Posts Tagged ‘paypal’
FormSmarts offers a really simple way to create bills that customers can pay online: just create a billing form like the one below, then use a tool on FormSmarts.com each time you want to generate a bill for a specific client and amount.
Make a Billing Form
We only need to create the billing form once, we’ll then reuse it each time we need to create an invoice.
Here our example has two main input fields: an email field to uniquely identify the customer and a text box for the amount we want to bill them for. You can view and test the billing form. We’ve also made a slightly more elaborate example that allows a client to add a gratuity with a second amount box.
Note how both the Email and Amount Due fields are fixed: the values preset in the pre-filled URL can’t be changed by the client. We’ll cover how to do this in the next section, for now I need to explain how to set up the Amount Due input field so FormSmarts recognizes it as a fee to be paid by the bill recipient.
Add an Amount Box
- Add a Text Box form control (widget)
- Name the input field Amount Due ($ USD). The ‘Amount Due’ label can be whatever you prefer, but you must stick to the same format and specify the currency as shown.
- Set its Allowed Content value to Positive Number
- If you’ve already configured PayPal integration, you’re all set. Otherwise your need to associate your PayPal account with FormSmarts.
Create a Pre-Filled Bill
- Set the Method to
- Set the API Endpoint to
https://formsmarts.com/api/v1/forms/Form_ID/prefilled_url, replacing Form_ID with the ID of your form.
- Enter the Request Data as illustrated below and described in the documentation, then submit.
https://formsmarts.com/form/2301?mode=h5, its Form ID is
Preset Values & Make Fields Read-Only
We enter the preset value of the email and amount fields under Request Data, and make sure those can’t be modified by the user:
- Pre-fill the first input field on the form (
pf_f1) with the value firstname.lastname@example.org
- Preset the second input field (
pf_f2) to 187.59
- Prevent the user from modifying either fields by making them read-only (
email@example.com pf_f2=187.59 pf_ro1=1 pf_ro2=2
Find out more about how to pre-fill your forms and how to automatically generate pre-filled URLs if you need to create too many bills to do it manually.
Did you know you can offer paid memberships through a simple online form?
If you thought offering online memberships was challenging because it involved a recurring payment each year (or month), you’d be wrong. Making a membership or subscription form with FormSmarts is (almost) as easy as making a one-time payment form.
Creating a Recurring Membership Form with FormSmarts
What Is a Recurring Membership?
Before discussing how to make a membership form, let’s first define what a membership is: A member of an organization or membership site may take part in the activities or otherwise claim the benefits exclusively offered by the organization or site to its members during the period of time covered by the membership (one year or month or any other period of time) by paying a membership fee. To remain an active member after the initial period of time, a member needs to pay again. Because most members want renew their membership, membership fees tend to be recurring payments.
When someone signs up for a recurring payment, also called subscription, they agree to be charged a fee at the time they subscribe and again after each period of time specified — until they cancel their membership.
How Can I Make a Recurring Membership Form?
The short answer is: simply by writing “Recurring Membership ($100 USD/year)” on a form. FormSmarts will understand that the person filling out the form should be charged US$100 each year for a membership called “Recurring Membership”.
Like with other types of payment forms, you may add a recurring fee to a form in a radio button option, check box, drop-down list option or text block.
FormSmarts supports the following recurring periods and (optional) number of installments:
- Recurring Monthly Subscription ($15 USD/month)
- Recurring 6-Month Membership ($60 USD/6 months)
- Recurring Yearly Membership ($100 USD/year)
- options: day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s)
Recurring Times/Number of Installments
- Quarterly Subscription (4 x $20 USD/3 months)
- Optional, if Recurring Times is not specified, the recurring payment runs until it is canceled
- Think of Recurring Times (4 in this case) as a number of installments
Multiple Recurring Fees
You may allow users to select more than one recurring fee on a form like on the membership form shown on the screenshot above (feel free to try the demo), but all fees must then have the same Recurring Period and Recurring Times.
When someone selects multiple fees, FormSmarts will charge them each time for the total amount.
Offering a Trial Period
Many membership sites offer new members a trial period allowing them to access the site at a low or no cost before having to pay the full membership fee. A fee with terms (i.e. Recurring Period and Recurring Times) different from the first recurring fee listed on a form is interpreted by FormSmarts as a trial period. Our membership form demo has a trial period.
