Plan your sandbox accounts

The number of sandbox accounts that you need depends on the number of user entities that partake in your PayPal transactions. Every PayPal transaction involves at least two user entities—a buyer and a seller. However, depending on the complexity of your transaction flow, you might need to create additional sandbox accounts. For example, parallel payments and Adaptive API calls each involve more than two user entities.

There are two types of sandbox accounts and each type plays a different role in your PayPal transactions:

Account type Nicknames Description
Business Seller,
Receiver,
Merchant,
API Caller,
Facilitator
The user entity who is providing the goods or services. This is the account that receives the transaction funds and represents the merchant in your Sandbox transactions.

Note that you must use a Business account to represent the API Caller in a transaction where the "application owner" has the permission to make calls on behalf of another business owner. With this, all Adaptive API calls require at least two sandbox business accounts; one for the API Caller and one for the merchant who receives the funds.
Personal Buyer,
Sender,
Customer
The user entity purchasing the goods or services; this is the account that sends the transaction funds. You might need to create multiple Buyer accounts if your application uses multiple buyer entities in a single transaction, or if your application supports multiple customer types (for example, some with credit cards, or others that are not verified).

To start, you need at least one Personal, or buyer, account and one Business, or seller, account. If needed, create other accounts to represent the additional entities that exist in your PayPal transaction flows.

Merchant APIs versus Adaptive APIs

The NVP/SOAP PayPal APIs are divided into two different sets:

  • Merchant APIs

    The Merchant APIs include Express Checkout, Website Payments Pro, Button Manager, Mass Pay, Recurring Payments, and all of the Informational APIs.

  • Adaptive APIs

    The Adaptive APIs include Adaptive Payments, Adaptive Accounts, the Invoicing Service, and the Permissions Service.

Note: The NVP/SOAP APIs are distinct from the set of PayPal REST APIs. For more on the REST APIs, see Make your first call.

Typically, Merchant API operations require only two users, a sender (the Personal account) and a receiver (the Business account).

Adaptive API operations, however, also require an API Caller, which is a Seller account that represents the owner of the application that makes the API calls. Here, the API Caller account is distinct from the Seller account that represents the merchant (and the user entity that collects the proceeds from the transaction).

In addition to the API credentials, you need an AppID in all requests made to the Adaptive APIs. While testing in the Sandbox, use the following AppID test value:

# Sandbox test AppID:
APP-80W284485P519543T