PayPal Payments Standard

Learn how to set up PayPal Payments Standard in your store.

Olga Tereshina avatar
Written by Olga Tereshina
Updated over a week ago

PayPal Payments Standard is a payment solution integrated into X-Cart via PayPal API v1. PayPal Payments Standard supports order processing on PayPal's site (not your own) and allows customers to pay with a PayPal balance or credit card.

To enable PayPal Payments Standard as a payment method in your X-Cart store:

  1. If you haven't yet done so, sign up for PayPal Payments Standard. Note that you will need a verified PayPal Business account to complete the signup process for PayPal Payments Standard. It means that you will need to either create a new Business account or log in to your existing account and upgrade it to Business.

  2. In X-Cart, add PayPal Payments Standard to the list of your store's active payment methods and configure it.

    • Go to the Payment Methods page in your X-Cart store's Admin area (Store Setup > Payment Methods). Then, in the Online methods section, click Add payment method:


    • In the popup box that appears, find the method PayPal Payments Standard and select to Add this method:


    • After adding the method, the PayPal Payments Standard settings page will open. Use it to configure PayPal Payments Standard settings:


      Your account settings:

      • PayPal ID / Email: Enter the email address associated with your PayPal account.

      Additional settings:

      • Purchase description: Enter a generic description of a typical purchase at your store. This description will display on the PayPal payment page; the purpose of this description is to let the customer know what exactly they are paying for.

        In most cases, when redirected to PayPal to pay for their purchase, your customers will see the actual product names (and thus will know what they are paying for). The generic description is needed only for backup: your customers will see it only if PayPal may, for some reason, not display the actual list of items in the order. It may happen, for example, if the order total amount in X-Cart does not precisely match the order total amount on the PayPal end (The rounding of decimals typically causes this: in X-Cart, we round long decimals to the fourth digit after the decimal point, whereas decimal values passed on to PayPal need to be rounded to the second digit after the decimal point; when the totals in X-Cart and PayPal do not match, PayPal cannot display the actual product names and prices, so that's when the generic description is used).

      • Test/Live mode: Set the operating mode for PayPal Payments Standard ("Live" should be selected for live stores, "Test" - for testing).

        You will need to use test PayPal accounts for testing purposes in place of all the live accounts used while processing a live transaction; i.e., you will need at least one test seller account and one test buyer account. You can set up test accounts for PayPal Payments Standard in the PayPal Sandbox - a self-contained testing environment for PayPal applications. The Sandbox mirrors the features found on the PayPal production servers and allows you to test checkout without any money changing hands or debited accounts.

      • Order id prefix: Specify your trading name or any other prefix that will help you identify a payment transaction originating from this store. This field is required if using the same PayPal account for more than one online store.

    • Click Save changes.

    • Make sure the method is active:

      • PayPal Standard settings page

      • Payments page


  3. Enable Instant Payment Notification (IPN) in your PayPal account settings. That will enable PayPal to notify your online store of events related to PayPal transactions. For instructions, see Setting up PayPal IPN URL.

  4. Enable "Auto Return" in your PayPal account profile.

    With "Auto Return" for PayPal payments, buyers will not have to click a button to return to your website upon payment completion on the PayPal end. Still, they will be redirected back to the invoice page in your store automatically. That is convenient for your customers and essential for correct X-Cart operation. When a buyer pays for their purchase with PayPal Payments Standard, your store will create an order correctly if the buyer returns to the store site from PayPal. However, if the buyer chooses not to click the button to return to your site, your store will never get the order. That means you have to enable the "Auto Return" feature to ensure that you get all the orders paid via PayPal Payments Standard.

    Auto Return is turned off by default. To turn the Auto Return on:

    • Log in to your PayPal business account at

    • From the Profile menu, click Profile and settings.

    • From the left menu, click My selling tools.

    • In the Selling online section, click Update next to Website preferences. The Website Payment Preferences page is displayed.

    • Under Auto Return for Website Payments, click On to enable Auto return.

    • The Return URL field is intended for the full path of the URL to which to redirect buyers when their payment is complete. Complete this field with the URL of any page in your store; for example,

      Just as a placeholder - the URL specified in this field will be overridden by the URL passed by the X-Cart store for specific transactions.

    • Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click Save.

    The Auto Return option is poorly compatible with making PayPal account optional at checkout for new users. If you enable both these options at once, a new user will not be automatically redirected back to your website after completing payment but will get a choice to return. Therefore, be prepared that some customers may not choose to return, so X-Cart will not create the order. To avoid this situation, consider turning PayPal account optional off.

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