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Form Builder’s Guide to Accepting Payments with PayPal

October 25, 2018
Min Read

The ability to accept payments online is a necessity for any business that wants to thrive in today’s digital culture. It might seem like a big job to set up an online payment system that meets efficiency and security expectations, but it doesn’t have to be. You can adopt powerful tools that do most of the work for you!

Combining professional, versatile online forms with a best-in-class payment processor creates a customized system for processing online orders, event registrations, product subscriptions, bill payments, and other monetary transactions.

Formstack integrates with a number of well-known payment processors to provide an easy way for you to collect money. Our first-ever payment integration was with the standard version of PayPal, and it is still one of the most popular choices among users. We also have two additional PayPal integrations, giving you three options from the PayPal family:

  1. PayPal Payments Standard
  2. PayPal Payments Pro
  3. PayPal Payflow Payment Gateway

If you’re interested in learning more about payment processing through Formstack online forms and PayPal, stick around as I unpack all you need to know.

paypal logo

PayPal 101

First thing’s first: PayPal is an online payment gateway, which means it’s an ecommerce tool that authorizes credit card or direct payments between merchants and consumers.

PayPal is a global gateway, allowing you to process transactions in more than 200 markets and 25 currencies. Additionally, it works with all major credit and debit cards.Here’s the basic information you should know about each PayPal integration available through Formstack:

PayPal Payments Standard

PayPal Standard is an off-form gateway, which means users will be redirected from your form to the PayPal site to complete any payment transactions. It is arguably the easiest payment processor to use when starting out because it is free (there are no setup fees or monthly charges), and all you need is an email address.

PayPal Standard has a transaction fee of 2.9% of the purchase amount plus 30 cents. It is best for processing small orders of a low dollar amount. For detailed information on connecting your Formstack online forms to PayPal Standard, check out this support article.

PayPal Payments Pro

PayPal Pro is an on-form gateway, which means credit cards can be processed directly on the form with no need to redirect to the PayPal site. There are no setup fees, but there is a monthly subscription charge of $30.

Like PayPal Standard, PayPal Pro has a transaction fee of 2.9% of the purchase amount plus 30 cents. For detailed information on connecting your Formstack online forms to PayPal Pro, check out this support article.

PayPal Payflow Payment Gateway

PayPal Payflow is a payment processor specifically built to simplify online credit card transactions. There are no setup fees, and monthly subscription charges range from $0 to $25. Additionally, there is a transaction fee of 10 cents.

PayPal Payflow is best for established businesses that process several hundred orders a day. For detailed information on connecting your Formstack online forms to PayPal Pro, check out this support article.

Payment Options

When accepting payments online through PayPal, you have a few different options:

  1. Single-item purchases: Process payments for a single item, such as a company swag T-shirt.
  2. Multi-item purchases: Process payments for multiple items, such as various pieces of company swag (T-shirt, coffee mug, pen, etc.).
  3. Recurring or subscription-based purchases: Process recurring nonprofit donations or monthly subscription fees.

Additionally, you can monitor your business transactions on-the-go with PayPal’s business app.

Form Options

Using Formstack online forms to process payments gives you access to several features that can enhance the buyer experience:

  1. Easy branding tools: Create customized, professional PayPal payment forms that reflect your brand colors, showcase your logo, and more. No coding necessary!
  2. Automated calculations: Automatically calculate purchase quantities and cost totals to streamline your payment forms.
  3. Coupons or discount codes: Process dollar-off or percentage-off discounts through simple coupon codes.
  4. Mobile-friendly interface: Allow customers to purchase products or register for events directly from their mobile devices.
Read More: How to Process Payments with Online Forms

Additional Considerations


When collecting sensitive information like credit card numbers and other payment details, security is a top concern. Luckily, Formstack and PayPal have you covered.Formstack offers advanced data security features like 256-bit SSL and data encryption. Additionally, PayPal is one of Formstack’s HIPAA compliant payment integrations, which means it meets top security regulations for processing payments through online forms that collect ePHI. Formstack is also PCI compliant, providing you an extra layer of security! PayPal itself uses advanced data encryption and anti-fraud technology to protect the payment data you send through the gateway. It also has a Seller Protection Policy that offers you extra protection on eligible transactions.

Related Post: What does PCI compliance mean to me?


Interested in processing payments through Formstack’s payment forms but not sure where to start? We have a solution! Choose from over 15 pre-built payment form templates to get started fast.


If you run a nonprofit organization that wants to process donations and event registrations, lean in. Both Formstack and PayPal offer discounts for nonprofits. Formstack offers a 25% discount to non-educational, non-governmental organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Fill out our nonprofit form to see if you qualify for the discount.PayPal offers discounted transaction rates for 501(c)(3) charities for most products. Instead of paying 2.9% of the purchase amount plus 30 cents, nonprofits pay only 2.2% of the purchase amount plus 30 cents.

Want to see how Formstack’s PayPal integrations stack up against other payment processing integrations? Click below to check out our payment gateway comparison chart or take our payment gateway quiz now.


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