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How to Build a PayPal Form

FormSmarts PayPal Integration is your best option when you need to collect data and get a payment on a form. It makes it very easy to include a PayPal payment in your forms, while giving you the power, flexibility and ease of use of a full-featured online form builder.

For example, you can easily build:

Tip: The demos above are hosted on FormSmarts, but you can also embed a form on your own website with the code snippet given by the form builder.

Do you need help making a PayPal form?
Ask a PayPal Integration Specialist Now

Requesting a Payment on a Form

To requesting a payment on a form:

  1. Sign up for a FormSmarts Pro or Business account (find out about differences) and create a form with the form builder
  2. In the Form Details screen, set the On Submission option to Show Confirmation & Integrate with PayPal
  3. Add radio buttons, a drop-down list or a checkbox, and enter the description and price of products formatted as My Product Description ($30 USD), as shown on the screenshot below.

Web Form Then Paypal: Order Form, Booking Form, Registration Form,...

That’s all you need to do. We’ll pick up the products and quantities that were selected, and we’ll redirect the user to a pre-filled page on Paypal for payment. Payments will be sent to the PayPal account matching your FormSmarts login. You can change your login if needed.

Billing Multiple Items on a Form

You can as easily charge for several items within a single form submission by adding other drop-down lists or radio buttons formatted as just described.

Adding a Product Quantity Box

Paypal Forms

If you’re building an order form, you will need to allow the user to enter the quantity or number of products they want to buy.

This can be done as follows:

  1. Position the quantity field immediately after the one listing products for sale
  2. Set the field type to Positive Integer.

With advanced integration, you can alternatively allow the buyer to select a quantity in a predefined list using radio buttons or a pull-down list, like on this demo.

Creating a Subscription Form with Recurring Payments

A subscription involves a recurring payment at each billing cycle until the subscription is canceled. This article discusses how to create a subscription form. Recurring payments can also be used to allow the buyer to pay in installments. A payment by installments is a recurring payment where the number of payments is fixed. The syntax is Payment in 12 Installments (12x$9.99 USD/month). See this sample form.

Building a Donation Form

FormSmarts Payment Integration also supports PayPal Donations. To create a contribution form:

  • In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Show Confirmation & Integrate with PayPal
  • Add a field to your form with the field name formatted as My Donation ($ USD)
  • Set the field’s data type to Number
  • Set the field’s widget to Text Box.

You may add multiple donation boxes to a form to allow contributions to several project in a single donation like on this demo (requires a Business account set up for advanced integration).

Offering a Discount

FormSmarts allows you to offer three types of discounts on your online payments forms: fixed amount discounts, discount percentage and discount codes. The two latter discount schemes only work with advanced integration.

Handling International Payments

To request a payment in a currency other than US dollars, simply change the currency code in the item’s description. For example, use (€60 EUR) to receive a payment in Euros, (£60 GBP) for a payment in Sterlings, and ($60 CAD) to request a payment in Canadian dollars. Note that the 3-letter currency code is required because a currency symbol may be used by more than one currency. For example, USD, CAD, and AUD will all use the dollar sign ($).

The text of the button inviting the user to proceed to payment is displayed in his preferred language, in any of the supported languages.

Reconciling Form Responses & Payment Data

With Advanced PayPal Integration, the order form is only sent to the seller after the payment went through. However with the Standard PayPal Integration that comes with FormSmarts Pro, the seller has to manually reconcile order forms and payments.

If the name and email address submitted as part of form data don’t match those in the Paypal account that was used to send the payment, you will need to reconcile each form submission with the corresponding payment using the FormSmarts reference number.

The FormSmarts reference number is the 25-character ID that is given to users on the confirmation page, and is shown in the subject of the email notification we send you. The same reference number will appear in the payment details in your Paypal account (Transaction Details screen, under the Custom heading).

How Payment Integration Works

To ensure money is sent to the correct PayPal account, your primary PayPal email address must match your FormSmarts login. You can easily change your login. You may receive payments to multiple PayPal accounts with Advanced Integration and a compatible FormSmarts account.

