How to Accept Payments With PayPal Express

Making the checkout process as easy as possible for customers can increase sales and reduce abandoned carts. With Volusion's PayPal Express Checkout integration, your customers will enjoy a quick and seamless checkout experience. You can even customize the PayPal Express Checkout pages with your store logo and colors.

PayPal Express Checkout is available to stores that use one of the six default PayPal currencies: USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, CAD, or JPY.


Getting Started

In order to use PayPal Express Checkout with your Volusion store, you'll need a PayPal business account. If you haven't already, sign up for PayPal Express Checkout and follow the prompts to create a business account. You can upgrade an existing PayPal personal account or create a new, separate business account. Note that if you already have a business account that you use for a different platform, you'll need to create a separate business account for Volusion payment purposes.

Once you've registered and set up your PayPal business account, view your API credentials and copy or write them down. You'll need this information when integrating PayPal Express Checkout with your Volusion store.

Volusion Integration

To integrate your PayPal Express Checkout account with Volusion, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Go to Settings > Payment in your Admin Area and select the More Payment Types tab.
  2. Select PayPal, then select the Express Checkout option.
  3. Enter your PayPal API Username, API Password, and Signature (click here to view this information in PayPal).
  4. Click Save.

Your Volusion store is now integrated with your PayPal Express Checkout account.

How it Works

The PayPal Express Checkout process is quick and easy for your customers:

  1. When a customer is ready to pay, they click Check Out with PayPal in their shopping cart. If your store does not allow anonymous checkouts, they'll be prompted to log in before proceeding.
  2. In the PayPal Express modal that appears, the customer will log in to their PayPal account and follow the in-context checkout process. If the customer hasn't checked out using PayPal Express in the past, they'll need to agree to the terms and conditions before proceeding. Note that customers must already have (or create) a PayPal account in order to check out.
  3. The customer confirms their Shipping Address and Payment Method and clicks Continue.
  4. The PayPal Express checkout modal disappears, and the customer is redirected to the checkout page. The address and payment info they entered through PayPal automatically populates on the checkout page.
  5. The customer chooses a Shipping Method and clicks Place Order.
  6. Their payment is made to your PayPal business account and they receive an Order Confirmation.

You can view orders placed through PayPal Express Checkout in your Admin Area at Orders > Process Orders.


If a customer selects the This is a Gift option, they'll be prompted to enter any relevant gift information after they click Continue on the PayPal screen, but before they're directed to the checkout page.

Processing PayPal Express Checkout Orders

Orders placed via PayPal Express Checkout will be logged in your Admin Area along with all your other orders. Please note that customer billing and shipping information for PayPal Express Checkout orders cannot be updated from the Order Details page.

Order notes entered in PayPal or on the one-page checkout will appear in the Order Notes section.

PayPal Express Checkout orders will show a Debit record in the Payment Log section as "Paid Via - PayPal Express."

You'll see a TransID and a button to refund the entire order, if needed. See the Refunds section below for more information. You also have the option to Add Offline Payment in the Payments & Credits section, if necessary.

Issuing Refunds

You can issue full refunds from the order details page in your Admin Area by clicking Refund in the Payment Log section.

If you need to issue a partial refund, you'll need to do so directly from your PayPal Express Checkout account.

Keep in mind that eCheck payment refunds may be delayed by PayPal. Additionally, PayPal may choose to audit a transaction, which may also result in delays. Delayed refunds will show as successful in your Volusion Admin Area, but PayPal may reach out to you directly using the contact information you provided them on signup if there are any issues with the refund.

PayPal Express Checkout vs. PayPal Standard*

For most merchants, PayPal Express Checkout is the better option. Integrated order and payment processing provides a more seamless checkout experience for customers.

Common Questions and Troubleshooting

Estimated Shipping Discrepancies

Customers won't choose their shipping method until they return to your store's one-page checkout. PayPal Express Checkout will give an approximate order total based on the order amount and estimated tax and shipping, but the final amount won't be calculated until they choose a shipping method. Customers will see their updated order total on the one-page checkout before they finalize their order.