Integration with Other FormSmarts Features
- If cloud storage is enabled, the details of a membership and all associated payments are listed on FormSmarts on the page corresponding to the initial form entry. A link is provided in every email notification.
- FormSmarts sends a confirmation email to the subscriber after each successful payment
- FormSmarts notifies the account owner when a recurring payment is received
We are pleased to announce that FormSmarts now also supports recurring donations. A recurring donation allows a contributor to sign up for a donation plan to give the same amount at regular intervals, typically every month or year.
Creating a Recurring Donation Form
- Add a text box with the field name formatted as My Donation ($ USD/month)
- Set the field’s Allowed Content (aka. data type) to Number
- In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using advanced integration.
FormSmarts supports the following variations:
- Cause Description ($ USD/month)
- Cause Description ($ USD/2 weeks)
- options: day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s)
- Cause Description (12 x $ USD/month)
- Think of Recurring Times (12 in this case) as a number of installments
- If Recurring Times is not specified, the recurring donation runs until it is canceled
Contribution to Multiple Causes
As illustrated on the screenshot above and in this demo, you may add multiple donation boxes to a form to give contributors the opportunity to choose the causes they wish to donate to and allow them to contribute to several causes in a single donation. In the example above, the donor is signing up to give a total of $300 each month; with $200 to support Project A and $100 going towards Projects B.
We’ve completely redesigned the user interface of our SuperCart shopping cart to provide a more refined and intuitive user experience.
What Is SuperCart?
SuperCart is FormSmarts’ shopping cart.
SuperCart allows a user to submit multiple payment forms — each with one or more priced items on it — and pay for all of them at the end.
A typical use case for SuperCart is to allow a customer to register an open-ended number of guests for an event:
- The customer first enters the information of the first participant and chooses the relevant registration options.
- Once the customer has submitted the form, all fees and priced options are listed in the shopping cart. In the example below, the registration options for the first guest include two fees: Standard Registration and Lunch & Dinner.
- The customer is presented with two choices on the confirmation page: Continue Shopping or Proceed to Payment
- He can submit the form again as many time as needed to register more participants
- Once done, he can pay for all registrations
How to Create a SuperCart Form
Building a SuperCart form is easy:
- Create a form with fees formatted like on any FormSmarts payment form.
- Set the Return URL of the form to the FormSmarts.com URL given by the form builder. If you prefer to embed the form onto your site (which we don’t recommend with SuperCart), use instead the URL of the page where the form is embedded.
- In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using SuperCart.
If you haven’t already done so, remember to set up your PayPal account for payment integration.
Advanced Use Cases
Most users set up SuperCart to allow their customers to submit one specific form (e.g. registration form for event A) multiple times to register multiple participants, as presented in the scenario above.
SuperCart however allows different forms within the same cart. This would allow, for example, members of an organization to:
- Buy or renew their membership
- then register for a first event
- then register for a second event
- then pay for the total amount.
And of course, what works for one member works for several…
SuperCart also supports donations.
The new shopping cart is only available with the latest generation of FormSmarts forms. If you’re still using an older version, please update your site now.
FormSmarts allows you to offer three types of discounts to your customers on your PayPal forms: discounts for a fixed amount, percentage discounts and discount codes.
Fixed Amount Discount
- Syntax: My Discount (-$5 USD)
- Example form with a fixed amount discount
- You may offer more than one discount, but not more than there are paid items selected.
- Syntax: Discount Percentage (-25%)
- Example form featuring a discount rate
- You may only add one discount rate to a form
- Percentage discounts are not supported on SuperCart forms
- If you’re offering a fixed discount on the same form, both may not be selected at the same time
Last but not least, FormSmarts supports discount codes. With discount codes, the buyer only get the discount if they enter a valid coupon code on the form.
- A discount code offers either a percentage discount or fixed amount discount
- Try this example with the discount code FSCP-DEMO1
- You may set up a discount code with a validity period by providing a start and end date (not supported with Starter accounts)
Early Bird Discounts
To offer an early bird discount on a registration form, create a discount code with a start and end date. The discount will only be applied if the form is submitted between those dates.
