Adaptive Accounts

Use the Adaptive Accounts API to build applications that create and manage PayPal accounts. Merchants and developers can use the API to create PayPal accounts, add payment methods to accounts, and verify a PayPal account status.  

Applicable Use Cases

How it works

Merchants can use the Adaptive Accounts API to create PayPal accounts, add payment methods, and confirm that a PayPal account is valid before they accept a payment. The Adaptive Accounts API uses both RESTful and SOAP protocols and formats responses as XML, JSON or NVP.

Creating a PayPal account

During checkout, merchants can give customers the option to create a PayPal account. The PayPal Adaptive Account APIs uses information that customers supply to create their PayPal account for them. The Adaptive Accounts API briefly redirects customers to PayPal so they can create a password and accept the PayPal User Agreement. Then, PayPal redirects customers back to the merchant's site and sends a confirmation message to the merchant's IPN listener.

Linking a bank account

Merchants can offer customers the option to link their bank account as a payment method to their PayPal account. To link a bank account, the merchant's application calls the Adaptive Accounts API. It adds the bank account number and routing number provided by customers to their PayPal account. The API briefly redirects customers to PayPal so they can confirm the information. Then, PayPal directs customers back to the merchants' site.

Linking a payment card

Merchants can also offer customers the option to link a credit card or a debit card to their PayPal accounts. The merchant's application calls the Adaptive Account API to add the customers' card information to their PayPal account. Developer with advanced permissions can add payment information without redirecting customers to PayPal. Otherwise the API briefly redirects customers to PayPal so they can confirm the information. Then, PayPal redirects customers back to the merchant's site.

Confirming account status

To reduce fraud, merchants can use PayPal's Adaptive Accounts API to verify a customer's account status by matching specific information before processing a payment. When the match is verified, the API responds with a message confirming that the account is valid.

Why Use Adaptive Accounts API

Implementing Adaptive Accounts APIs allows merchants to:

  • Create Business, Premier, and Personal PayPal accounts directly from their app or website.
  • Link a bank account or add a credit or debit card as a payment method for PayPal accounts.
  • Help reduce fraud by verifying a customer's PayPal account status before processing their payment.

How to get started

  1. Check your account status. Login to PayPal. Go to your PayPal Profile and click My settings. Confirm that your "Account Type" is either Premier or Business, or upgrade your account.
  2. Check your API settings. Click My selling tools. Expand "Selling online" if needed and check "API access." Click Update and Add or edit API permission or View API signature.
  3. To get your application live, follow the steps outline in Classic APIs Apps 101.
  4. After you verify that your implementation works correctly in the Sandbox, get a Live App ID. After logging in, click Profile > API Access and select Request API Signature. Your credentials will then be displayed. To obtain a live application ID, you must submit your application to PayPal for review and approval.

Note You can choose to download the Adaptive Accounts SDK. See Classic API SDKs for information about the SDKs.

U.S. fees

There are no fees to use Adaptive Accounts APIs.

International fees and availability

The Adaptive Accounts API is available in any country where PayPal is accepted.

Developer and Merchant Support

Join the PayPal Partner Program

Join the North America Partner Program and enjoy many valuable benefits, including access to solutions integration information, marketing tools and a listing in our Partner Directory. It's free to join! For details, visit the Partner Program website.

Related Information

Getting Started

  • Adaptive Accounts Getting Started Guide (HTML)

Development and Integration

  • Adaptive Accounts Developers Guide (HTML)

API Reference

SDKs