Ecommerce Templates > PHP Version Help > Payment Processors > PayPal Payments Standard

PayPal Payments Standard

What is PayPal Payments Standard?

PayPal Payments Standard is generally considered the "regular" payment method via PayPal. On checkout customers are taken to a PayPal login screen where they can choose to log into their own account to make payment or pay via credit card if they don't have or prefer not to use their PayPal account. There is a choice of how to fund the payment and once completed the customer is taken back to the store with an order summary. An email is sent to the buyer and the seller notifying them of the purchase along with an overview of what was purchased.

How to integrate PayPal Payments Standard

Click here to create an account with PayPal.

Once you have created your PayPal account, you need to setup the instant payment notification. This is necessary so that sales are automatically validated. To do this log into your PayPal account and click on the "Profile" tab. Now click on the link Selling Options > Instant Payment Notification preferences link. The URL that you want to enter is the one to the file ppconfirm.php in your vsadmin directory. So for instance it might be

After entering this URL, just click the checkbox to activate instant payment notification and you're all done.

You now just need to go to the Edit Payment Providers link on your store admin, chose Modify for PayPal and enter the email address that is associated with your PayPal account.

PayPal Payments Standard

The Identity Token field is optional and is used if you want customers to be automatically returned to your store following payment through PayPal. To enable this feature go to Profile > Selling Options > Website Payment Preferences and set the following

  • Auto Return - On
  • Return URL -
  • Payment Data Transfer - On

Enter the Identity Token in your Ecommerce Templates payment provider admin page for PayPal Payments Standard as in the above example.

Do not set up any shipping through PayPal as that is handled by the store.

Please note that you can use the same PayPal Standard account on multiple sites with Auto Return turned off.

Testing with the PayPal sandbox

To use this feature, check the "Sandbox" box in the payment provider admin page for PayPal and then sign up for a developer account at so you can use their sandbox feature. You will need a separate account as both a buyer and seller so you may find it simpler to just put through a live transaction and then refund.

Troubleshooting PayPal Standard

If you are using the Auto Return feature you will need to enter the PDT key as above or you will receive the message “Sorry there has been an error”. You will also not receive order confirmation. Godaddy hosting customers only may require this addition to vsadmin/includes.php

If in your admin orders page your PayPal payments are showing with a status of "Pending: unilateral" then you will need a verified Premier or Business account for PayPal IPN. The message of Pending: unilateral comes up when the account isn't verified. The solution is to check again that you have completed all the verification steps for your account and that it is a Premier or Business account.

If the shipping cost is not being passed on to PayPal even though this is showing correctly in the cart then go to this URL when logged in to your PayPal account . . .
Then check the setting of . . .
Click here to allow transaction-based shipping values to override the profile shipping settings listed above (if profile settings are enabled).
You will also need to add this parameter to vsadmin/includes.php

AVS and CVV Checking and codes

In the orders admin page you should see something like the following after a successful PayPal order.


The AVS column refers to whether the PayPal address is verified (Y) or unverified (N). The CVV column refers to whether the PayPal account is verified (Y) or not (N).

In the first example above payment was received from a non-verified address but a verified account. In the second example both the account and address are verified and in the third neither.

Please do read our guide here on credit card fraud.

That's all there is to it really - any comments on the set up can be posted on our Support Forum.