Payflow Gateway

Payflow is a secure, open payment gateway. You can choose to have PayPal host your payment pages or have total control over the payment process. Payflow allows merchants to choose any Internet Merchant Account to accept debit or credit card payments and connect to any major processor. You can also select PayPal as your credit card processor (see PayPal Payments Pro). It also lets merchants accept PayPal and PayPal Credit® (formerly Bill Me Later® ) payments. 

Get started now:

Start coding today by creating a free developer test account

If you do not already have an Internet merchant account, you can apply online; applications usually take only two days to process.

Why use Payflow Gateway

PayPal Payflow Gateway enables merchants with an Internet merchant account to connect their online store to any major payment processor, bank, or card association. Merchants can also accept PayPal and PayPal Credit payments.  Use Payflow Gateway to process debit and credit card payments, PayPal, PayPal Credit, authorizations, captures, and credit voids.

Merchants can choose that PayPal host the checkout pages and manage security for sales and authorizations. Merchants who want total control over the checkout experience can host their own checkout pages and send transactions to Payflow via an API. They also have the option to turn off Express Checkout and/or PayPal Credit.

Payflow Gateway lets merchants:

Focus on their business
  • Use almost any merchant account, bank, and processor, including PayPal.
  • Integrate using any one of the many well-known shopping cart solutions that have pre-integrated Payflow.
Offer customers many ways to pay
  • Accept all major debit and credit cards supported by their processor, including Visa, MasterCard® , American Express, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club. Payflow Gateway also supports L2/L3 purchase cards, prepaid cards, foreign currencies, TeleCheck, and ACH.
  • Add Express Checkout and PayPal Credit.
Customize the checkout experience
  • Completely control and customize the checkout process using APIs.
  • Merchants can host checkout pages on their website or let PayPal host the checkout on their secure servers.
Get paid quickly
  • Get paid daily as soon as PayPal sends payment data to processors.
Simplify PCI compliance
  • PayPal processes payments behind the scenes, helping to reduce the merchant's workload for proving PCI compliance. 
  • Merchants can use PayPal's PCI-compliant hosted templates, or host checkout pages on their own website and let PayPal process payments behind the scenes (requires the Transparent Redirect feature). Both options will help merchants reduce their workload for proving PCI compliance.
Stay informed with reporting
  • Choose from various reports, including transaction status and settlement.
  • Customize reporting with APIs that integrate into merchants' back-office applications.
  • Use post-authorization APIs to send transaction data to your backend solution.
Add levels of fraud protection
  • Add Basic or Advanced Fraud Protection Services to help protect against fraud risks.   Available for an additional fee.
  • Add Buyer Authentication Service to support the Verified By Visa and MasterCard SecureCode programs. Available for an additional fee.
Set up recurring payments
  • Add the Recurring Billing Service to automatically debit customers' debit or credit cards. Available for an additional fee.

How to get started

Payflow Gateway is available as a .NET or Java library. You can also build your own API by posting directly to the Payflow Gateway servers via HTTPS.

  1. Create a free developer account using the instructions here. Or, sign up for a live Payflow Gateway account today. Click on the country in which you do business.
  2. Log in to the email account you used when you applied for Payflow Gateway. Open the confirmation email and locate your Partner ID.
  3. 3. Note the Partner ID given you. Using the Partner ID, your merchant login ID, and password—leave the User field blank—login to the PayPal Manager. Configure your Payflow Gateway settings.
  4. Choose an integration method:
    • Many leading e-commerce solutions are pre-integrated with Payflow Gateway. For more information, see PayPal Partner Solutions.
    • Let PayPal host your checkout pages. Integrate Payflow Gateway and customize the PayPal pages to match your website.
    • Host your own checkout pages using Payflow Gateway and the APIs. You can use the PayPal Integration Wizard to obtain sample code in various programming languages. Alternatively, you can download the Payflow Gateway SDKs, or build your own APIs and use the HTTPS interface to post to the servers.
  5. Once you've verified that your implementation works correctly during the pilot, log in to PayPal Manager and click on Activate Account. Point the applications URLs to the live servers.

You are now ready to go live.

For complete details, see Documentation.

Domestic and International availability and fees

Payflow Gateway is available in the following countries.

United States Fee structure
Australia Fee structure
Canada Fee structure
New Zealand Fee structure

Developer and Merchant  Support

When you purchase Payflow Gateway, PayPal provides free email support 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

  • For answers to PayPal frequently asked questions, go to our Help Center.
  • For more help, visit our Merchant Technical Services.
  • For Payflow Gateway email or phone support, choose your country.
United States & Canada Email 888-883-9770 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM CDT, Monday – Friday
Australia & New Zealand Email +612 8288 0198 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM AEDT, Monday – Friday

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.

Announcement: Payflow Users Who Integrated Before 2011

In 2011, PayPal made product improvements to Payflow Pro and Payflow Link that developers can take advantage of, at no additional charge. These improvements include adding secure token capabilities, improving the hosted checkout pages, and rationalizing the integration methods for Payflow Link and Payflow Pro. To take advantage of these new features, please consult the integration documents on this page. To access the legacy documents for supporting older integrations, please visit the legacy Payflow Link and Payflow Pro pages.

Related Information

Getting Started

  • Payflow Payment Gateway Getting Started Guide (HTML)

Development and Integration

Sample Code and SDK

You can use the PayPal Integration Wizard to obtain sample code in various programming languages.

Alternatively, you can choose to download the Payflow Gateway SDK. See Classic API SDKs for information about the SDKs.

Video Tutorials

Blogs to Follow

Forums to Follow