How do I get an Adaptive Payments API application ID?

Important: Adaptive Payments is now a limited release product. It's restricted to select partners for approved use cases and shouldn't be used for new integrations without guidance from PayPal.

To receive access to build an Adaptive Payments payment structure, you must receive approval from PayPal’s Developer Platform Application Review team. The team will evaluate your application to ensure that it conforms to industry and PayPal standards, and then will make an approval decision. When you create an application, you're assigned a unique Application ID (AppID) for that application.

This article addresses the most frequently asked questions related to successfully obtaining a functional Adaptive Payments API AppID.

Before beginning the application
To help shorten your application review time, make sure your PayPal account is verified. You need a verified Premier or Business PayPal account to make Live API calls.
Update your Business/SMI information

Here's how:
  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Select Profile > Profile and settings.
  3. Update any fields that are empty or require completion.
  4. Save your changes.  

Request an application ID

Here's how:
  1. Log in to your My Applications dashboard.
  2. Click Login with PayPal.
  3. Enter your existing PayPal credentials. (The page displays any existing applications.)
  4. Click New App and complete the form.
  5. Click Submit App.  

In the application
Why is PayPal asking me questions about…
  • My business? To complete our review, we need to fully understand how you plan on using the APIs you're requesting access to. This includes learning more about your business and the products and services you plan to offer your users.
  • My API usage? To process your application correctly and ensure that you'll be operating within PayPal’s policies, we must know how you plan on using the APIs available to you through the Adaptive Payments platform. This also ensures that you won't experience any issues after our completed review and enables an optimal transaction experience in the live environment.
  • My chained payment setup? To ensure that you're operating within PayPal’s policies, we need to know the intended recipients in the chained payments you'll be executing and what role they play within the payment scheme.
  • If I use a plugin? Developers in the developer communities build the plugins. We want to make sure your plugin meets PayPal’s standards.
  • My crowdfunding platform? Due to the complex nature of crowdfunding, we require as much information about your integration as you can give us. This includes information about your API usage and your business model. The more information you provide up front, the quicker we can process your application and complete our review.
  • Further documentation? Depending on your business model or the industry that your application will operate in, we may request further documentation to process your review appropriately. In certain situations, we're required to engage our underwriters during our review, and your providing relevant documentation can expedite the process.
  • My monthly Total Payment Volume (TPV)? We need to know the likely payment volume you plan on processing to review it appropriately. If your business is new and you're unsure of exact figures, just give us an estimate of what you plan on processing.
  • The chained payment receivers in my application? You don't need to provide the details of receivers involved in your payments unless their details never change. However, if you're implementing for a marketplace or varying recipients, we need to know who the Primary/Secondary Receivers will be in those payments. Providing an all-encompassing name for the receivers is perfectly fine (for example, Vendors, Store Owners, Designers, etc.).  

After submitting the application

How much time does an application review take?
Levels of application complexity vary, and so does our timeframe for completing an application review. The Developer Platform Application Review team receives hundreds of requests each month and reviews them in the order received.

Complex applications tend to require longer review times, and more complete applications tend to shorten the review process. We do our best to ensure your success as a merchant and our success as a service provider. Thank you for your patience.

How can I check the status of my application review?
Please don't contact PayPal to inquire about the status of your submitted application. The Developer Platform Application Review team will contact you within two business days of your application submission and will maintain contact with you throughout the process to update your application’s status.

And don’t worry - we also provide a view of where your application review process stands. You can view its status and other associated details by doing the following:
  1. Log in to your My Applications dashboard.
  2. Click Login with PayPal.
  3. Enter your existing PayPal credentials.
  4. Under the section titled My Applications on the left side of the page, click View/Manage My Apps.
  5. Scroll down and click View History.
  6. Scroll back up to the top of the page and the details of your application review will be viewable in the blue text box.

What do each of the application review statuses mean?
Your application status will reflect one of the following six statuses (or a similar description) in each of the two review phases:
  • Request more info phase
  • Open indicates that your application has been received, is under review, and your AppID isn't yet functional.
  • Conditionally Approved indicates that your application is still under review, but you've been granted basic functionality in the meantime.
  • Final decision phase
  • Auto-Approved indicates that your account didn't require a manual review and was automatically approved. You now have full access. In most instances, basic requests (for instance, features and functionality) receive this action. Upon approval, you receive a Live AppID and can begin Sandbox testing immediately.
  • Approved indicates that your account was manually reviewed and approved. You've been assigned a Live AppID and can begin working in the Live production environment immediately.
  • Rejected indicates that your application was declined and your AppID hasn't been activated for functionality. You'll receive an email explaining why we rejected your application, and the same explanation will be accessible in your My Applications Dashboard. Your application is permanently closed after being rejected.
  • Retired indicates that you manually opted to delete your application and, as a result, your AppID is no longer active. 
Some common questions from others who viewed this FAQ

Now that I have my Sandbox App ID, how do I obtain my credentials and access the PayPal Sandbox?
Once you've created your app, you'll receive a Sandbox ID. This temporary ID has a constant value (APP-80W284485P519543T) and will be used to access the virtual environment where you'll test your application before integration.

You need access to the PayPal Sandbox to get started with Adaptive Payments. If you don’t already have one, reference how to create a Sandbox account or if you already have a Sandbox account, you can manage an existing Sandbox account.

What compliance requirements does the application review process involve, and how can I make sure I'm compliant?
Before submitting your application, make sure it complies with any agreements you acknowledged understanding of and agreed to, including the PayPal Developer Agreement.

Due to certain regional requirements, restrictions, legal policies, and risk models, PayPal reserves the right to ask you to submit additional information or specify your intentions, as well as the right to deny your application.

Can I update my application after submitting it?
If your application status is still in the "Request more info" phase, you can still edit its contents.

However, once your application has been submitted, it's locked until we perform our initial checks. If we need more information from you, we'll unlock your application and ask you to provide necessary updates. If we don't do so quickly enough for you, we suggest that you cancel your current application and open and submit a new application reflecting the updates you want.