Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

DocsCurrentLast updated: September 30th 2021, @ 2:42:01 pm

This document provides answers to common technical questions from developers:

General Developer Questions

What's new for developers?

Our updated site gives developers a single location to find the tools, documentation, and resources you need to build innovative applications.

  • REST APIs: We've added REST APIs built on modern, standards-based technologies such as OAuth and JSON.
  • International Support: The REST APIs now support a number of countries and currencies.
  • PayPal Mobile SDKs: We're expanding our mobile SDKs. Customers don't have to leave your app's environment to make payments. They can click a PayPal button or scan a credit card using our technology.
  • Secure data storage: Our REST APIs securely store credit card details.
  • Log in with PayPal: Integrated login with PayPal to make navigation between PayPal sites easier.

Why do I need to register on the Developer website if I can access the sandbox site without logging in to the Developer website?

You must register as a PayPal developer to use the following developer account features:

  • Create a pre-configured test account using the Create Account tool on the Developer website.
  • Enable negative testing for a specific sandbox account.
  • Access the REST API test credentials for your developer account (these are needed to make test calls to the REST APIs).
  • Access the REST API Transaction Dashboard.
  • Access the sandbox transaction notifications (delivered as email and SMS messages).
  • Access other features offered by the Developer website.

What are PayPal's fees?

Fees vary per country. For Purchase Payments (which include payments processed using the REST APIs or PayPal Mobile SDK), there are no setup fees or cancellation fees and volume discounts are available. Also note that your customers are not charged when they use use PayPal as a payment method. For more details, see PayPal fees.

I've started receiving payments. When can I withdraw funds from my PayPal account?

US Accounts: When you accept payments using Mobile SDKs and REST APIs, the first $5,000 that you accept within any 7-day period will go directly into the available balance of your PayPal account. Additional card payments are available in 7 days.

Non-US Accounts: Login to your PayPal account to view your available funds. Funds availability rules specific to your country may apply.

Why are certain payments delayed?

Payments are delayed to help ensure a safe environment for both buyers and sellers. There's a slightly higher risk associated with manually-entered payments because the card holder and the card don't necessarily have to be there for the transaction to take place. We want to make sure that you have money in your account to cover any payment reversals.

Do I have to worry about PCI compliance?

All merchants and developers who process, transmit or store card holder data should comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

All PayPal-hosted payment solutions are PCI compliant so using them makes reporting easier. However, it should be noted that no SDK can be certified as being PCI compliant. Nor can a mobile app, in and of itself, be PCI compliant. Instead, the app must be considered as part of a merchant's overall payment infrastructure.

Because of this, a merchant who wishes to assess its PCI compliance after releasing a payment-taking app will require guidance from a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). All PayPal SDKs go through the same PCI-DSS controls as any other PayPal solution (controls such as secure coding practices, penetration testing, and so on), information which will help the QSA in their assessment of your application.

If you use our REST APIs for direct card processing, you need to validate your own site against PCI-DSS, and there may be times when we ask you to show your PCI compliance.

If you use our PayPal Mobile SDK for direct card processing, you should follow PCI Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Guidelines.

How do I get my money?

Make sure you add your bank account to your PayPal Business account. Money from your transactions can be added or removed from the bank account associated with your PayPal account.

When is my money available?

You can quickly access the first $5000 of card payments that you process in a 7-day period. Additional card payments will be available after 7 days.

Can I retrieve the history of transactions created with the NVP/SOAP APIs using the REST API?

Currently, the REST APIs can be used to get history of only those transactions that were created using the REST APIs. Use the NVP / SOAP TransactionSearch API operation to retrieve a history of the transactions that were created using the NVP/SOAP APIs and JavaScript Buttons.

Where can I find PayPal SSL server certificates?

If you need to import new certificates to your application or system key store, you can click to download them from the following locations:

Who do I contact if I have questions or need support?

Visit Developer Resources.

International Developer Questions

What countries does PayPal support?

The REST API supports a number of countries and currencies. To check REST API support for direct credit card payments for a US account, see the Account eligibility page. Direct credit card support in the REST API is available in the UK if you sign up for a UK Website Payments Pro account.

For countries not yet supported by the REST API, you can use the NVP/SOAP APIs to accept credit cards and PayPal purchases from over 190 countries that PayPal supports. Alternatively, integrate with the SDKs that use the NVP/SOAP APIs.

