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Integration with PayPal

January 2018

This section describes the steps required to obtain and configure a Business PayPal account to interface with COMS.

  • A PayPal account is free and easy to obtain.
  • You need, however, to own or obtain a PayPal Business account in order to be able to accept credit card payments with PayPal. This is different from the two other types of accounts (Personal account and Premier account).
  • Payments collected through PayPal can be manually transferred at any time to your bank account.
  • PayPal takes a commission on all payments. The fees are listed on the PayPal website. They depend on the volume of transactions and the country where your business is based.
  • For example, US fees can be found at https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees, while for Germany, the fees are listed at https://www.paypal.com/de/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees.

Create a PayPal business account

  • If your organisation already owns a Business account, there is no need to open a new one and you can skip this section.
  • On the PayPal website of your country, find the page dedicated to opening a business account. Fill in the form, making sure you select the Payments Standard plan, which is free of monthly fees.
  • For example, in the US, this page can be found at https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/merchant.
  • In Germany, this page can be found at https://www.paypal.com/de/webapps/mpp/accept-payments-online.
  • PayPal will review your application and decide whether or not to grant you the account.

Check that your PayPal account is a business account

  • Log in to your PayPal account and go to Profile / Account settings / Additional settings (Fig. 1).
  • Find the setting labelled Account type. It should be set to Business.
PayPal account settings

Find the account settings page on your PayPal account

  • The instructions given in this section are valid for an account set to English. You can set the language of your account to English, at least temporarily, to follow these instructions. This can be done at Profile / Account settings / Additional settings / Preferred language (Fig. 1), or the equivalent path in another language (e.g., in German, Mein Profil / Kontoeinstellungen / Zus√§tzliche Einstellungen / Bevorzugte Sprache).
  • Log in to your PayPal account and go to Profile / Account settings / My selling tools (Fig. 1). This page contains a list of settings, under the heading My business setup.
  • All the settings need for the COMS integration can be found on this page.
  • The following sections detail the configuration of these settings.

First group of settings: Website preferences

  • Go to Profile / Account settings / My selling tools.
  • Find the setting labelled Website preferences and click on the Update link.
  • Set the following parameters:
    • Auto Return: On.
    • Payment Data Transfer: Off (important).
      If it is set to On, COMS will not be notified of the payments.
    • Return URL: https://conference-service.com/myconf/.
      myconf should be replaced by the value relevant to your site.
    • PayPal Account Optional: On (Important).
      This option ensures that credit card payments can be made without logging into a PayPal account.
    • Other parameters can be set on that page, but they are not relevant to the COMS integration per se.
  • Save your settings.

Second group of settings: Instant payment notifications

  • Go to Profile / Account settings / My selling tools.
  • Find the setting labelled Instant payment notifications and click on the Update link.
  • Set the following parameters:
    • Notification URL: https://www.conference-service.com/myconf/paypal_ipn.cgi (important).
      myconf should be replaced by the value relevant to your site. Notifications of all transactions will be sent to this address by PayPal. Please double check the URL. If it is mistyped, notifications will not be received.
    • Message delivery: Enabled (important).
  • Save your settings.

Third group of settings: Block payments

  • Go to Profile / Account settings / My selling tools.
  • Find the setting labelled Block payments and click on the Update link.
  • You will be led to a page headed Payment Receiving Preferences.
  • Set the following parameters:
    • Allow payments sent to me in a currency I do not hold: Yes (Important).
    • Block accidental payments: Yes,
    • Credit Card Statement Name: Enter a suitable text that will identify the event organization as the receiver of the fee to the person who has made the payment.
  • Save your settings.

Integrate your PayPal account with COMS

  • Log in to your COMS account and go to Configuration.
  • Find the pages dedicated to the setup of the payment module and input the email address associated with your PayPal account into the system.
The interface should be ready!
Last updated: 04 December 2019