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How To Integrate PayPal With AccessAlly

Integrate AccessAlly with PayPal to sell your online courses, memberships, and more using WordPress.

Important: You must use a PayPal Business account for integration with AccessAlly.

To integrate with Stripe, please see this tutorial: How to Integrate Stripe with AccessAlly.

Why Integrate PayPal With AccessAlly

AccessAlly includes a built-in ecommerce feature that’s designed especially for you if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to sell a small variety of products and/or subscriptions from inside your membership site.

Note: when you are placing testing orders, you cannot use the same PayPal account that was integrated in the AccessAlly -> Settings -> Payment Settings section.

Step 1: Integrate PayPal With AccessAlly

Important: You must use a PayPal Business account for integration with AccessAlly.

Enable PayPal Express in AccessAlly

Go to AccessAlly’s General Settings -> Payments -> PayPal tab and click the checkbox to next to “PayPal Express” to enable PayPal.

Screenshot of enable paypal settings

Login to PayPal: Choose “Account Settings”

Once you’ve logged into your PayPal account, choose the “Account Settings” in the top navigation.

Screenshot of PayPal Navigation

Select API Access

Click the “Update” link next to the API Access section.

Which option - API Signature or API Certificate?

If prompted to select an API Signature or API Certificate select the Request API Signature as shown in the image below.

API Credentials

Screenshot of Account Settings

Click on NVP/SOAP API Integration

You may need to create a new set of API keys here, or if you’ve already created some you’ll see a link to manage existing keys. If you don’t select the NVP/SOAP API integration section, you won’t get the right kind of API keys to integrate with AccessAlly.

Screenshot of API Settings

Answer PayPal’s Security Prompt

You may be asked to verify your credentials before you can proceed to the API keys.

Screenshot of Security Prompt

Copy & Paste the API Keys into AccessAlly

Copy and Paste the 3 sections from inside your PayPal account directly into your AccessAlly settings. Hit save, and make sure that no errors appear after you’ve saved your API keys.

Screenshot of PayPal key area

Step 2: Additional CRM Configuration

There are special cases where someone who has opted out of your email list in your CRM makes a new purchase. In these cases, AccessAlly uses an opt-in form that you create specifically for AccessAlly to re-add them to your CRM so you can deliver your goods.

If you haven’t configured this yet, here’s how to do it in your CRM:


First create a new campaign:

Screenshot of Keap Step 1

Name your campaign something that will remind you this is for AccessAlly Integration.

Screenshot of Keap Step 2

Add a “Webform submitted” option by dragging and dropping it into your campaign. Do not add any other elements attached to it, it should be on its own.

Name the form like AccessAlly Integration Form.

Screenshot of Keap Step 3

Edit the web form. You don’t need to make any changes to the default. Just make sure you switch from Draft to Live.

Screenshot of Keap Step 4

Then publish the campaign.

Screenshot of Keap Step 5

Now under AccessAlly > Settings > Payment Settings > CRM, choose the new Form you just created and hit save.

Screenshot of opt-in form you just created

Hit Save.


First go to Contacts > Forms.

Screenshot of Ontraport Step 1

Choose the “Create new form” button.

Screenshot of Ontraport Step 2

Now select the “Smart Form” option to create the simplest type of Ontraport Form.

Screenshot of Ontraport Step 3

Here all you have to do is name your form so you can easily find it later, and hit save.

Screenshot of Ontraport Step 4

Now under AccessAlly > Settings > Payment Settings > CRM, choose the new Form you just created and hit save.

Screenshot of Ontraport form selected


Step 1: Create a list in ActiveCampaign to use with AccessAlly.

Go to Contacts > Lists > “Add a list

ActiveCampaign Lists

Create a new list called “AccessAlly”.

List in ActiveCampaign

Step 2: Add a new form.

Go to Website > Forms > “Create a form”

Active Campaign Website Forms

Screenshot of ActiveCampaign Step 2

Name your form and under action choose “Subscribe to a list” and select your AccessAlly list from the dropdown.

Form Details in ActiveCampaign

Go to the next step by clicking “Integrate”.

Form Settings Image

There is no need to save this code or use it anywhere, simply hit Save and Exit.

Save Form ActiveCampaign

Now under AccessAlly > Settings > Payment Settings > CRM tab, choose the new Form you just created and hit save. If you do not see your form hover over AccessAlly in the top bar and click “Refresh CRM info”.

Screenshot of CRM form


First choose “Landing pages and forms” from the top bar.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 1

Choose “Create New”.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 2

On the next screen, choose Form.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 3

Select the Inline option.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 4

Next, you can choose any design since it won’t be shown publicly.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 6

Name your form so it’s easy to find inside AccessAlly later. You should also add a name field that connects back into your ConvertKit fields, so you have all the info you need.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 7

Then click on “Settings” for your form. You have two options, under “Incentive”:

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 9

You can disable the incentive email which will turn off the double-opt in confirmation. This is the recommended option for order forms and taking payments through AccessAlly. This way people won’t need to confirm to receive their welcome email and access.

