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How do I accept credit cards using guest checkout with PayPal Express Checkout?

Guest checkout gives payers the option to check out using a debit or credit card without having a PayPal account login.

To use guest checkout, you must:

  • Have a confirmed email address.
  • Verify your PayPal account.

Enable guest checkout
Here's how:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Select Account Settings > Website payments.
  3. Next to Website preferences, select Update.
  4. Under PayPal account optional, select On.

About guest checkout
Buyers don't always have the option to complete their purchases without using or creating a PayPal account. This option is presented based on several risk factors, including but not limited to the buyer's PayPal purchase history, PayPal cookies stored on the buyer's computer, the buyer's location, or a credit assessment.

Browser cookies determine Checkout view
The buyer's checkout view on PayPal depends on their web browser's cookies:

  • If a PayPal cookie has been created: When the buyer lands on a PayPal page, they'll see the PayPal Login but still have the option to select "Guest Checkout" or "Don't have a PayPal Account?"
  • If a PayPal cookie hasn't been defined: The buyer sees a default view of Guest Checkout allowing for debit or credit payment.

Note: With a Checkout custom-coded solution, there is an additional step: setSOLUTIONTYPE to Sole in your initial SetExpressCheckout API call.

  • If you use a third-party shopping cart, work with them or your developer to implement this variable.
  • As long as SOLUTIONTYPE=Sole is passed in the SetExpressCheckout API, Guest Checkout will be enabled.
  • For SOLUTIONTYPE=Sole to work, you must have PayPal account optional set to On within the PayPal account settings.
  • Many third-party carts provide an Enable Guest Checkout option in the Administration view of their Checkout module.

PayPal Payments Pro
If you want to have a more consecutive checkout process when allowing users to check out with or without creating a PayPal account, consider using a PayPal Payments Pro account (known as Website Payments Pro in some countries).

With PayPal Payments Pro, you can accept credit card transactions directly on your website with no reference as to who the processor is. PayPal will be transparent to the buyer as your credit card processor.

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