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How do I issue a credit (refund) to a customer?

About credit refunds
A credit transaction (TRXTYPE=C) returns the specified amount to the account holder. You don't need to have the credit card number available if you have the original PayPal reference ID (PNREF) that was issued with the transaction. If you issue a credit referencing a PNREF without specifying an amount, PayPal uses the amount of the original transaction. If you're performing a reference credit, the PNREF being referenced must be one of the following:
  • Sale (TRXTYPE=S)
  • Delayed Capture (TRXTYPE=D)
  • Voice Authorization (TRXTYPE=F)  


Issuing credits
PayPal recommends that you issue a credit only if the original transaction has already settled. Even though you can issue a credit to a transaction that hasn't settled, it's best to void such transactions. You must have admin or FULL_TRANSACTIONS permissions to issue a credit.

Issuing credits that exceed the original transaction amount
Based on your transaction settings, you may be allowed to issue multiple credits to the same transaction for a total credit greater than the original amount. Use caution when issuing multiple credits. Here's how to view your current transaction settings:  
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Account Administration.
  3. Click Transaction Settings.
  4. If Credits may exceed original transaction amount is set to Yes, you can issue a credit for an amount greater than the original amount. If this feature is set to No and you need it set to Yes, ask an admin user on the account to contact Payflow Support and request that this feature be enabled.
Issuing credits when changing banks or processors
If you've changed merchant banks or processors, you can't issue a credit to a transaction authorized with the previous merchant bank or processor using the original Transaction ID. You must issue a refund (credit) to your customer by performing a non-reference credit via a company check or by other means.
 

Using test credit card numbers
Credit type transactions aren't checked before settlement, so if you use a test credit card number it will settle as usual. However, once the invalid credit card number is sent to the banks for processing, it will be rejected.
 

Issuing credit card refunds
If you need to issue a credit (refund) to a customer's credit card, use one of the methods described in the next few sections.
 
Method 1: Multiple Credits
Use Multiple Credits to issue credits for multiple transactions or when you don't know the Transaction ID. You can issue up to 50 credits at a time using Multiple Credits.
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Virtual Terminal.
  3. Click Multiple Transactions.
  4. Select Credit under Transaction Type.
  5. Select a date range, and click Continue.
  6. Select the transactions you wish to credit by checking each applicable box.
  7. In the Amount field, enter the amount you wish to refund. Don't enter a negative number or dollar sign.
  8. Click Credit. You must complete the credits on the current page before continuing to the next page, because clicking Next will remove the check marks from the transactions on the previous page.
  9. Note the new Transaction IDs issued for the submitted credits.
 
Method 2: Single Transaction Credit
If you can't locate the transactions to credit, PayPal recommends that you perform a Single Transaction Credit.
 
Method 3: Credit Card - Reference Credit
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Virtual Terminal.
  3. Click Single Transaction.
  4. Select Credit under Transaction Type.
  5. Enter the Original Transaction ID (Original Trans ID) or Order ID (CyberCash merchants) of the transaction to be credited. You must currently be processing with the same merchant bank or processor as the original transaction. If not, secure the credit card number from your customer to perform a non-referenced credit.
  6. Enter the Amount to refund. Don't enter a negative number or dollar sign.
  7. Click Submit.
  8. Note the new Transaction IDs issued for the submitted credit.
 
Method 4: Credit Card - Non-Reference Credit
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Virtual Terminal.
  3. Click Single Transaction.
  4. Select Credit under Transaction Type.
  5. Enter the credit card number to which you want to issue a credit.
  6. Enter the Amount to refund. Don't enter a negative number or dollar sign.
  7. Click Submit.
  8. Note the new Transaction IDs issued for the submitted credit.
Note:  To issue a non-reference credit, you must have non-reference credits enabled on your account within the Transaction Settings. Here's how to check whether your account has non-reference credits enabled:  
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Account Administration.
  3. Click Transaction Settings.
  4. If Allow non-reference credits and Credits may exceed original transaction amount are both set to Yes, then you can perform a non-reference credit.
  • If one (or both) of these settings is set to No, your account isn't enabled for non-reference credits.
  • If you need non-reference credits enabled, ask an admin user listed on your account to contact Payflow Support by phone at 1-888-883-9770 or at payflow-support@paypal.com and request that this feature be enabled.

