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Paypal issues

If you are a long time and frequent Paypal user with a lot of transaction history, you probably don't need to read this section because you have already faced most of these issues.

  • Paypal will accept credit cards for your event as long as you have either a Premium or Business account. Paypal suggests you have a Business account if you want to accept credit cards. Business accounts do not cost extra.
  • Paypal may temporarily suspend your account after reaching a certain level of credit card usage. Since they must cover the charges should there be a dispute, they will probably call you and have you verify that you are legitimate. They may ask for proof that you are who you say you are and are providing a legitimate service. Paypal is attacked constantly by fraudsters, so they tend to watch their back carefully. If you are legit and provide the documentation they ask for, you should not have a problem. Be patient and don't get mad - look at it from their point of view
  • Should Paypal suspend your account while verifying your business/ identity, they may continue to accept credit cards, but not immediately provide you with the funds.
  • People may become confused when presented with the Paypal payment screen. If they abandon their Paypal payment, they are still registered, just not paid. These attendees are shown with a Hold status.
  • The registration system sends 2 emails to people who pay via Paypal. The first email is a notification that we have their registration and are waiting for payment verification from Paypal. See below for sample of the first email received after exiting to Paypal.
  • If Paypal verifies their payment, they get a second email which is a full confirmation of their registration. The first email has all the information they need to access their registration and initiate a payment. If you have an alternative payment option, they may choose that when they return. If they originally chose Paypal and you also take checks, they can choose to pay by check when the retrieve their registration. See the Attendee maintenance section for information on how to apply checks.
  • It is a good idea, but not necessary, that you offer an alternative way to pay - especially if your event involves large costs. 
  • If you are a non profit be sure to look at: Have a non profit - get a break from Paypal
  • If you do a lot of credit card business, be sure to look at: Paypal PRO. At $30.00 per month it provides you with an easy to use internet gateway that does not mention Paypal - it just asks for credit card information.

The video below shows a typical Paypal session. It shows the user paying for their event with a credit card (1:52).


Below is an example of what the first email looks like. It is sent as soon as the registrant exits our system to Paypal. Since we lose control of the session while Paypal processes, this email provides an explanation and way for the registrant to return. If the registrant abandons Paypal or fails to complete a payment for any reason, this may be their only link back to their registration.

Should you need to direct a registrant back to their registration, there is a link at the bottom of the email:

If you abandoned/quit the Paypal process, you can access your record by clicking here and entering your last name and ID Number 318749. There you may pick another form of payment (if available), or redo the Paypal procedure by clicking the "Make a payment" button.

And at the bottom of the page:

Please save this email and note your ID number.
Should you wish to review your arrangements, click here to login.

They will be required to use the 'Find me' box (assuming it is present and not hidden), enter their ID number and either email address or last name.

Their registration will be shown and they will have a 'Make a Payment' button which can be used to return to Paypal and make their payment.

Note also that there are instructions regarding a successful payment that does not result in returning to PlanetReg. This happens. Not very often, but it does happen occasionally. If the registrant successfully completes a Paypal payment, but does not receive a PlanetReg confirmation, there are instructions on this email:

If you are sure that your payment was submitted and processed correctly, please send a copy of your Paypal transaction details to

Of course, you as the administrator should also see an email from Paypal (at your Paypal email address).

If you are sure that the registrant paid, you must retrieve his/her registration and change the status to Active and ask to Send a confirmation so the registrant knows his/her record is complete.

You can use either the attendee look up: Lookup attendee or the quick roster Quick roster to retrieve the attendee and ask to Change Status Attendee maintenance.

You should also enter the Paypal payment while you have the attendee record displayed Attendee maintenance.

Don't forget to ask the system to Send a confirmation.

Other possibilities to investigate when Paypal is not completing:

  • Your Paypal account is not a Premier or Business account. Log into your Paypal account and check it.
  • You did not specify that you were collecting money on the General tab See Edit General section
  • Your Paypal account is a business account but you have immediate notification turned off Paypal Instant Payment Notification
  • You have turned on a preference in your profile Selling Preferences / Website Payment Preferences called Encrypted Website Payments. Make sure this setting is Off, otherwise your registrants will see this error when they attempt to pay:

In some cases - especially when you are stumped -  it may be easiest to contact a registrant and ask them what kind of problem they experienced. If they say their was no way to pay with a credit card, you know your account is not the correct type. If that is the case, best to close down your registrations (Close the event) and fix the problem, then re Open the event.

Once you have figured things out, you will want to check this help section: When my Paypal fails

Sample email sent to registrant before they exit to Paypal:

Note the click here at the bottom of the email. If a registrant calls, you can have them click that link and the system will return to their registration, where they will see a 'Make a Payment' button. When they click that button they can try their payment again.

See also