Save payment methods

DocsCurrentLast updated: April 24th 2024, @ 3:47:01 pm

Save payment methods so payers don't have to enter details for future transactions. Payers can check out faster or pay without being present after they agree to save a payment method.

Use the JavaScript SDK to save a payer's card if you aren't PCI Compliant - SAQ A but want to save credit or debit cards during checkout.

A payment method is saved and exchanged for a unique token through a process called tokenization. The token is stored securely and used instead of the original account number.

The benefits of using saved payment tokens include:

  • Increased security by reducing opportunities for data theft.
  • Simplified payment processing.
  • Helps maintain Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance.

Save payment methods with or without transaction

  • With a transaction - The customer's payment method is saved during checkout. They can select it again at checkout for faster transactions.
  • Without a transaction - The customer's payment method is saved with no checkout. Customers don't have to be present for future transactions. A common use case is offering a free trial of a product and charging customers later.

Payer flow

Vault flow

  1. The payer begins the checkout experience.
  2. The payer chooses to save their payment method.
  3. You identify the payer with a unique customer ID. When the buyer returns to your website and is ready to check out, pass their customer ID to PayPal. This indicates that the payer wants to save or reuse a saved payment method.
  4. If the payer chooses PayPal as their payment method, the payer completes a billing agreement. There's no billing agreement required for card payments.
  5. When the payer returns to your website, each saved payment method displays as a one-click button on the checkout page.

Supports transactions with or without payer present

You can save a payment method for on or off-session purchases. If the payer is present, they can select to pay with their saved payment method, or a different one. If the payer is not present, you can charge their saved payment method.

Vault card payment

Supported payment methods

PayPal can save the following payment methods to the vault:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal Wallets
  • Venmo


To save credit and debit cards, you must be approved to process Advanced credit and debit card payments.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


Save during purchase



  • Save cards, PayPal, and Venmo with the JS SDK
  • Save cards and PayPal with the Orders API
Read the guides

Save for purchase later


  • Save cards and PayPal for future transactions
  • Save payment methods outside of the checkout process
  • Uses the Vault Payment Methods API
Read the guides

See also