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:
- an event registration form (registration form demo)
- a booking form (booking form demo)
- an online order form (order form demo)
- a subscription form for recurring payments (PayPal subscription demo)
- a PayPal donation form (donation form demo)
- and any other web forms which you want to integrate with PayPal
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
Collecting a Payment on a Form
To request a payment on a form:
- Sign up for a FormSmarts Business account and create a form with the form builder
- In the Form Details screen, set the On Submission option to Show Confirmation & Integrate with PayPal
- 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.
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
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:
- Position the quantity field immediately after the one listing products for sale
- Set the field type to Positive Integer.
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.
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 form is only sent to the seller after the payment went through. However with the Standard PayPal Integration, 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 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.
FormSmarts allows you to personalize the confirmation message that is displayed after a form has been submitted successfully.
Default Confirmation Message
Like all messages shown during the form submission process, the default confirmation message is localized. If you change the confirmation message, users will see your personalized message instead of the default confirmation message in their own language.
You can always revert to the default confirmation message by erasing the text in the Personalized Message box.
Links & Formatting
You may insert links in the confirmation message and add basic formatting with this wiki-like syntax.
With the new version of FormSmarts, Pro users can now subscribe to form results using one or more of the following mechanisms:
- Email subscription. Subscribe one or more email recipients.
- Stored form results. Aggregate form submissions on FormSmarts, and
download them later as Microsoft Excel documents.
A notable change is of course the ability to send forms to several email addresses. The allowance of one email recipient per form for users of the free service stays unchanged.
The new subscription mechanism should best fit the needs of most users. We welcome your feedback about this development.
We’ve now released the first international version of FormSmarts. Form users now see instructions, error messages, and confirmation messages in their preferred language. FormSmarts is already available in 27 languages, and more translations are under way.
The languages supported are: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian . If your language is not listed and you are willing and able to translate FormSmarts into your language, sign up here.
Other changes worth mentioning:
- Create forms in any language. Because of the character encoding that was used, web forms could before only be designed using a West-European language. FormSmarts now supports all languages.
- Now using ISO date format. The date format accepted was changed to the ISO format YYYY-MM-DD. Note that because most users enter dates with a date-picker, the impact of this change is very small in practice. The format used on the confirmation page and in email notifications has not been changed.
- New form URL format. The default form URL format was changed to accommodate forms which title is not in English. The previous URL format that was based on form title is still supported for backward compatibility.
How the Language of a Form is Selected
Each time a form is loaded, FormSmarts customizes it based on the language preferences set in the user’s browser. Common text, error, help and confirmation messages will be displayed in the form user’s preferred language, not necessarily in the language you used to create the form. For example, if you built a form in English but some of your visitors have set Spanish as their preferred language, those users will see the form questions and the text you entered in English, and help and confirmation messages in Spanish.
Setting a Form to Use a Specific Language
Dynamic language selection explained in the last section provides the best user experience in most cases. This approach however becomes awkward when the main language of the form and the preferred language of the form user employ a different reading direction. If you have built a form in a right-to-left (RTL) language (Arabic or Hebrew) and expect all form users to understand that language and a number of them to use a browser set to a left-to-right (LTR) language auch as English, then you should set the language of the form as explained next.
Dynamic language selection most-usually provides the best user experience and we recommend against setting forms to a specific language except in the case discussed above.
To set the language of a form to a specific language, set the lang parameter of the form URL to the ISO code of that language. So if the URL of your form is http://formsmarts.com/form/lqh and you would like to set it to always display in Hebrew, you would need to use the URL http://formsmarts.com/form/lqh?lang=he or change the URL in the form snippet published on your site to http://formsmarts.com/form/lqh?mode=embed&lay=1&lang=he.
If you’re using FormSmarts' PayPal integration on a payment form aimed at users in locales with a non-Western European language, you need to set up your PayPal account to use the UTF-8 encoding.
We’ve started to translate FormSmarts’ form handler into other languages. When the international version is released, form users will see instructions, error messages, and confirmation messages in their preferred language.
International form owners will welcome this move, but not only them.
- FormSmarts users with international websites will be able to create forms in English, while making them available to an international audience without any extra efforts;
- a U.S. user with a preferred language set to Spanish in his browser will see messages in that language.
Note that the internationalization in progress only applies to the form processor at this time. At the rate we introduce new features to the form builder, we wouldn’t be able to keep translations in sync.
We’ve already emailed international users to ask anyone able and willing to translate FormSmarts into their own language to sign up. If you would like to contribute but didn’t get the email, please register here.
