Whether you are setting up a store for one of your customers or designing a payment method for your own customers one of the easiest ways to accept credit card payments online is PayPal.
PayPal offers two basic ways to let your customers pay for products and services. The first which we will cover here is a customized button which is placed on your webpages. The visitor browses your site then clicks the button to make payment using PayPal. The second option which is for larger stores requires you to set up a shopping cart application that has a drop in payment option for PayPal Payments. These shopping carts are third party applications and are suited for businesses with large inventories.
The great thing about PayPal is that you can accept payments for single items from people that do not have a PayPal account. All your customer needs is a valid credit card. However for some options like recurring payments /subscriptions your customer will need to have a PayPal account and you will need to have a PayPal Business account.
The PayPal Button Designer
To get started building buttons for your payments simply visit PayPal’s website and select Sell From Your Website from the Get Paid area of the Menu.
You will be provided with four options: Sell items, sell multiple items, …. sell subscriptions and Donations.
On the button builder page you will be able to set the Base Price, Tax % to be applied and Shipping.
You should give each item a specific name and Inventory ID.
For instance if you had 10 used Craftsman Drills you would build a button for each of them Name them Craftsman Drill and give them inventory IDs 0001 0002 and so on.
Under the Customize Button Box in the center of the page you can add options such as different prices for different sizes of clothing or have your visitor select color.
Once you have completed customizing your button you add the email address where you want payments to be sent. This Email address must be connected to a PayPal account.
Basic button design allows you to quickly provide an interface for your customers but if you are serious about your business then you should take time to use PayPal’s advanced options or a third party shopping cart.
When you generate basic buttons the button will contain html code containing information about the product including the suggested price. Obviously before you send an item to your customer you will verify full payment in your PayPal account. This is a problem and you may see some unscrupulous customers trying to edit the amount they are paying to a lower cost and generating a payment notice to you so check that you have received full payment before processing orders.
If the order is for a service such as a website signup then you can use an advanced feature of the button builder to encrypt a key specifically for each payment. This means that a visitor to your site can not just modify the HTML and send in a lower payment… the key will point to a payment that you have set while logged into your PayPal account and the price will be fixed to that amount.
For more information about the PayPal HTML interface if you are developing your own solution visit: