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
- Check your account status. Log into PayPal. Click the Profile icon at the top right, and then select Profile and settings from the Business Profile menu. (If you do not see the profile icon at the top of the page, select Profile which appears in the top menu when the My Account tab is selected.) In the left menu, click My settings to confirm that your Account Type is either Premier or Business, or upgrade your account.
- Check your API settings. Log into PayPal and access your profile as described in the preceding step. In the left menu, click My selling tools. In the Selling online section, click Update next to API access to verify your API access. Click the appropriate link to set up your API signature or certificate.
- To get your application live, follow the steps outlined in NVP/SOAP APIs Apps 101.
- After you verify that your implementation works correctly in the Sandbox, get a Live App ID by submitting your application to PayPal for review and approval as described in Going Live with Your Application.
Note: You can choose to download the Adaptive Accounts SDK. See NVP/SOAP API SDKs for information about the SDKs.
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
- For answers to PayPal frequently asked questions, go to our Help Center.
- For more help, visit our Developer Technical Services.
- To discuss issues and share ideas, visit the PayPal stackoverflow forum.
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.
- Adaptive Accounts Getting Started Guide (HTML)
Development and Integration
- Adaptive Accounts Developers Guide (HTML)
- You can choose to download the Adaptive Accounts SDK. See NVP/SOAP API SDKs for information about the SDKs.