Screenshot of ConvertKit Step 8

You can also keep the incentive email, but enable the checkbox to Auto-confirm subscribers, which will also help with getting people access as soon as possible.

Now under AccessAlly > Settings > Payment Settings > CRM, choose the new Form you just created and hit save.

Screenshot of ConvertKit CRM form settings


First click on Forms in the top navigation.

Screenshot of Drip Step 1

Choose to create a new form.

Screenshot of Drip Step 2

Name your form something that you will be able to find later. Choose the “Advanced” form option, since we just want a plain form and it won’t be used anywhere else.

Screenshot of Drip Step 3

Make sure that Double Opt-in is disabled for this form.

Screenshot of Drip Step 4

You’re done creating your form.

Now under AccessAlly > Settings > Payment Settings > CRM, choose the new Form you just created and hit save.

Screenshot of Drip CRM Form Settings

Step 3: Enable Recurring Payments For PayPal (Optional)

By default, PayPal recurring subscriptions are not enabled, because there are certain restrictions with PayPal subscriptions. If you would like to go ahead with PayPal recurring payments keep reading to enable them.

Here’s what you can and cannot do with PayPal recurring payments, due to restrictions with PayPal’s system:

  • There can be at most 1 recurring payment product in the offer.
  • The longest period between payments for a recurring subscription is 1 year, so you can do annual subscriptions but not longer than that.
  • The trial period (if configured) cannot exceed 1 year.
  • The offer cannot contain subscription replacements.
  • Clients in Guest mode can not purchase recurring subscriptions unless they first create a PayPal account.
  • The 1-click upsell feature is not available as clients are redirected to PayPal to complete transactions.
  • You can’t add credits for PayPal recurring payments.
  • When someone cancels their subscription in PayPal, they will need to sign up from scratch again to resume their access.

Sounds good? Then scroll down to enable the checkbox on the “PayPal Recurring Subscriptions” section and hit Save.

Screenshot to enable paypal recurring payments

That’s all you have to do to enable recurring payments or payment plans through PayPal. Now when someone checks out through the AccessAlly order forms, they can pay for a payment plan or recurring subscription via their PayPal account.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Anyone can cancel a subscription through their own PayPal account. If they cancel, AccessAlly will apply the “Payment Failed” automation so you can get in touch with the customer to come back and complete their payments.
  • This is especially important for a payment plan instead of a recurring monthly subscription, and you may want to word your follow-up emails accordingly.
  • Members can still cancel their subscriptions through AccessAlly’s interface, too.
  • If you decide to turn off and disable PayPal recurring subscriptions down the line, your existing PayPal subscriptions will continue to be charged and run successfully – but the PayPal option will stop showing on the checkout pages.

Tagging PayPal purchases

Since PayPal subscriptions don’t allow for all of the same operations as Stripe payments, it’s useful to be able to distinguish between the two types of orders.

You can do that by applying a new tag when someone purchases through PayPal, like this:

Screenshot of PayPal tag adding

Then, when you’re setting up a self-management area you can hide any options like the skip payment options for those who have this PayPal tag using conditional shortcodes.

Managing Recurring Payment Refunds

With AccessAlly’s PayPal recurring payments, you can refund the initial payment with one click right inside AccessAlly.

However, if you want to refund future payments (payments number two and up) then you’ll need to login to PayPal and do the refund manually.

Step 4: Configure PayPal Timezone Settings

Here, scroll down until you see the timezone settings.

Please set the Time zone to match the one set in your PayPal account. (PayPal > My Profile > My settings > Time zone)

If these timezones do not match, you might receive the “Subscription start date should be greater than current date” error when purchasing a subscription.

Testing & What The End Client Will See

It’s always a good idea to test your integration with a small dollar payment (you can set up a coupon for yourself).

On the 2nd step of the order form, you’ll be able to select the PayPal option (if you also have Stripe enabled).

Then you’ll see a button to click to process the payment in PayPal. When you click it, you’ll see a new screen open up prompting you to login to PayPal.

After logging in, you’ll be able to choose the source of funds. This does include any linked credit cards or bank accounts, as well as PayPal Credit.

Note for Facebook Browser Users

Please be aware that making a purchase via PayPal is currently not possible within the Facebook browser. If a user does attempt an order form purchase with PayPal when using the Facebook browser, they will see this message:

PayPal notification for Facebook browser

This is especially pertinent if you are running Facebook ads to an AccessAlly order form with PayPal enabled.

Updated on November 16, 2023
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