I'm a non-U.S. developer. What products are available to me?

The REST API supports a number of countries and currencies. The REST API provides simple payment processing for common business needs, including PayPal payments, direct credit card payments, authorization and capture, and refunds. For more advanced payment solutions such as parallel and recurring payments, you can use the NVP/SOAP APIs.

If you've previously used our NVP/SOAP APIs, you can continue to use them. Using your old sandbox email address and password, you can import existing sandbox accounts on the Sandbox Accounts page.

Sandbox questions

I'm already using PayPal APIs in the old version of the sandbox. How does the site redesign affect me?

Create a PayPal account if you don't already have one. If you're happy with your integration with PayPal, nothing has to change. You can import your sandbox accounts and continue to use NVP/SOAP APIs.

You can start using the new REST APIs any time. As we add more REST APIs, we'll provide migration tools and documentation to help you make the most of them.

Where are my old sandbox accounts?

We have your sandbox accounts. After you log in, you can import them on the Sandbox Accounts page by using your old sandbox login email and password.

Keep in mind that you can only import sandbox accounts once to a single PayPal account. Make sure you import to the PayPal account that you want to use for development.

Do I use the old credit card test numbers for testing in the sandbox?

When you create a sandbox account, you can configure the account with a mock DISCOVER®, VISA®, American Express®, or MasterCard® credit card (you can also create a test account without a credit card). Navigate to the Funding tab on the test account's Profile page to obtain the credit card number to use while testing. Configure separate sandbox accounts to cover each of the credit cards you need to process.

Do I need to log in to the PayPal Developer website in order to access my sandbox accounts on the sandbox site?

No, you do not need to first log in to the Developer site to log in to the PayPal Sandbox. We have updated the sandbox site so it no longer has a session dependency on the Developer website. Because of this, you can log in to the sandbox site using the login credentials from your sandbox accounts without first being logged into the Developer website.

Why do I not see the sandbox accounts I create on the sandbox site in my Developer website account?

If you manually create a test account using the signup flow on the sandbox site, without first logging in to the Developer website, the test account you create on the sandbox site will not be linked to any Developer website account. To link sandbox accounts created on the sandbox site with a Developer website account, you need to be logged in to the Developer website before you manually create sandbox accounts on the sandbox site.

We recommend you register on the Developer website and create your sandbox accounts through the Create Account tool on the Developer website. Once you've created your sandbox accounts, log in to the sandbox site and manage your sandbox accounts using the login credentials you assigned to your sandbox accounts. You can create sandbox accounts on the Developer website using the Create Account tool, as described in Create Sandbox Accounts.

Note: The Developer website does not support the creation of pre-configured sandbox accounts for all countries. In these cases, first create a developer account and log in to the Developer website, then create sandbox accounts by manually creating them through the sandbox site. The new sandbox accounts are linked to your Developer website account.

REST API questions

Should I pass empty strings for optional values?

If you don't want to pass fields that are optional, your handler should not pass empty strings ("").

I'm already using PayPal APIs in the old version of the sandbox. Do I need to use the new APIs?

Create a PayPal account if you don't already have one. If you're happy with your integration with PayPal, nothing has to change. You can import your sandbox accounts and continue to use NVP/SOAP APIs.

You can start using the new REST APIs any time. As we add more REST APIs, we'll provide migration tools and documentation to help you make the most of them.

I'm getting errors while using the REST APIs. What do I do?

You can read about REST API errors in the REST API reference. This list can help you anticipate and account for most errors. You can also learn how to handle common REST Payment API errors.

What is the difference between an order authorization/capture and payments authorization/capture?

The order authorization/capture is only supported for PayPal members. It is used in scenarios such as: a merchant might ship items from multiple distribution centers and need separate authorizations for each shipment, or the shipping is delayed on some items that are not currently in stock. When a credit card is not stored for charging as the items become available, the order authorization/capture can be used instead. An order indicates that the buyer has consented to the purchase, authorization places funds on hold until you are ready to capture, and capture can partially or fully collect the payment.

In the payments authorization/capture, authorization places the funds on hold and then the payment is captured at a later time. In this case, there is only a need for delayed settlement.

