you can hold shipments until the risk has been evaluated by PayPal.

Note: Payment Review is not applicable to Direct Payment.

Handling Payment Review

You are immediately notified that a payment is under review and you should not ship merchandise or, in the case of electronic media, you should not allow download access while the payment is under review. You are notified of the resolution within 24 hours.

You can determine the status of a payment in the following ways:

Checking the Status of a Transaction Programmatically

Check the Initial Status of a Transaction

Programmatically, the merchant can determine the status of a payment by checking the initial status of a transaction using any of the following the API operations (see the API reference):

  • DoExpressCheckoutPayment
  • DoReferenceTransaction
  • DoAuthorization
  • DoReauthorization

Note: You must use API version 58.0 or higher to obtain the initial status information provided by DoExpressCheckoutPayment, DoReferenceTransaction, DoAuthorization, or DoReauthorization.

To use payment review with the DoExpressCheckoutPayment, DoReferenceTransaction, DoAuthorization, and DoReauthorization PayPal API operations, you must:

  1. Check the payment status in the response to the API operation; specifically, check whether PaymentStatus is set to Pending.
  2. If the PaymentStatus is set to Pending, check whether the PendingReason is set to PaymentReview, because there are other reasons that a transaction may become pending. For example, an unsettled authorization's PaymentStatus is set to Pending; however, its PendingReason is set to authorization, which is not related to payment review.

If PaymentStatus is set to Pending and the PendingReason is set to PaymentReview, you should not ship merchandise or, in the case of electronic media, you should not allow download access.

Check the Subsequent Status of a Transaction

Because the payment status changes after review, you must periodically check the payment status using the GetTransactionDetails API operation NVP/SOAP.

Important: For best results, call the GetTransactionDetails API operation NVP/SOAP every six hours. PayPal recommends not calling GetTransactionDetails more frequently than once per hour.

The following diagram shows how to use the payment status to detect payments under review by PayPal.