Update: We would like to thank all the users who have already volunteered to translate FormSmarts into their language. Our most wanted languages are currently:
Chinese (Simplified) / 中文 (简体)
- Japanese / 日本語
Russian / русский
- Italian / italiano
Polish / polski
- Korean / 한국어
Form Widget Size Calculation Upgraded
To accommodate users who need to create forms with a large number of fields, we’ve recently introduced a much more sophisticated way to calculate form widget size. If forms on your site currently display a scrollbar, we strongly advise you to upgrade the form embedding code.
Refresh the Code on Your Website When You Add a Field
Once you have inserted the HTML code for the form widget on your site, we cannot resize it at our end. That means that whenever you add more input fields, you must refresh the code on your website. If you don’t do it, a scrollbar may show up, and some users may not be able to see the bottom of the form.
Space at the Bottom of Web Forms Is Normal
The spare space at the bottom of web forms is there for a reason: leaving enough space for error messages that may occur during form submission. Here again, if you remove that space, a scrollbar may show up, and some users may not see the bottom of the form.
Optimizing form widget size is not a simple issue because it depends on the rendering characteristics of the diverse web browsers, as well as on the different aspects of each form. If you believe the size of a form you’ve created is not optimal, let us know.
We’re pleased to now support two form layouts.
Question (a.k.a. field name) and input field aligned horizontally (default):
Question and input field aligned vertically:
Which Layout Should You Use?
Most people find web forms designed with the first layout clearer and easier to read. That’s why we use it by default whenever you create a form.
The best layout to use depends on the length of the questions asked on the form.
- When a form is made of short questions like name or email address, prefer the first layout. This is what you should use, for example, for contact forms.
- When the form contains longer questions like Why do you want to work for us?, you should rather use the second layout. It turns out that you should use the second layout for most complex forms like web surveys and job application forms.
How to Change the Layout of a Form
You can change the layout of a form in the form details page. Note that if you’re using a form widget embedded into your site, you must update the HTML code on your site whenever you switch layout.
This is simply because the layout affects the size of the form. Forms accessed by their FormSmarts.com URL don’t have this restriction.
Any Feedback About Form Layouts?
We welcome your feedback about this feature.
Whenever someone uses one of your forms, we email you the form submission straight away. That is, at this time, the only way we support for you to access form results.
That’s great if you need to collect time-sensitive information that needs to be processed individually. For example, for contact forms or order forms.
For most individuals and small businesses, their email account is where data is safest. Free email services like Gmail or Yahoo give you reliable data storage, that’s an advantage that is often overlooked.
But sometimes what you want is really to collect form data, store it somewhere, and use it later. That’s what you need for medium and large scale surveys, registration forms, and the likes.
Stored form results is the next big thing coming up on FormSmarts.
What Will Change with Stored Form Results?
When this feature becomes available, you’ll have the option to store form submissions on FormSmarts. You’ll then be able to download them, export them to Microsoft Excel, get them emailed to you weekly, or get them via a private RSS feed.
Stored Form Results will only be available to FormSmarts Pro customers.
Anything to Say?
We’re open to suggestions about other ways to let users retrieve stored form data.
Anyone using a standard text field for dates should upgrade to the new date type.
Fields with the date type show as a text box, with a datepicker poping up when the field is selected. A datepicker allows users to input dates in an intuitive and interactive way, therefore reducing the risk of errors.
Another reason for using a datepicker is to alleviate the date format problem. Because of date formatting differences, 12/07/2008 means December 7th in the U.S., but July 12th in Europe. Although we initially thought of adopting the ISO/W3C date format “yyyy-mm-dd”, we eventually preferred the U.S. format “mm/dd/yyyy”. That is, until we release an internationalized version of FormSmarts.
Because users don’t interact directly with the text field (unless they want to), but rather with the datepicker, they don’t have to be aware of date formatting issues.
To avoid any misunderstandings, dates are displayed as Sunday July 20, 2008.
Any questions or comments? Leave a reply. We are in particular interested in feedback from non U.S. users.
We’re going to add over the week-end two new input field types: country, and date. You should upgrade any web forms currently using a standard text field for country or date to the new types.
When to Use the Country Type
Choose the country type whenever you want to show on a form a dropdown list with the 280 odd ISO country names.
Visitor Country Selected by Default
A country list field is typically used to ask the visitor about his/her country of residence. You’ve certainly already experienced the frustration of having to search for your country in a long list each time you fill out a form. At FormSmarts, we want to save time to everyone, so the visitor’s country is automatically selected by default.
That way, users only have to change the selection if the question asks them about a country different from their country of residence. For example, “Where did you travel last time you went abroad?”
Reducing the time needed to fill a form helps reduce form abandonment.
Any questions or comments? Leave a reply.
P.S. We’ll present the date type in another post.