Payflow Link: FAQs

About Payflow Link

Setup and Maintenance

Security and Reliability

Don't see your question here?

Call the sales department at 1-888-847-2747.

About Payflow Link

What is Payflow Link?
Payflow Link is a secure, reliable payment gateway and operated by PayPal. A payment gateway sends billing information to banks to authorize, process, and manage payments that come from online, mail, and telephone orders. Financial institutions require billing information for these orders to be transmitted through a certified, secure connection such as the Payflow Link payment gateway from PayPal.

How is Payflow Link different from Payflow Pro?
Both services are payment gateways. With Payflow Link, your customers leave your site and enter their payment information in a PayPal-hosted order form. The order forms are hosted securely on a PayPal server.

With Payflow Pro, you host your own order form that uses an SSL certificate, your customers stay on your site, and you have more control over the look and feel of the order form and the payment functionality on your site.

What types of payments can I process?
Payflow Link allows you to process credit and debit cards, PayPal payments, delayed shipment billing, and electronic checks (TeleCheck). You can process payments automatically from a link on your website or use Virtual Terminal, included with Payflow Link, to manually process orders received by telephone, fax, or mail.

Can I use Payflow Link to accept credit cards when the buyer is present?
Both PayFlow Link and Payflow Pro include Virtual Terminal, which lets you manually enter credit card information for a mail, fax, telephone, or the occasional in-store order. However, if you expect to process a lot of in-person orders, you should invest in a card-swipe machine.

How many transactions per month can I process?

PayPal does not limit the number of transactions you can process a month. Payflow Link’s monthly price includes 500 transactions per month. Each additional transaction is $0.10 CAD.

If you have high order volumes, you should consider Payflow Pro. And if you process more than 5,000 transactions per month, contact PayPal sales to find out about services for high-transacting merchants: 1-888-847-2747.

How will I know if a transaction has taken place?
For Payflow Link, you can choose to have an email sent automatically or you can check the reports in PayPal Manager.

Setup and Maintenance

What do I need to do to start using Payflow Link?

After you purchase Payflow Link and set up an internet merchant account, you will have access to PayPal Manager, an application that will help you set up and manage your Payflow account. PayPal Manager will lead you step-by-step through implementation. You will be given HTML code for your site that links your customers to the PayPal-hosted order form. You will also be able to configure the look and feel of the hosted order form and specify other payment processing options.

To what extent can I customize the hosted order form?
With Payflow Link, you can add your company’s logo and a background image, and specify colors for the body and text of the form. You can select colors by clicking our color chart or entering a hexadecimal ASCII color number.

Why do I need an internet merchant account to use Payflow Link?

To accept credit cards for payment on the internet, you must have an internet merchant account with an acquiring institution. The acquirer authorizes the purchases made with the card and ensures that the funds are deposited into the merchant's bank account. You can use Payflow Link with your existing internet merchant account.

If you do not have an internet merchant account, you may want to consider one of our all-in-one solutions.

Does Payflow Link come with an internet merchant account?
No. To use Payflow Link, you must first apply separately for an internet merchant account with an acquiring bank.

If you prefer an all-in-one solution, consider Website Payments Standard or Website Payments Pro. With Website Payments Standard and Website Payments Pro, you do not need a separate internet merchant account.

Do I need a shopping cart if I use Payflow Link?
Yes. Payflow Link does not include a shopping cart. If you are selling more than one item online, you should consider purchasing a shopping cart application to make shopping easier for your customers. Many major shopping cart applications have Payflow Link already integrated. See our list of compatible Shopping Carts.

Can I display the PayPal payment option on my Payflow Link checkout?
Express Checkout is available as an optional feature (U.S. only) to Payflow Link hosted checkouts. This option for Payflow Link gives customers an easy way to pay with one of the most popular payment methods online and is designed to help your business increase sales.

What happens to my customers, when they choose to pay with the PayPal Express Checkout option in Payflow Link?
Your customers are returned to your site at the end of a PayPal transaction.

Does Payflow Link come with technical support?
Payflow Link comes with free email and web technical support. Also, after enrolling for Payflow Link, you will get 30 days of free, basic phone support. Additional Technical Support packages are available for purchase.

Security and Reliability

Do I need a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate if I use Payflow Link?
If you are using Payflow Link to collect all online payment information, you do not need an SSL certificate or additional server/communication security. Because customers input their credit card information directly into the order form hosted on a secure PayPal server, credit card information is not transmitted over the internet and therefore does not need SSL.

Is PayPal PCI, Visa CISP, and MasterCard SDP certified?
PayPal meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) required by American Express, Visa U.S.A., MasterCard International, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club.

How do I know if PayPal is a reliable, high-performance network?
PayPal transacted over $27 billion USD in 2005, making PayPal one of the largest online payment companies.

How will I know if an email regarding my PayPal Business account is legitimate or a spoof?
PayPal will never ask you for personal or financial information in an email.

A spoof or phishing (pronounced "fishing") email is designed to look like it comes from a well-known company. It will try to get you to click a link or button in the email, which takes you to a spoof website.

Spoof websites mimic the appearance of a popular website or company. Typically, they ask for personal information, such as a credit card number, Social Security number, or account password. You may think you are giving information to a trusted company when, instead, you are supplying it to a criminal.

You can learn more about spoof emails, and how to spot them with PayPal's Identity Protection Resources.

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Call the sales department at 1-888-847-2747.


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