To avoid users having to enter the same information twice if paying by credit card (on the form and on the payment screen), we will attempt to pass their first name, last name, email, postal address, and country to PayPal.

  • Make sure you name the First Name and Last Name fields exactly like this.
  • To allow FormSmarts to recognize an address and populate the billing address on PayPal (Advanced Integration only), name the relevant fields like on this form or this one.

PayPal form / PayPal integration features are only available to FormSmarts Pro and FormSmarts Business members.

Redirecting Users to Your Site After Payment

To redirect users to you website after they have completed payment, visit the Form Details screen of the form builder and set the Return URL of the form to your site’s URL.

We welcome your feedback about payment integration.

Advanced vs. Standard PayPal Integration

Business accounts include both the standard PayPal integration described on this page and advanced PayPal integration. Pro accounts only include standard PayPal integration. Advanced integration offers many benefits over standard integration.

Posted by FormSmarts on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm in form builder.
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45 Responses to “How to Build a PayPal Form”

You need a FormSmarts Pro account to use Paypal Integration. Just wanted to make this clear, because although the post is tagged “pro”, it’s not explicitly written anywhere.

Posted by: Paul | May 13th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

A user emailed us asking whether she would need to disclose her Paypal details to FormSmarts in order to use Paypal integration. We want to make it very clear that you do NOT need to disclose your Paypal password in order to use Paypal integration. We will NEVER ask you to reveal your Paypal password. The only information FormSmarts needs to know is your Paypal login (email address).

Well, it’s nice to know I need “pro” to integrate Paypal after trying to make it work four times ;-) That’s the main reason I came. But I’m doing a public service site and already taking a loss so it would be nice to try this out and make sure it works the way I need it to before I spring for fifty bucks.

Posted by: Jim Mooney | August 14th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Jim,
I’m sorry if we didn’t make it clear that this was a Pro feature. I’ve switched your account to Pro-test mode so you are able to test Paypal integration with your form.

If you have any questions, feel free to use the live Ask FormSmarts box.

Hi,
The forms are very good and paypal works really well!

Any idea when you will be able to add Google checkout support?
Thanks

Hi,
We haven’t got a release date yet, but next version of FormSmarts Payment Integration will include Google Checkout. Subscribe to our Twitter/Facebook feed for updates.

I want to use Paypal integration for prospective members to 1) tell us about themselves and 2) donate the annual membership fee. The problem is that the site visitor would not be choosing from multiple choices, so a pulldown list or a radio box will not work for this (Formsmarts is enforcing a rule that a radio box must have at least two options).

Right now, I have faked that by having a radio box with two choices: one year membership donation or two. The problem is that the PTSA does not want to ask for two year’s worth of donation.

We need the equivalent of Paypal’s “Donate” button (with fixed dollar amount).

Patrick,
Simply contact FormSmarts Support asking that we manually remove the unwanted radio button.

So, this is cool, if i can build a form that not only passes the info on to paypal, but sends me an email with ALL the requested info (even the fields that PayPal does NOT need). Can this be done?

Yes Todd, we pass on to PayPal the information they need to process the payment, such as product details & quantity, customer email and name if available (as you would expect with a shopping cart), while also sending you all the request information. You can get form data both by email and as a downloadable Excel report.

I have a customer that needs a form for accepting event registrations and pay with PayPal. A key piece of this is the pricing varies by the date. So for example:
1st Payment – 8/10/2010 – $950.00
After 8/20/2010 – $1,140.00
2nd Payment – 9/10/2010 – $1,225.00
after – 9/20/2010 -$1,558.00

Can that be done? Also those payment can vary based on options they choose.

This falls into the nothing is ever easy category.

