Mass Pay Integration Guide

Note: The MassPay API is Deprecated as of September 1, 2017. For new integrations, see the Payouts Overview.

What is Mass Payments?

Mass Payments lets you send multiple payments in one batch. It's a fast and convenient way to send commissions, rebates, rewards, and general payments. You must have explicit permisson from PayPal to use Mass Payments. You submit the payment information to PayPal in the form of a payment file. PayPal processes each payment and notifies you when it is complete.

There are two ways to send your payment information:

  1. Upload a payment file directly to the PayPal site. For instructions, see Using Mass Payments in Your PayPal Account.
  2. Submit the information through APIs. For instructions, see Using the Mass Payments API.

Mass payments processing

When a Mass Payments request is executed, PayPal processes each payment in the request. PayPal takes the payment amounts from your account and attempts to put them into the recipients' PayPal accounts. If the recipients do not have PayPal accounts, PayPal notifies them that a payment is available and they must create a PayPal account to receive the payment. Payments processing can take from a couple of minutes to several hours, depending on the number of payments you are processing. PayPal will temporarily hold the total monetary value of the mass payment, plus associated fees, until processing is completed.

When the payments have been sent, PayPal sends you a notification email. You can then log in to your PayPal account and get the details of each transaction. If a payment is sent to a recipient who does not have a PayPal account, and it remains unclaimed for 30 days from the payment date, the money is returned to your PayPal account.

How do recipients get their money?

Every recipient receives an email notifying them of the payment. There are three scenarios for recipients.

  1. Recipients with a PayPal account tied to the email address that contains the payment notification can click a link in the email message, log in to their account, and access their payments.
  2. If the recipients have a PayPal account, but the payment is sent to an email address that is not tied to their account, they are offered an opportunity to log in to their account. Then, when they log in, the money is deposited to their account and the new email address is added to their account automatically.
  3. If the recipients do not have a PayPal account, their email message contains a link that directs them to a PayPal signup page. The signup process automatically confirms their email address. When they complete the signup process, the money is available in their new PayPal account.

Who can use mass payments?

You must have a verified PayPal Premier account or Business account before you can use Mass Payments. If you have multiple users for your PayPal account, you can grant access to one or more authorized users to have them send Mass Payments for you. For example, you can grant Mass Payments access to your bookkeeper or to your customer service agents as part of their duties.

Important: First time users should contact their Account Manager or PayPal Customer Support to enable Mass Payments for their PayPal premier or business accounts. It is possible to test the Mass Pay API in the PayPal sandbox without prior authorization, but live PayPal accounts must be allowlisted for the Mass Pay API.

Offer PayPal as a payout option on your site

To offer PayPal as a payout option to your customers, you only need to ask for their email address. If they have a PayPal account, they should provide the email address that they use with their PayPal account. If they don't have a PayPal account, they will be asked to sign up for one when they receive their payment notice.

Let your customers know they will receive an email from PayPal when their payment has been sent. This email contains instructions on how to access their money. Your customers will then have the option to make online purchases with their money, withdraw it to a bank account, have a check mailed to them, or request for PayPal to send them a debit card to access their funds.

Note: All of these options are available in the U.S., but withdrawal methods vary by country.


Use the Mass Payments UI