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Advice on PayPal payment processing

Thread began 3/05/2014 8:47 am by Nathon Jones Web Design | Last modified 3/17/2014 9:17 am by Jason Byrnes | 1786 views | 13 replies |

Nathon Jones Web Design

Advice on PayPal payment processing

We'd like to integrate a website we're developing with PayPal.

The website has a customer login area and we need their orders to be stored in there obviously prior to proceed to PayPal for payment. We then need PayPal to send back confirmation that the payment was successful or not and for it to automatically update an order status field in our database table.

Ideally I'd like to keep the customer on our website rather than jumping out to PayPal or, at least, to have as much control over the PayPal payment pages as possible.

Would appreciate some advice on how best to proceed and also what type of PayPal account our client should use.
Thank you.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

Use PayPal Payments Pro for this.

During the checkout wizard set up, you can configure the orders to be stored in the Database, this will happen when the order is submitted successfully.

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Nathon Jones Web Design


How does our database get updated when payment either fails or is successful?
If the order is stored in database when it's submitted successfully then, obviously, that isn't the end of the process.

Appreciate the guidance, thank you.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

Nothing gets stored on failure

the order will only be stored if the transaction is successful.

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Nathon Jones Web Design

Oh cool, so there is no jump out to PayPal then, in effect? (apart from in the background)

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

Using paypal pro offers 2 payment methods:

1) The user stays on your site and enters CC details
2) Paypal Express - if they select this option, they go to the paypal site to set the payment method, and are brought back to your site to complete the transaction.

in both cases, the order is only saved to the DB if the transaction is successful.

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Nathon Jones Web Design

On our basket (cart) page,, do we simply run the eCart Checkout Wizard to integrate with PayPal Payments Pro?

Would you mind running me through the process from having the basket page in place to integrating PayPal Payments Pro and saving the order to database?

1) Settings
Can you clarify what the Checkout page and Order confirmation pages are, or should be?
Not understanding the difference between PayPal Payments Pro and PayPal Express Checkout. Why does there need to be two Order confirmation pages?

2) Payments
If I select the "I will rely on my payment provider..." option, which I assume I have to if I'm using PayPal Payments Pro, I'm given the choice of either Express Checkout or Payflow Link. Which do I need?

I have API credentials for the Sandbox which I assume is best to use initially until all testing is complete?

3) Shipping
How will the system gather the delivery address for the order and, subsequently, apply the correct shipping fee? Base rate or Per item rate don't really apply because these will be different for each country. Do we need to database drive this? Would appreciate your advice as I have always really struggled with the complexity of shipping calculations.

4) Tax

5) Orders
Is there a sample database I could use as a template? I can't find this on the website but I do remember seeing it somewhere at some stage.

6) Email
Do we get any formatting control over this, a la Universal Email? We'd like to send a branded confirmation if possible.

7) Form Design
Like other CSS styling, if we make changes then we'd have to copy the stylesheet and reference it AFTER the initial stylesheet reference in order that it wouldn't overwrite any changes we make should we need to re-run the wizard?

Really appreciate the help Jason. Once I've got the process, I'll have it sussed but initially I'd appreciate your direct guidance on it so that I can fully understand each process.

Thank you.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

1) using Paypal Pro is 2 services:
a) Paypal Direct Payments
b) Paypal Express

the pages generated for paypal pro will be
checkout.php - This will contain the button to checkout using paypal express and the billing / shipping form for direct payments
confirm_cart.php - displays after the Direct payments form is filled in with shipping added and shows the CC Form
confirm.php - processes the Direct payment and stores the order info
pp_confirm.php - if the user click the express checkout button on the checkout page, this is the page the user is redirected to that processes the express checkout transaction and stores details in the DB
checkout_success.php - this page is used for successful transactions.

2) to use paypal payments pro, you must select the option to install an SSL certificate

3) The shipping address is determined when the customer fills in the checkout form.

4) no question

5) the eCommerce DB is available here:

6) The email generated uses Universal Email, you will be able to customize the email look and feel after running the wizard.

7) yes, any time you are making CSS changes you should save them to another style sheet and attach your styles after the wizard generated styles.

for more info, see the eCommerce series of tutorials:

in the Add checkout and administration section there are links to tutorials specific to the diffeant tabs in the checkout wizard. the Online payment solutions section has details on the different gateways.

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Nathon Jones Web Design


Really appreciate the advice and guidance Jason, thank you. I'll digest that over the weekend.

One thing that immediately jumps out there is that we'll have to have an SSL certificate installed on our domain, is that correct?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

in your initial question, you say:
"Ideally I'd like to keep the customer on our website rather than jumping out to PayPal"

This means using a local checkout system where the customer enters credit card details while on your site.

for this, you need to have an SSL certificate so that the CC details are passed to the gateway securely.

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