Separate Billing and Shipping Address Requirement

In order to offer PayPal Express to your customers, you must allow customers the option of entering different billing and shipping addresses. Before enabling PayPal Express, make sure the Allow Different Shipping and Billing Addresses config variable is enabled (the check box should be selected). To locate this setting in your Admin Area, go to Settings Config Variables click Search. Enter "different" in the name field, then click Search again. If the variable isn't selected, check the box and click Save.

PayPal Account Required

Note that customers must have or create a PayPal account in order to check out using PayPal Express Checkout on your store.

Using PayPal Pro and PayPal Express Checkout Together

You can use PayPal Pro and PayPal Express Checkout with the same Volusion store, but you cannot use the same PayPal Business account for both your PayPal Pro credit card gateway and your PayPal Express Checkout payment method.

PayPal Pro requires you to use API Certificate to integrate with Volusion, but PayPal Express Checkout requires you to use API Signature. Because PayPal does not allow both API methods on a single PayPal Business account, you will need to have two PayPal business accounts in order to use PayPal Pro and PayPal Express Checkout together in the same store.

Additionally, note that if you already use a PayPal business account with a different platform (eBay or Amazon, for example), you'll need to create a separate business account for Volusion payment purposes, as the API credentials will differ.

PayPal Express Checkout and Recurring Billing Products

Note that PayPal Express Checkout cannot be used if a customer has a recurring billing or subscription product in their cart – they will receive an error message that says "PayPal Express Checkout Unavailable."

You can customize this message by going to Design > Site Content, choosing PageText from the Article Group menu, and Searching for “PayPal”.  Find the corresponding PageText ID number, edit the message to your liking, and click Save.

Purchase Orders and Auto Drop Shipping With PayPal Express Checkout

POs are not automatically generated at any point by orders placed using PayPal Express Checkout. You will need to manually generate the drop-ship PO by selecting the Apply to All Items Regardless of Status check box and clicking Go in the Drop Ship section of the order details page.

Product Keys and PayPal Express Checkout

Product Keys are not automatically generated for orders placed via PayPal Express Checkout. You must manually send product keys by clicking Complete Order or by selecting Product Keys from the Email menu and clicking Resend.

Insecure Content Warning on Customer Checkout Page

When you customize your PayPal Express Checkout page (in your PayPal Express account), make sure your logo image and banner image links use the "https" (encrypted) protocol. If your images use the non-secured "http" protocol, customers may see a security warning during checkout. To learn more, see our article on How to Resolve Unsecured Content on Pages With SSL.

Keep in mind that in order to have your images encrypted, you must have an SSL certificate installed on your store.

PayPal Express Checkout Orders Awaiting Payment

PayPal occasionally flags suspicious orders based on their fraud protection standards. When this happens, funds will remain under review until PayPal processes the payment. Once payment is processed, the IPN (Instant Payment Notification) will be sent back to your Volusion store and the order’s status will change from Awaiting Payment to Processing.

Transaction Limits

PayPal Express Checkout imposes a limit of $10,000 per single transaction. If you need to increase this limit, please contact PayPal.

Using PayPal Express Checkout as Only Payment Option

If you offer PayPal Express Checkout as the only payment option on your storefront, you can add a script to prevent customers from going directly to your checkout page, thereby missing the Check Out with PayPal button. To learn more, click here.

PayPal Express Checkout on the Shopping Cart Page

Currently the PayPal Express Checkout payment option can only be configured to display on the Shopping Cart page of your store (/shoppingcart.asp). The PayPal Express Checkout payment option does not appear on the checkout page (/one-page-checkout.asp) alongside other payment methods.


To learn more about PayPal Express Checkout or to sign up for an account, visit PayPal's website.

Watch the PayPal Express Checkout training video