Log in with PayPal questions

Where can I find the integration documentation?

Links to the Log in with PayPal documentation appear in the left-hand navigation for documentation.

Log in with PayPal documentation includes:

  • Introduction - an overview of the REST Identity API
  • Generate button - use the button JavaScript code generator to create a log in button
  • Integrate Log in with PayPal - more detailed integration information to help developers integrate Log in with PayPal
  • Best practices - best practices to optimize the consumer experience and simplify your integration

How can I get credentials?

You can get Log in with PayPal credentials as long as you have a PayPal account in your country. To get Log in with PayPal credentials, create an application on the Developer site My Apps & Credentials page. Formerly, credentials were obtained at If you had an application at, and had credentials for that application, your application and credentials have been migrated to the Developer site My Apps & Credentials page. The credentials will continue to work and your apps will continue to work.

Why do I need to use two different domains?

Some Log in with PayPal calls are made to and others are sent to Browser calls (authorize and endsession) come to and back-end calls (tokenservice and userinfo) come to

If I integrated before and registered on, will my application continue to work?

Yes, your application will continue to work. Although you now need to manage your application on the Developer site My Apps & Credentials page, the credentials and endpoints continue to work. You do not need to change anything.

What protocols are supported?

We recommend that new apps integrate with OpenID Connect. For developers that integrated with OpenID, the apps will continue to work, but no new features will be added.

Is the sandbox available for testing?

Yes! Make sure that you have Log in with PayPal enabled when you create your sandbox account. For more information on creating sandbox accounts, see our testing guide.

What is the OpenID Connect scope mapping used for registered attributes?

OpenID Connect scopes are the attribute and API permissions that are used during OpenID Connect authorize call.

The following table describes the scope to attribute mapping:

Scope Attributes
profile Full name, date of birth, time zone, locale, language, age range
address Street address, state, city, country, zip
email Email address
phone Phone
openid User ID Account creation date, account type, account verified

Why am I not receiving all the attributes mapped to the scope?

During app registration (creation), you might not have selected the required attributes. Please check the attributes level for the app on the Developer site My Apps & Credentials page.

How is the registered return URL used in OpenID Connect?

The developer should pass the exact return URL during the integration steps.

Mobile SDK questions

Can I use the new mobile SDKs outside of the US?

Yes! The PayPal iOS SDK and Android SDK support all countries and currencies supported by the REST Payments API.

Is there a way to get the payment description string to show up in the transaction details on

No, this is not supported functionality.

Will the new SDKs have feature parity with the older SDKs that are based on Adaptive Payments?

We are aggressively moving payment functionality into our REST API architecture. This will include payment features you now see in Adaptive Payments, and more. The mobile SDKs will pick up these features as they roll out.

Where is the Mobile Express Checkout Library (MECL)?

The Mobile Express Checkout Library for iOS and Android has been discontinued. We recommend using the new PayPal iOS SDK and PayPal Android SDK instead. To use authorization and capture, we recommend using Express Checkout, which by default, provides a mobile checkout flow.

Does the new mobile SDK support the transfer of money directly from one PayPal account to another?

Currently, the new mobile SDK does not support that use case. Rather, the new mobile SDK supports the case where the merchant/developer accepts money from the end user.

What are the NVP/SOAP APIs?

NVP/SOAP APIs consist of a number of our existing solutions including:

  • Express Checkout
  • Website Payments Pro
  • PayPal Payments Standard
  • PayPal Payments Advanced
  • Payflow Gateway / PayPal Payments Pro
  • Adaptive Accounts
  • Mass Pay
  • Invoicing
  • Instant Payment Notification

Is PayPal updating all NVP/SOAP APIs to REST?

We want to continue improving and expanding all our APIs to make integration easier. Look for more REST APIs to come.

How long will you support NVP/SOAP APIs?

At the moment, there's no time line for removing NVP/SOAP APIs. We will continue supporting and improving NVP/SOAP APIs when requests are made.

Eventually, the REST API will replace the NVP/SOAP APIs. We'll let you know in advance about any changes and provide resources to help you migrate to the REST API.

What is the current state of Adaptive Payments?

Adaptive Payments is now a limited release product. It is restricted to select partners for approved use cases and should not be used for new integrations without guidance from PayPal.