What integration methods are available for the PayPal Commerce Platform?

The PayPal Commerce Platform solution, formerly known as PayPal for Partners, has two integration paths to choose from, based on how you run your business:

  • Connected path: A marketplace model in which each individual PayPal seller assumes financial liability, rather than the marketplace. All sellers must have PayPal Business accounts.
  • Managed path: A marketplace model in which the marketplace assumes financial liability. Sellers aren't required to have PayPal Business accounts.

Connected path
The Connected path enables marketplace partners and merchants to focus on running their businesses, managing customers' experience, and controlling funds disbursement. PayPal manages risk and losses and handles payment solutions, disputes, chargebacks, fraud management, merchant management, and risk management.

As a Connected-path partner, you can manage trust and safety by having PayPal hold and disburse funds on terms you set on a transaction-by-transaction basis. You decide whether to delay the disbursement of funds between your customers and merchants until your conditions are met. You can also create different sets of rules for new users of your platform versus long-time customers and merchants. When you approve the release of funds, PayPal performs a round of risk and compliance checks before settling funds to the merchant.

To sign up merchants and sellers to your Connected-path marketplace, you post a PayPal signup link on your website and PayPal does the rest. If the merchant doesn't already have a PayPal account, we'll guide them to create one. Once the PayPal account is activated, they must agree to allow the partner to make payments on their behalf.

You have three options for setting up Connected-path merchants:
  • Progressive onboarding. Merchants receive an email to complete PayPal signup after their first PayPal order.
  • Upfront onboarding. You post a PayPal signup link on your website for your merchants and PayPal handles the rest. An in-context experience keeps your merchants on your website and minimizes the number of pages to navigate.
  • URL onboarding. Merchants are required to complete all signup information. You use a URL with static parameters to direct the merchant to PayPal. Although you don't have to call the REST API to pre-fill information, you might have to whitelist the return URL.
For more information on types of sellers, see Marketplace Types of sellers

Managed path
The Managed path enables the marketplace partner to manage merchants' and customers' experience and handle transaction risks such as chargebacks and reversals. Although PayPal handles payment processing, the partner controls funds disbursement.

As a Managed-path marketplace partner, PayPal allows you to manage trust and safety by holding and disbursing funds directly. You make hold or disbursement decisions on a transaction basis, which can give you time to vet customers or merchants or enforce other business logic specific to your enterprise.

To integrate merchants into your Managed-path marketplace, you first create PayPal-managed reference accounts. Although each merchant receives their own reference account, the merchant can't access this account; it's used strictly for money movement purposes. Once reference accounts are set up, you assign permissions that enable you to process direct credit card transactions, resolve disputes, etc. on the merchants' behalf. Finally, you can apply a set of limitations on the reference accounts to block specified types of payments, for example from unconfirmed addresses or currencies not held in the account.
See also:
Connected path overview