Payflow Payment Gateway: Getting Started

This guide presents the following topics to get you up and running:

For more information


Payflow Payment Gateway ("Payflow") is for merchants with an existing internet merchant account. Payflow uses real-time, encrypted communication to process debit and credit card transactions. You can make test calls to Payflow by submitting transaction data to the pilot endpoint (

This document is for demonstration only. To understand the rich feature-set of this product, see the Payflow Gateway landing page, which includes links to documentation.

Key concepts

A payment gateway provides a merchant with access to payment processing networks. When a merchant signs up with a payment gateway, the merchant can keep that gateway even if the merchant changes banks.

This document describes just one way to use Payflow. Merchants integrate with Payflow in different ways, based on their specific needs.

Make your first call

To send transaction data to Payflow, set up an account and submit data to the pilot endpoint (

Get a Payflow account

  1. Review the information on the Payflow page and click the Get Started Today button.
  2. Sign up for a Payflow Pro account. Please note that signing up includes the requirement that your credit card will be billed; please review the information in the signup pages.
  3. After getting the account, confirm that you can log in to PayPal Manager.

Note: You also can get a Payflow Pro account without having to submit your credit card (for now) by signing up for a test account. This free trial will expire in 30 days and you will be prompted to enter a credit card which will be billed.

Send name-value pairs to the pilot URL

As described in the Payflow Gateway Developer's Guide (HTML), you can send test data, e.g. as name-value pairs, to the Payflow pilot endpoint ( The example below contains nine parameters:

Name Description
PARTNER The Payflow partner. The example below uses PayPal, since in this document, the account was purchased directly from PayPal. If an account was provided by an authorized PayPal reseller, who registered a Payflow user, then the ID provided by the reseller is used.
PWD The password that you specified when you got the Payflow account, in the steps above.
VENDOR The ID that you specified when you got the Payflow account, in the steps above (same as USER). That is, the merchant login ID for the account.
USER The ID that you specified when you got the Payflow account, in the steps above (same as VENDOR, because for this example, we assume that you haven't set up additional users on the Payflow account).
TENDER The payment method, e.g. C for credit card.
ACCT The buyer's credit card number.
TRXTYPE The type of the transaction, e.g. S for sale.
EXPDATE The expiration date of the credit card.
AMT The amount of the sale.

Use your values for a test sales transaction

The cURL command below uses several parameters to submit data to Payflow.

In the case of four parameters (PARTNER, PWD, VENDOR, USER), you must substitute your own values (see above).

curl \
  -s \
  --insecure \
  -d PARTNER=PayPal \
  -d PWD=MyPassword \
  -d VENDOR=MyMerchantID \
  -d USER=MyMerchantID \
  -d TENDER=C \
  -d ACCT=5105105105105100 \
  -d TRXTYPE=S \
  -d EXPDATE=1221 \
  -d AMT=1.00

The response should be similar to the following. The response contains RESULT=0 for approved, a PNREF (Payflow transaction ID) value, a RESPMSG (response message) value of Approved, and an AUTHCODE (approval code) value.


Next steps

Please review the Payflow features, options, and documentation available on the Payflow Gateway Landing Page.