If you accept payments via Paypal, there are all sorts of things that you can connect to your Paypal payments that require you to set your Paypal Instant Notification (IPN) settings. For example, you can have someone who has paid you by Paypal automatically sent a customer email, or have them added to an autoresponder or mailing list. Here’s how to turn on your Paypal Instant Payment Notifications, and how to edit your IPN settings.
As Paypal explains, “Instant Payment Notification allows you to integrate your PayPal payments with your website’s back-end operations, so you get immediate notification and authentication of the PayPal payments you receive.”
Basically, at its simplest, the way that it works is that you designate a URL to which Paypal should send the notification, and then Paypal sends the Instant Payment Notification to that URL.
The notification includes all sorts of information that is passed along, including the Paypal address of the customer who made the purchase, what was purchased, how much it was, etc..
Sample Paypal Instant Payment Notification (IPN):
payer_id=QXLNBNA59AYTC&ipn_track_id=6274077154e7&invoice=e2845f2c44e8b4d7ff8f0f41082752d4&charset=windows-1252&payment_gross=1.00&verify_sign=An5ns1Kso7MWUdW4ErQKJJJ4qi4-A.DLHaakcuI7TTJr22qjRajOXwLN&item_name=This is a Test&txn_type=subscr_payment&receiver_id=MF6TDP2WYL7B4&payment_fee=0.32&mc_currency=USD&transaction_subject=1585&custom=1585&protection_eligibility=Ineligible&payer_status=unverified&first_name=XX&subscr_id=S-4FT35202B6775673P&mc_gross=1.00&payment_date=11:42:06 Jun 21, 2016 PDT&payment_status=Completed&business=XX@example.com&last_name=XX&txn_id=8FR76425ME5292010&mc_fee=0.32&resend=true&payment_type=instant¬firstname.lastname@example.org&receiver_email=paypal@XX.com&residence_country=US
But here’s the thing – it is not easy to find your Paypal IPN settings, so here is how to find them.
How to Find Your Paypal Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Settings
First, note that you must have a Paypal business account in order to use IPNs. Of course, if you are wanting to use IPNs, you are almost certainly a business, and likely already have a Paypal business account. If you don’t already have a business account, you will need to switch your Paypal account to a business account here.
Ok, so assuming that you have a Paypal business account, log into your Paypal account, and click on the profile icon in the upper right-hand corner.
Click on “Profile and settings”
Click on the “My selling tools” section
Now, in that section, go about halfway down the page, until you find the ‘Getting paid and managing my risk section’.
Under that section, you will see a line for Instant payment notifications. Click on ‘Update’
This will bring you to a form where you can either update your Instant Payment Notifications (if you already have them turned on), or you can turn the on, and then update them. In our example here, this business is using the Aweber API app to have customers added to an autoresponder after they have purchased a product through Paypal.
So, how are you using the Paypal IPN feature?