How to Offer Discount Codes on a Form
To create a discount code and associate it with a form:
- Add a text box to the form selecting the data type Letters + Numbers
- Create the discount code on FormSmarts with the API Console as documented and shown in this video.
- Promo codes must start with FSCP- and may only contain alphanumeric characters and dash.
A little known feature of FormSmarts’ Advanced PayPal Integration is SuperCart. This feature allows a user to submit multiple online forms that include a payment and pay once for the total amount at the end, thereby providing the buyer with a better ‘shopping’ experience and reducing the seller’s PayPal fees. Let’s review two typical uses of SuperCart.
Note: This article discusses an early version of SuperCart. Although it content has been updated and is still relevant, please also read our introduction to the SuperCart Shopping Cart.
Use Case 1: Event Registration Form
The first typical use for SuperCart is to create an online form to register attendees for an event. For illustration purposes, I’ve made a registration form for a conference. We want each attendee to be able to choose a different registration package, pick the seminars they would like to attend and optionally add an accommodation package. With SuperCart, a user can register multiple delegates by submitting the registration form for each one, then pay for all of them at once. In the illustration above, we submit the form once to register Pat selecting the standard registration option, then again for Jim, opting this time for a premium registration and adding accommodation. We then proceed to PayPal to pay for both registrations. This short video shows how this works in practice.
Use Case 2: Order Form
Another common use of this feature is to create an order form allowing a buyer to purchase several products or services while being able to customize options for each one. I’ve built an order form demo to allow customers to configure and order goods (greetings cards in this example). Each product can be customized based on the options selected on the order form. With SuperCart, the buyer will be able to order as many products as they like by submitting an order form for each one, then pay for all of them at once.
How to Create a SuperCart Form
While understanding the concepts behind SuperCart may not appear straightforward, building a SuperCart form is easy:
- Set the Return URL of the form to the URL of the page the form is embedded into. If you’re using the standalone form, enter the FormSmarts.com URL given by the form builder instead.
- In the Form Details screen, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using SuperCart.
If you haven’t already done so, remember to set up your PayPal account for Advanced PayPal Integration.
When You Should and Shouldn’t Use SuperCart
Set up your PayPal forms with SuperCart whenever you would like to allow a buyer to pay once for multiple form submissions and providing a single form would affect the form’s usability because each registration/order has too many options or you expect someone will submit more two or three registrations/orders. If it’s unlikely buyers will submit more than one form you should use a regular payment with Advanced PayPal Integration instead.
FormSmarts PayPal integration is as easy to use as our popular PayPal form feature, but it provides several additional benefits, mainly:
- FormSmarts only notifies you of a new registration (or more generally, payment form submission) after the payment is confirmed and verified (no need for manual verification)
- Your customer receives an automated email receipt with a copy of the data submitted and a payment confirmation. For registration forms, this can work as an e-ticket.
- PayPal Integration works seamlessly with other FormSmarts features (export to Excel, PDF reports, API).
What Are the Benefits of PayPal Integration?
FormSmarts’ old PayPal integration was easy to use and set up as it required no change to your PayPal account. A downside to this was that FormSmarts had no way to know if the payment went through or not, and you — the seller — had to manually reconcile payments and the corresponding form responses using the FormSmarts Reference Number. That was usually not an issue for small sales volumes, but could quickly become so as sales increased. We’ve now fully automated payment processing and integrated it with the form processing platform. Here are the benefits:
- No need to manually reconcile form responses with payment notifications from PayPal
- The seller is only notified of a registration/order when the payment has gone through
- The transaction won’t appear in Excel exports until the buyer has paid
- FormSmarts verifies that the payment details match data submitted on the form (e.g. amounts, quantities)
- Excel exports combine data submitted through the form and details of the corresponding payments.
- FormSmarts sends a confirmation email to the buyer with both the order details and a payment confirmation. If you have verified your website and uploaded a logo, your site URL and logo will appear in the email.
- Payment processing is fully automated and if you’re using online/PDF reporting or export to Excel, your registration forms are on autopilot.
- You can further automate processing or integrate FormSmarts with your website or another web service using the FormSmarts API.
Setting Up PayPal Integration
This video shows how to configure your form and set up your PayPal account for PayPal Integration. Note: the video no longer reflects the current version of the PayPal site, please use the direct link to the IPN Settings screen below.
