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Accepting online payments using PayPal Payments Advanced

PayPal Payments Advanced is a payment gateway that allows you to accept online payments on your Wild Apricot website. Before you can set up your Wild Apricot site to work with PayPal Payments Advanced, you must set up an account with PayPal.


Support for PayPal Payments Advanced is being provided without full testing in a live environment. During this initial implementation – the beta release – certain features such as automatic refunds will not be supported. For more information, see What does "beta" mean?

Paying using PayPal Payments Advanced

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.

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When a visitor fills out an integrated online form on your Wild Apricot website (e.g. membership application or event registration) and chooses to pay online, they will be redirected to PayPal's site to make the payment.

From here, they can log into their PayPal account or pay with their credit or debit card.

After the payment is processed, the visitor is returned to the Invoices and payments tab on their member profile, where an invoice will appear, along with a payment entry, if the payment was successful.


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.

Setting up your PayPal account


Instructions for third-party payment systems are provided as a courtesy and may contain out of date information or screen clips.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 Advanced, you must have a Business or Premier PayPal account.

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To configure your PayPal account to work with Wild Apricot, you need to log into your PayPal Manager, then click the Service Settings tab and adjust the following settings on the Set Up page.

  • Select GET as the Cancel URL Method under Display options on payment page

  • Under Payment Confirmation:
  • Under Silent Post Data Transfer:
  • Under Security Options:
    • Set Enable Secure Token to Yes

  • Click Save Changes.

If you choose to customize your checkout page, pick either Layout A or Layout B. Wild Apricot does not currently support Layout C.

Integrating your PayPal account with Wild Apricot

Once you've set up your PayPal account, you can integrate it into your Wild Apricot site.


Other Wild Apricot administrators with full access privileges will be able to see your payment account credentials, so you might consider limiting administrative privileges accordingly. For example, you could grant full privileges until site setup is complete then remove or restrict the administrator privileges before setting up online payments.

What you need to get started

To integrate your PayPal Payments Advanced account with Wild Apricot, you'll need the following information:

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PartnerThe ID provided to you by the authorized PayPal reseller who registered you for PayPal Payments Advanced. If you purchased your account directly from PayPal, use PayPal.
Merchant LoginYour merchant login ID that you created when you registered for the account.


If you have set up multiple users on your account, you'll need the ID of the user authorized to process transactions. If you haven't set up additional users on the account, then enter your merchant ID as the user. To manage users on your account, go to your PayPal account and click the Manage Users tab under Account Administration.


The password you created when you registered for the account.

Payment settings for PayPal Payments Advanced

To integrate your PayPal Payments Advanced account into your Wild Apricot site, follow these steps:

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  1. Under the Settings menu, click Finances.
  2. From the Finances settings screen, click Payment settings.
  3. On the Payment settings screen, click the Edit button.
  4. Click the Payment system drop-down list and select PayPal Payments Advanced

  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. In the Merchant login field, enter your merchant login ID that you created when you registered for your PayPal Payments Advanced account.
  7. In the Partner field, enter the ID provided to you by the authorized PayPal reseller who registered you for PayPal Payments Advanced. If you purchased your account directly from PayPal, use PayPal.
  8. In the User field, enter the ID of the user authorized to process transactions on your account. If you haven't set up additional users on the account, then enter your merchant ID.
  9. In the Password field, enter the password you created when you registered for your PayPal account.
  10. Click Validate account to make sure your PayPal account details are valid. If the account validation fails, check to make sure you entered the account details properly.
  11. Click the Default country drop-down list and select the country where the majority of your visitors reside. Your selection will appear as the default country to your customers.
  12. Select the currency you want to use in your transactions. 
    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.
  13. In the Instructions fields, add payment instructions to be displayed to your customers.
  14. Click Save changes.

Now that you have set up your Wild Apricot site to receive online payments, a Pay online button will appear after a visitor to your site clicks the Confirm button while applying for membership or registering for an event. 

Recurring payments

Recurring payments are not supported within PayPal Payments Advanced.


If someone trying to pay an invoice on your site receives a Checkout Error: PayPal Express Checkout is not setup on this account message, you should make the following change to your PayPal account:

  1. Go to PayPal and log into your PayPal Manager.
  2. Click the Service Settings tab.
  3. Click the Set Up link.
  4. Within the Choose your settings section, switch the Transaction Process Mode from Test to Live.

If you have any other troubles processing payments with PayPal Payments Advanced:

  • Try to run a test transaction yourself and see what message you get from PayPal. You can then contact PayPal support with exact details.
  • Check your PayPal account type. To accept credit card payments, you need Business or Premier account. Personal PayPal accounts cannot accept credit card payments. (See Which account type is right for you?)
  • See Failed online payments

Video: Integrating PayPal Payments Advanced (4:48)

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