PayPal is a widely used payment processing gateway with hundreds of millions of users all over the world.

PayPal Checkout (formerly known as Express Checkout) is the API product that PayPal provides for integration their payment services into your website or application.

PayPal Checkout is built on PayPal’s REST services, which are a new standard in development today.



Working with PHP?  Check out our custom PayPal PHP SDK for quick and easy integration into any PHP framework you are working with!

PayPal PHP Demo Kits

Our fully functional PayPal PHP demo kits provide fully functional PayPal API calls within a basic shopping cart.  This allows you to see exactly how to apply calls in a real system.

Why PayPal Checkout?

As mentioned, PayPal has hundreds of millions of users. These people prefer to pay with PayPal because of the protections it provides them as a buyer.

If you do not accept PayPal in your checkout system you will certainly lose sales. In our own experience, adding PayPal Checkout to the product pages and cart page on a website increases conversion rates by around 23%.

For the seller, PayPal makes it easy to accept PayPal payments directly, as well as credit card payments when buyers do not have a PayPal account.

Venmo is also provided for mobile users during PayPal Checkout, and PayPal Credit is available as an option as well. This gives you the ability to offer special financing options to your buyers, which can further increase conversion rates!

How Does PayPal Checkout Work?

PayPal Checkout embeds Smart Payment Buttons into your website or application, which give your buyers a simplified and secure checkout experience.

The system will use all of the data they have gathered through years of A/B split testing to present the best experience to your buyers based on the device they are using during checkout.

The technical details and workflow of PayPal Checkout can be seen in this diagram:

  1. Add the PayPal Smart Payment Buttons to your checkout system.
  2. The buyer will click the PayPal button for checkout.
  3. Make a call to the PayPal Orders API to create a new transaction.
  4. The buyer pushes the PayPal button to launch the payment experience.
  5. Buyer logs in via PayPal and approves the transaction.
  6. Make another call to the PayPal Orders API to finalize the transaction.
  7. Payment Complete!

Development Environment for PayPal Checkout

Before you can integrate PayPal Checkout, you must set up your development environment.

This consists of creating PayPal sandbox accounts and a PayPal app from within your PayPal Developer account.

Your API credentials (ie. Client ID and Secret) will be available in your App settings, and you can use the Sandbox accounts to act as a buyer and seller for testing purposes.

Looking for Live Help?

Schedule a live meeting with Drew Angell, PayPal Certified Developer, and get all of your questions or concerns answered.