PayPal Payments Pro

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PayPal Payments Pro is a payment system you can use to accept online credit card payments on your website. It can be used for one-time payments or recurring payments.

PayPal users are being transitioned to the new PayPal Checkout gateway. For more information, click here.

Before you can set up your Wild Apricot site to work with PayPal Payments Pro, you must set up an account with PayPal.  

Paying using PayPal Payments Pro

Once you've integrated your PayPal account with your Wild Apricot site,  visitors to your site can pay online for membership fees and event registrations, and make donations.

When a visitor fills out an integrated online form on your Wild Apricot website (e.g. membership application or event registration) and clicks the Confirm button, they will have the choice of paying with a credit card or paying using PayPal Express Checkout.

Using a credit card

If they choose to pay with a credit card, they will be redirected to a secure Wild Apricot payment form to make the payment. apricot payment screen-GTo.png

On the form, they fill out their credit card details and their billing information, then click the Pay button to complete the payment.

Wild  Apricot does not store credit card information. Instead, it is securely  transmitted to PayPal where it is processed. PayPal then returns the  status of the payment transaction, which is recorded in your Wild  Apricot transaction details.

Using PayPal Express Checkout

If they choose PayPal Express Checkout, they will be redirected to  PayPal's site where they can use their PayPal account or their credit or debit card to make the payment.
Membership applicants for levels with recurring payments must use their PayPal account.

From here, they can log into their PayPal account or enter their credit card or debit card details. Then they will be returned to the Wild Apricot site, where they can confirm and complete the purchase.

For  information about the transaction – including transaction ID and status  – check your PayPal account's IPN (Instant Payment Notification)  history. To view your IPN history, go to PayPal, click My Account, then under History select IPN History.  

Integrating your PayPal account with Wild Apricot

Instructions  for third-party payment systems are provided as a courtesy and may  contain out of date information or screen clips. For the latest  instructions, consult the payment provider's website.

To accept online payments through PayPal Payments Pro, you must have a PayPal Business account. See PayPal account setup for recommended account settings.

Recurring payments

If you want to set up recurring payments for membership fees, you must enable instant payment notification (IPN) in your PayPal account. For instructions on enabling IPN, see Recurring payments. You should also subscribe to the Recurring Payments service. If you do not subscribe to this service, members can only pay for recurring memberships using the PayPal Express Checkout button. Any attempts to pay using the Pay with credit card option will fail. 

What you need to get started

To integrate your PayPal account with Wild Apricot, you will need your  PayPal account ID (your email address), your API username, your API  password, and your API signature. To view or request your API  credentials, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. Click the Profile tab.
  3. Click My selling tools.
  4. Click Update beside API Access under Selling online.
  5. From the Your payment API credentials screen, click the Manage API credentials link under NVP/SOAP API Integration (Classic).
  6. If you haven't requested API credentials before, click the Request API signature if your shopping cart or solution provider has asked for an API username, password, and signature, or if you're developing a custom shopping cart option, then click Agree and Submit.
  7. The details of your API signature now appear. You can click the Show link beside API username, API password, and Signature then copy them and paste them into your Wild Apricot settings (for details, see below).  
  8. Click Done to return to the Your payment API credentials screen. 
In  rare cases, it is necessary to enable multiple payments per invoice ID  within your PayPal settings to get recurring payments to work with  PayPal Payments Pro.

Payment settings for PayPal Payments Pro

Once you have set up your PayPal account, follow these steps to integrate it with your Wild Apricot site:

  1. Click the Settings menu to display the Global settings screen.
  2. Click Payment settings under Your account.
  3. On the Payment settings screen, click the Edit button.
  4. Click the Payment system drop-down list and select PayPal Payments Pro.
  5. If you want to begin accepting online payments immediately, click the Live radio button. If you want to test your settings using test or sandbox accounts provided by PayPal, click the Test/Sandbox radio button. While in test mode, your payment provider will accept or decline your test transactions as it would live transactions, but will not charge any credit cards or update any bank accounts. Wild Apricot will, however, create payment records and update Wild Apricot balances as it would with live transactions. For more information, see Live vs. test/sandbox modes.
  6. Enter your PayPal account ID (your email address).
  7. Enter your API username, API password, and API signature.
  8. Select the credit card types you want to accept. (These should match what you have set up in your PayPal account.)
  9. Click Validate account to make sure your account details are valid.
    If the account validation fails, check to make sure you entered the account details properly.
  10. Select the default country you want to display to the customers for online payments.
  11. Select the currency you want to use in your transactions. (This should match your PayPal account currency.)  
    Note: Do not change the currency after your site begins accepting online payments. If you change the currency, existing payment records will not be recalculated and will no longer display correct amounts.
  12. Add payment instructions to be displayed to the customer.
  13. Click Save changes


If you encounter problems using PayPal Payments Pro to process transactions on your Wild Apricot site, check the following:

  • Make sure you have accepted PayPal's billing agreement. After your PayPal account has been approved, you need to accept the billing agreement from within your PayPal Pro account.
  • Contact PayPal to see if there are any issues with your PayPal account (you may have missed some payments, for example).
  • Check your Wild Apricot audit log for transaction errors and compare them to the list of PayPal error codes.


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