Note:  If you're processing transactions through PayPal, you'll also need non-reference credits enabled on your PayPal account. Ask PayPal to enable non-reference credits for your Live account. To request approval, contact PayPal's Customer Service
 
Method 5: ACH (Automated Clearing House)
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Virtual Terminal.
  3. Click Single Transaction.
  4. Under Tender Type, select ACH.
  5. Select Credit under Transaction Type.
  6. Enter the Original Payment ID, then click Submit.
  7. Enter the Amount to refund. Don't enter a negative number or dollar sign.
  8. Select the Authorization Method of the original transaction.
  • Transactions with the Telephone authorization method can't be refunded.
  • Transactions with web authorization can't be partially refunded; only a full refund is allowed.
  1. Click Submit.
  2. Note the new Transaction IDs issued for the submitted credit.
 
Method 6: PayflowPro API
Through the Payflow Pro API, you can issue a credit via your website or application. To issue a credit via Payflow Pro, set the Transaction Type (TRXTYPE) variable to "C" as shown in the following examples:

Here's how to credit the same card used in the ORIGID for the full amount:
 
"TRXTYPE=C&TENDER=C&PARTNER=xpartner&VENDOR=xlogin&USER=xlogin&PWD=xpassword&ORIGID=PA0102000000"

Here's how to credit the same card used in the ORIGID for a different amount by adding the AMOUNT field to the paralist:
 
"TRXTYPE=C&TENDER=C&PARTNER=xpartner&VENDOR=xlogin&USER=xlogin&PWD=xpassword&ORIGID=PA0102000000&AMT=25.00"

Here's how to credit a card without having to reference the original sale:
 
"TRXTYPE=C&TENDER=C&PARTNER=xpartner&VENDOR=xlogin&USER=xlogin&PWD=xpassword&ACCT=5105105105105100&EXPDATE=1209&AMT=10.00" 
 
Method 7: Payflow Link interface
Because of the limited security of an HTML form post, PayPal doesn't allow you to issue credits via the Payflow Link web interface. Use either the Single Transaction or Multiple Transaction methods described in the previous sections.
 
Common errors

Result code 117
If you get the error message, "Failed merchant rule check," result code 117, the credit attempt failed due to the Transaction Settings on your account. Some common reasons include:
  • The transaction being referenced was already refunded.
  • You're issuing a credit for more than the original amount and don't currently have Credits may exceed original transaction amount enabled on your account.
  • You're trying to process a credit to a card without tying the credit to a previous sale, and non-reference credits aren't currently enabled.
  • You're issuing a credit for more than the credit limit currently set on your account.
  • For more information regarding result code 117, see Why did I get result code 117?

Result code 7
If you get the error message, "Field format error: Web Credit invalid," result code 7, you used the wrong authorization method when trying to issue an ACH credit. You must change the authorization method to match the original transaction. Authorization methods include:
  • Telephone (TEL) - Can't be refunded.
  • Over the Internet (WEB) - Can't be partially refunded; only full refunds are allowed.
  • Re-presented Check Entry (RCK).
  • Other (PPD).

Result code 19
If you get the error message, “Original Transaction ID not found,” Result code 19, the credit attempt failed for one of the following reasons:
  • The PNREF you're trying to reference is more than 365 days old.
  • The PNREF being referenced is invalid.
  • When processing through PayPal, the transaction being referenced doesn't have a PayPal Transaction ID (PPREF) in the transaction details.

Special characters
If PayPal Manager logs you out when you're trying to issue a credit using Single Transaction in Virtual Terminal, it's usually because there's a special character or HTML tag in the transaction details (Comment 1, Comment 2, etc.). PayPal Manager doesn't allow special characters. Remove the special character or HTML tag from the transaction details and resubmit the credit.

TeleCheck transactions
TeleCheck transactions can't be credited. However, if the transaction hasn't yet settled, you can void the transaction before settlement.
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