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Subscriptions and Recurring Payments

With Subscriptions Password Management, PayPal can generate unique usernames and passwords for your subscribers, enabling them to access "members only" content on your site.

Note: Subscriptions Password Management is not required to use PayPal Subscriptions and Recurring Payments. This feature requires installing a Perl script on your server. If you are not comfortable writing or editing Perl, or installing scripts on your server, do not enable Subscriptions Password Management when you set up your subscription.

Note: If you use, or plan to use, Subscriptions Password Management, then you cannot use Auto Return. Likewise, if you are using, or planning to use, Auto Return, then you cannot use Subscriptions Password Management.


After a customer signs up for a subscription, he will be given a unique username and password on the PayPal Successful Completion page. You will then activate the username/password pair on your website's server through code you write or, if you are using Basic Authentication (with an Apache web server on Linux), through a sample Perl script we provide. (Premier and Business accounts only)

How It Works

Step 1: Enable Password Generation
If you want to use Subscriptions Password Management, you will first need to activate Instant Payment Notification (IPN) from within your Profile.

When you create your subscription button, click the Subscriptions Password Management checkbox.

If you are creating and managing your own usernames and passwords, integration techniques are discussed in the PayPal Subscriptions and Recurring Payments Manual.

Step 2: PayPal generates usernames and passwords
Every subscriber will be given a different randomly generated username/password pair after signing up for your subscription.


Username: pp-bluekite
Password: dog2sun

Usernames and passwords are stored in both the buyer's and seller's Subscription Details pages.

Step 3: Activate usernames and passwords on your server
The Instant Payment Notification posted to your server will include your new subscriber's username and password.

At this point you have two choices:
  1. You can write code on your server to accept the notifications and activate the username/password pair within your system.


  2. If you are using Basic Authentication with an Apache web server on Linux, you may install and configure PayPal's sample Perl script.

    This Perl script will automatically read the IPNs and update your active username/password file.

    To begin, your system administrator will have to download the Perl script and follow the installation and configuration instructions.
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