Add Fees to the Form & Set It Up to Integrate with PayPal
To set up PayPal integration, first create a payment form with prices formatted as shown in the PayPal integration page of the site. Then visit the Forms tab of the form builder and select Integrate with PayPal in the Submit Actions tab of the Form Details screen, as illustrated below.
Add Your FormSmarts Notification URL to PayPal
It’s now time to log in to your PayPal account to add your Notification URL. PayPal will use this URL to communicate with FormSmarts. You’ll find your notification URL in the Security Settings section of your FormSmarts account. The URL contains your private security key, so don’t share it with anyone.
Use this link to access the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) page of your PayPal account, then tap Edit Settings and paste your Notification URL in the box as shown on the screenshot below. Make sure Receive IPN messages is enabled before saving.
You can alternatively navigate to the IPN Settings screen from the homepage of your PayPal account.
Payment integration will not work until you have added your FormSmarts Notification URL to your PayPal account.
Did You Link Multiple Emails to PayPal?
If you’ve associated more than one email address to your PayPal account, the email you’ve selected as your Primary PayPal email must be the same as your FormSmarts login email.
FormSmarts will reject payments associated with an email address other than your FormSmarts login email for security reasons.
If PayPal shows an error on the checkout page when testing your first form, you may need to update your PayPal account settings.
Many websites allow visitors to access online content and services for a monthly subscription fee. Creating a subscription form is somewhat different from creating a regular payment form, because it involves setting up a recurring payment, so that the buyer is automatically billed a fixed amount of money at a fixed interval until the subscription is canceled. The online form builder’s payment integration feature now supports PayPal Subscriptions.
Creating a Subscription Form
Creating a subscription form is quick and easy:
- If you haven’t got a FormSmarts account yet, sign up for a FormSmarts Business account, then create a form with the form generator
- In the Form Details screen of the form generator, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal
- Add radio buttons, a drop-down list or a checkbox, and enter the description, price and duration of subscription options formatted as My Subscription ($19.99 USD/month), as shown on the screenshot above and in this demo.
Duration of a Subscription
The time before another payment is due can be specified in days, weeks, months, or years. The form builder understands the following formatting variations:
- Monthly Subscription ($9.99 USD/Month)
- 30-Day Subscription ($9.99 USD/30 days)
Like in the example presented in the first section, you may specify a trial period for the subscription. This is typically used to give a free trial subscription to the buyer before he is charged for the first billing cycle. The buyer will not have to pay anything if he cancels the subscription before the end of the trial period.
- The trial period doesn’t need to be free
- You may specify up to two trial periods
- Any trial periods must be placed on the form after the main subscription specification.
Payment in Installments
A payment in installments is a recurring payment where the number of payments is fixed.
FormSmarts supports installments with the following syntax:
- Payment in 12 Installments (12x$9.99 USD/month)
- Try this demo
The recent upgrade introduces some changes in FormSmarts Payment Integration (PayPal Form) feature.
- Chargeable items may now be placed in check boxes. This should prove valuable in situations where you’re building a form with one or several optional, individually priced items.
- Payment button instead of link. We’ve replaced the payment link on the confirmation page by a more outstanding button.
- Form ID now shown in PayPal report. Up to now, when you needed to reconcile a payment with the corresponding form submission, you could only rely on the FormSmarts Reference Number. This is the unique ID shown in the subject of emails containing form data and in Form to Excel reports. The same ID appears in the payment details in your Paypal account, and also in the CSV report you can generate. We’ve now added the Form ID (see screenshot) to the information available on PayPal, so you may quickly identify which form each payment is for.
We warmly welcome your feedback.
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 online 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 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.
You can also 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 membership or 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$9.99 USD/month). See this sample form.
Building a Donation Form
FormSmarts Payment Integration also supports PayPal Donations. To create a contribution form:
- In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal
- Add a field to your form with the field name formatted as My Donation ($ USD)
- Set the field’s data type to Positive Number
- Set the field’s widget to Text Box.
You may add multiple donation boxes to a form to allow contributions towards multiple projects or causes in a single donation like on this demo.
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.
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 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.
Redirecting Users to Your Site After Payment
To redirect users to you website after they have completed payment on PayPal, 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.