Thanks,
Tom

Posted by: Tom | June 14th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Tom,
Many of our customers who use FormSmarts to power an event registration form initially sell early-bird registrations at a lower price, then at some date change the registration fee to a regular price. It doesn’t provide much additional customer value for us to automate a process that is only ever going to happen once (twice in your case): just log on to FormSmarts the days when prices need to be changed and update them manually (or ask your customer to do so).
FormSmarts forms are dynamic content, so any change you make in your account will show immediately on your website. There is no need to re-publsh the embed code.

Regarding your second question, you can include as many chargeable items (i.e. priced options) as you need. All selected options will be added up on the payment page on Paypal.

If registrants have to pay twice, I would recommend creating another form for the second payment.

Wow! I am very impressed with your quick reply.

Thanks for the info.
Tom

Posted by: Tom | June 15th, 2010 at 11:05 am

We would like to add to our membership form an ability for the user to specify additional, discretionary donations he or she might like to make to specific programs (in addition to the fixed, annual membership donation). For example:

Culture Connection Donation: _____
School Level Donation: _____

Then, have all donations (fixed and discretionary, if any) passed on to Paypal. The key here is that the *user* enters the dollar amount for the discretionary donations. Is there any way to do this?

Do I need to have a PayPal account set up before setting this up?

Posted by: Heather | August 30th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Heather,
You don’t need to have a PayPal account before setting this up, but you will eventually need to create one to receive payments. See “Get a FormSmarts Pro Account Free!” above to find out the advantage of creating this account via this link.

In order to integrate PayPal with a form, I need to use the PayPal account’s email address as my FormSmarts Login.
Is there any way to create another form with a different PayPal account while the first form is still active?

Posted by: David | November 18th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

David,
For security reasons, you can only link a FormSmarts account to one PayPal account. This is simply because money is involved and whoever controls the FormSmarts account can change every form in it.

I also have a customer that needs forms for event registration, and as I have read in the posts it is possible to make and integrate with PayPal, I am willing to use your platform, but my main concern is if as a Web Developer with different customers, will I be able to different forms integrated with different paypal accounts with the same FormSmarts Pro account?
Or will I have to open a different account for every customer?

Posted by: Dustin Suarez | December 29th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Dustin,
For security reasons, you can only link a FormSmarts account to one PayPal account. This is simply because money is involved and whoever controls the FormSmarts account can change every form in it.

I tried to open a PRO account for a customer yesterday which for some reason I couldn’t so I guessed signing up for the FREE account first and the upgrading would be the solution?
The problem is that my customer isn’t getting the Confirmation email so we can sign in to the account and do the upgrade… We have double checked all of your recommendations and still not getting confirmation email.
I don’t want to put the email address of the account here… But the extension is @mail.com (not very common, so I think it would be easy for you guys to find in your records. My customer’s name is Manny.
Please Help finding what could possibly be wrong…
Thanks in advance

Posted by: Dustin Suarez | December 31st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Hi.
I see your reply to Dustin above. My issue is that I create websites for a number of local charities and community organisations, each of whom has their own PayPal account. From what I am reading here, all of their various payments HAVE to come to my PayPal account as I have the FormSmarts account. Is that correct? If so, any plans to change this please? Otherwise I have to pay for multiple copies of FormSmarts under different login IDs.
Thanks.

Posted by: Gordon Stuart | May 29th, 2011 at 4:54 am

Gordon,
Because money is involved and for security reasons, you may only receive payments to the PayPal account matching your FormSmarts account’s login email address. Each organization you’re creating PayPal forms for should have their own FormSmarts account, in the same way they need to have their own PayPal account.

Hi.
I set up a “membership” page for a local charity.. but I have noticed that PayPal is adding a £4.99pp Post and Packing fee that is not mentioned anywhere on my Form. Can you advise where PayPal is picking this up from?
Thanks.
:-)

Gordon,
You must have set a P&P rule in your PayPal account. The rule will then be applied to all payments you receive via PayPal.

