Connecting a Form to PayPal Payments Standard

Use the steps below to connect your paid form with PayPal Payments Standard to charge visitors when they submit. Keep in mind that PayPal Payments Standard forces visitors to leave your website to make payments on PayPal’s site. If your visitors are able to make payments directly on your website, you’re likely using PayPal Payments Pro and should follow our documentation on setting up feeds using that tool

Before hopping in, please review some helpful terminology related to this process:

Helpful Terminology

Before we point you to the steps for your payment processor, it’s helpful to define a few terms that will come up throughout this process.

  • The payment processor is the service you use to charge people money online. This provider manages credit card transactions and ensures that the money you charged ends up in your account. The most common providers are Stripe, Authorize.Net and PayPal.
  • A feed on a form refers to that form’s connection with a third-party provider. For example, you might set up a feed to charge a visitor through PayPal for the amount they offered to donate. This feed is typically processed each time a visitor submits your form.
  • Conditional logic is used to determine the criteria in which a form’s feed is processed. For example, on a donation form you may have two feeds, one which processes a single donation and another that processes a recurring monthly donation. For the feed processing recurring payments, you would set up conditional logic to only process the feed when the user clicked the option to make a monthly donation.
  • The “Product” field type used in your form determines what the visitor is paying for and how much a visitor should be charged when they submit. A Product field can have a fixed price, such as for a t-shirt, or it can be a variable price that the visitor can select, such as for a donation.

Setting Up a Paypal Payments Standard Feed

  • While editing your paid form, hover over the Settings menu and click PayPal in the dropdown.
PayPal Payments Standard Form Settings
  • Click the Add New button to create a new feed.
  • Enter a Name for the feed. You can set this name to something generic such as “PayPal Feed”, or if you end up having multiple feeds that only run under specific circumstances, we’d recommend naming it something more descriptive.
    1. For example, on a donate form you may end up with two feeds, one to process one-time donations and another to process recurring donations. In that case, we’d recommend naming the feeds “One-Time Donation” and “Monthly Donation” to make sure they’re clear.
  • For the PayPal Email Address field, enter the email associated with the PayPal account where you’ll be receiving payments.
  • For the Mode field, set it to Production since you’ll be receiving real payments from visitors.
  • Choose the Transaction Type.  
    • If you plan to charge the visitor one time for a donation, choose Donations. 
    • If you plan to charge the visitor one time for something other than a donation, choose Products and Services. 
    • If you plan to charge them on a regular basis, such as monthly or yearly, choose Subscription from the dropdown. 
    • The difference between the Products and Services option and the Donations option will not show on your website, but the payment process on PayPal will be different.

Settings for Products and Services or Donations

If you chose Products and Services or Donations for the Transaction Type, be sure to adjust the following settings.

  • Choose the Payment Amount you want to charge the visitor. We recommend you almost always choose Form Total. This will combine the price of all selected products to charge the visitor.

Settings for Subscriptions

If you chose Subscription for the Transaction Type, be sure to adjust the following settings.

  • Choose the Recurring Amount you want to charge the visitor. We recommend you almost always choose Form Total. This will combine the price of all selected products to charge the visitor.
  • Select the correct Billing Cycle to determine how often the visitor needs to be charged. For example, to charge the visitor every six months, set the fields to read “6 month(s)”.
  • Modify the Recurring Times field to determine how many times the recurring payment should be made. This should almost always be set to “infinite” but can be modified as needed.
  • Check the Recurring Retry field to attempt to charge a visitor again if a recurring payment fails. We recommend checking this box.
  • You can enable a Trial that will charge the visitor the amount of the product selected for the length of time chosen in the Trial Period field. This feature is rarely necessary for a form.

About Billing Information and Receipts

  • For the Billing Information, select the fields on your form under the Form Field section to map them with the corresponding PayPal Field on the left. Try to map as many of your form fields as possible. If you’re missing one, such as Country, you can leave it set to “Select a Field”.
    • Be careful to map the fields correctly. In some cases, forms will have two fields with very similar names. For example, a field called “Address” and one called “Billing Address”. Make sure you select the correct one. When you’re done, the information should look similar to the screenshot below and will be passed to PayPal so the information is filled in automatically on PayPal’s checkout pages.
Billing fields for PayPal Payments Standard

Additional feed settings

  • For the Image URL field, you can provide a URL (or link) to a 150 pixel wide by 150 pixel tall image to display as your logo in the upper left corner of PayPal’s checkout pages. 
    1. You can add a logo for this purpose within the Media section of your website. Once it’s uploaded, click on the image and use the Copy Link field to copy and paste the image’s URL.
    2. If you don’t include an image, your organization’s name will be shown if you have a PayPal Business account. Your email address will be shown if you have a PayPal Premier or Personal account.
  • For the Cancel URL field, enter the URL of a page on your website that you want PayPal to send visitors to if they cancel before completing their payment. 
  • Within Options you can select the checkboxes to instruct PayPal not to prompt visitors for a shipping address or not to allow visitors to include special instructions with their payment.

About conditional logic

All types of transactions allow for conditional logic.If you’d like the feed to execute only under certain circumstances check the box to enable Conditional Logic. The conditional logic shown below causes the feed to execute only when the visitor chooses “Monthly Donation” for the Donation Frequency field.

Conditional logic example
  • Please note that you can modify the feed to add multiple conditions using the plus (+) icon on the far right and can also choose to execute the feed if “All” or “Any” of the conditions are true.

Finish your feed

  • Review your settings and click the blue Update Settings button to save your feed.
  • If you need to add another feed to the same form, start over and follow these steps again until all the necessary feeds are created. For example, when creating a donation form, you’ll usually need two feeds, a feed that executes and charges for only one-time donations, and another to charge only for recurring donations.
  • Most importantly, please test your form including each feed to ensure they process payments as expected.

A Complete PayPal Payments Standard Feed Example

For reference, we’ve included a screenshot below of a completed PayPal Payments Standard feed. This feed processes only one-time donations on a typical donation form.

PayPal Payments Standard feed example

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to us within your Dashboard. Log into your website and then fill out the Website Support form. You’ll hear back from one of Wired Impact’s team members within one business day.