Alternative Payment Methods


Alternative payment methods allow customers across the globe to pay with their bank accounts, wallets, and other local payment methods. Relevant alternative payment methods are automatically presented with Smart Payment Buttons.

For example, a customer in the Netherlands might want to pay using iDEAL, which is used by more than half of consumers in the Netherlands for online purchases, whereas a customer in Belgium on the same website might want to pay using Bancontact, a popular payment method there.


The cart currency needs to be in the supported currency for the APM to render. Unless otherwise noted, the buyer countries use PayPal-supported currency codes.

APM Buyer country Customer transaction limit
Bancontact Belgium Minimum: 1 EUR
BLIK Poland Minimum: 1 PLN
eps Austria Minimum: 1 EUR
giropay Germany Minimum: 1 EUR
iDEAL The Netherlands n/a
Mercado Pago Brazil, Mexico n/a
MyBank Italy n/a
Przelewy24 (P24) Poland Minimum: 1 PLN
Maximum: 55,000 PLN
SOFORT Austria
The Netherlands
United Kingdom (GB only)
Minimum: 1 EUR
United Kingdom: minimum 1 GBP

Note: Alternative payment methods are not available to merchants in Brazil, Japan, and Russia. Not all alternative payment methods are available for merchants who sell specific prohibited goods and services.

By using alternative payment methods, you agree to the PayPal Alternative Payment Methods Agreement. This is in addition to the User Agreement applicable to the country in which your business is domiciled.

How alternative payment methods work

Alternative payment methods diagram

  1. Buyer clicks an alternative payment button.
  2. Buyer provides their personal details.
  3. Buyer is transferred from PayPal to the alternative payments provider (bank, wallet) to confirm the purchase.
  4. Buyer authorizes and confirms payment.
  5. Buyer returns to the merchant page to finalize the transaction.
  6. Merchant initiates completion of payment. PayPal moves the funds to the merchant.

In step 4 of the flow diagram, once the buyer has authorized the payment and received confirmation from the alternative payments provider of payment success, the buyer might close their browser, instead of following the redirect back to the merchant’s page. Therefore, it is essential that the merchant enables webhooks to trigger transaction completion.

Accept alternative payment methods on your website

Alternative payment methods are enabled by default in the Smart Payment Buttons integration and they display within the iframe, based on buyer eligibility, and as long as the following integration defaults are maintained:

Parameter Value Description
style.layout vertical Default. Buttons are stacked vertically with a maximum of four buttons. Recommended when:
  • Presenting a dynamic list of payment options on checkout and shopping cart pages.
  • Leveraging PayPal Checkout as a full stack payments platform.
intent capture The funds are captured immediately, while the buyer is present on your site.
commit true Show a Pay Now button in the PayPal Checkout flow. The final amount will not change after the buyer returns from PayPal to your site.
currency PayPal-supported currency Setting up the payment in the alternative payment method supported currency is required for the alternative payment method to render.
vault false Show all funding sources.

Note: There is no support for authorization and capture later, subscriptions, vaulting, or shipping changes callback scenarios.

Ensure that the total amount at the time of making the create order call equals the amount when capturing the payment.

Next you'll configure a webhook and test and go live.

1. Configure the alternative payment method webhook

Alternative payment methods involve buyers going to their bank or wallet's app or website, completing the payment, and then returning to the merchant's website to complete the checkout flow.

Important: To boost conversion rates of alternative payment transactions, listen to the CHECKOUT.ORDER.APPROVED webhook and then capture the order.

There's a possibility that a buyer might not return to the merchant's website after successfully completing the payment on their bank or wallet's app or website. In such a case, you can complete your checkout flow without the buyer returning to your app or website by configuring a webhook listener for the CHECKOUT.ORDER.APPROVED event. Use the information returned in the webhook to make the capture order call.

If you are unable to complete the transaction within three hours of invoking the checkout flow, PayPal automatically refunds the money to the buyer.

2. Test and go live

You can test alternative payment methods in the PayPal sandbox. Alternative payment methods are dynamically presented based on the buyer's country.

Use the buyer-country and supported currency codes to display the appropriate alternative payment method button.

Note: The buyer-country parameter is valid only in sandbox for testing and you should not pass it in production.

Refer to the availability table to see which countries support the payment methods you want to test. Once you initiate the payment by clicking on an alternative payment method, you are directed to the buyer experience.

Note: The alternative payment flow is simulated in sandbox and doesn't reflect what is shown in production.

To launch alternative payment methods into live, swap your sandbox credentials for your live credentials.

Disable alternative payment methods

To disable alternative payment methods, see disable funding in the Customize the PayPal JavaScript SDK Script guide.

How alternative payment transactions appear in your PayPal account

Alternative payments transactions show in your PayPal account with the payment method the buyer used.