Hello.. AGAIN..!
Re. the previous post, you were right, the charity I have created the website for also have an online shop where they have applied PayPal P&P rules. It seems that for their “add to cart” buttons there is some HTML code that can be applied to over-ride these rules.. but my FormSmarts form does not use such buttons. Is there a way that your generated forms can over-ride a PayPal profile setting for VAT and P&P..?
Thank you for your help.
Gordon

No, I’m afraid you can’t override VAT or P&P preferences at this time.

Hi,

I inserted a donate button on my website and i have a basic paypal account, not business or premium, will it still work?

Posted by: The Art Expo | April 25th, 2012 at 8:04 am

Yes, however people will only be able to donate using an existing PayPal account, they won’t be able to use their credit or debit card. That’s obviously a serious limitation.

I am creating a registration form for a fun run and would like to offer a discount if a participant belongs to a certain club.
If they check the box, their total would be reduced by a fixed amount.
How do I go about implementing this?

Posted by: Nancy | May 9th, 2012 at 2:24 am

The syntax for discounts on FormSmarts is a negative price, i.e. “Club Member Discount (-$10 USD)”, like the ‘Early bird discount’ on this registration form demo.

What is the dollar limit? Is there special characterization for entering amounts greater than $999?

Posted by: Matt | June 23rd, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Matt, amounts are not limited to $999. What type of payment (general payment, donation, subscription form) are you talking about? Please let me know the URL of your form (e.g. f8s.co/lqh) so I can help you further.

http://formsmarts.com/form/111q

Input field (drop-down list):

Please select sponsorship level
Entrepreneurs ($10,000.00 USD)
Architects ($5,000.00 USD)
Developers ($2,500.00 USD)
Builders ($1,000.00 USD)
Brick & Mortar ($75.00 USD)

Posted by: Matt | June 24th, 2012 at 8:51 am

Got it… I changed “Brick & Mortar” to “Brick and Mortar” and it works!!

Posted by: Matt | June 24th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Matt, you will also need to remove the comma separating the thousands. Note that for any amount greater than $1000, you should really use advanced paypal integration (included with all Business accounts). The 10k option won’t work with standard integration. Also, because PayPal won’t allow you to mix up donations and regular payments, you should create a separate donation form and add a link to it on your form http://f8s.co/111q. This will allow someone to purchase a $1000 Builder sponsorship and also donate $500.

Is it possible to offer % discounts? I’d like to offer 10% discount to seniors. How can I enter that discount option?

Mandi, FormSmarts only supports fixed discounts at this time. The syntax is , see this registration form demo. The syntax is My Discount (-$10 USD).

Hey – If I buy the “PRO” account – can I create a “make this a reoccurring donation” an option on my donations form that is integrated with my PAYPAL account?

Posted by: deanna washington | August 28th, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Hi, I am desperately trying to find a form builder that will allow me to limit the amount of payments made. Can yours do this?

Hi Deanna, please see our response to your message on our Facebook page.

Hi Jacy, do you mean limit the amount of payments made for each transaction? or the the amount of payments received during the lifetime of the form?

Please select sponsorship level
Entrepreneurs ($10,000.00 USD)
Architects ($5,000.00 USD)
Developers ($2,500.00 USD)
Builders ($1,000.00 USD)
Brick and Mortar – Single Ticket ($75.00 USD)

anything above the “Brick and Mortar” level does not forward the form to paypal, is there a limit??

Hi, is it possible to create a form with PayPal payment where the user has the choice between paying a one time fixed amount or spreading that payment over a year?
Thanks.
Cal

Posted by: Cal Vornberger | September 26th, 2013 at 8:45 am

Hi Cal, yes, it is possible to have to payment options, one fix amount as discussed on this page and a payment in installments over a year.

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About the Form Builder Blog

The Online Form Builder Blog is published by FormSmarts, a web form service providing all you need to create a form and publish it online in minutes. FormSmarts makes it easy to build a form and embed it on your site. You can then get form submissions by email or store them on FormSmarts and download an Excel report. Learn more about the many other benefits of FormSmarts.