To use PayPal with ConfTool Pro you need an ordinary, verified PayPal account, which has to be upgraded to a Business account. The account is free, but PayPal charges payment fees as listed on the PayPal website of the country of the payment receiver.
Details about creating such an account can be found at the PayPal Website. You should also include information about your reference account to be able to receive transfers from your PayPal account.
For charities and non-profit organizations PayPal offers 'charity accounts' with reduced transaction rates. You have to provide official documentation that proves your charity status. The exact requirements differ from country to country. Please find more information on the PayPal website.
An overview of PayPal's 'Cross Border and Currency Conversion Fees' is also available online.
The following steps are required in order to use your PayPal account with ConfTool Pro. Please note that the options may vary from country to country.
1. Account Upgrade
First you have to upgrade your account to a "Business Account" (if not already done before). Please note that this might have consequences on the fees of PayPal in your country.
To upgrade your account, on the main page please click on "Upgrade to a business account" (see image 1).
You will be guided through a number of pages. First you will have to decide whether you want to open a new business account or upgrade an account (see image 2). If you want to use this account to receive payments and it is already linked to your conference bank account, please "Upgrade", if you want to use a new account, please use "Create New Account". In our case, we will upgrade an existing account.
Enter your basic business and account holder’s information on the following three pages (see images 3, 4 and 5). Once you have entered this information, you will be guided to the page "Business setup". Here, you can define how you want to get paid. In order to receive money via ConfTool, choose the option "On your website" (see image 6).
Continue and choose the option "Use PayPal (Basis, Starter or Express) as an additional payment solution" (see image 7). PayPal PLUS has not been integrated into ConfTool so far, as it is more expensive, and we currently think that the small advantages of PayPal PLUS do not justify the extra costs.
For the payment setup, you will be working with "Option A". ConfTool already has been integrated into PayPal, so follow the steps in chapter 2 of this manual (see image 8).
Please note that you will also have to verify your account to receive money. Furthermore, PayPal will probably ask for a proof of identity (as fax or uploaded document), if you receive more than a certain amount of money, e.g. €1,000 for EU citizens or your company has a specific legal form. PayPal has to ask for these verifications to comply with international money-laundering laws.
In order to raise the transparency of transactions for your participants, you will have to enter your customer service information. Please be diligent while entering these data - they will be displayed and mailed to participants after the transaction has been carried out. For further information, please see: PayPal Payment Solutions – How to Get Started
To increase the payment limit (total figure may vary from country to country), please go to:
Tools => Business Setup
... and in the section "Receive payments" click on "Lift Limits" (see image 11). Raise the limit by selecting the current limit and clicking on "Lift limit". You will be asked to proof your identity and upload or fax further documents to identify yourself and prove your credibility.
2. Settings of Your PayPal Account for the Use with ConfTool Pro
You will have to configure several settings in your PayPal account to be able to use it correctly with ConfTool Pro. These are listed below:
Please go to the page:
My Account => My Profile
... and in the left column click on "My selling tools".
In the right column, please go to the section "Selling online" (see image 12).
- Points not mentioned hereafter are currently irrelevant
- "PayPal Buttons": not relevant
- "Credit card statement name": Choose an appropriate name, which also will allow your customers to be able to clearly attribute the payments. This name will appear on the credit card statement of your participants.
- "Custom payment pages": not required; if you want to, you can customize the PayPal payment pages.
- "Website preferences" (see image 13):
- Auto Return for Website Payments: not relevant
- Return URL: not relevant
Leave empty (or enter the address of your ConfTool installation, e.g. www.conftool.net/conference/ ; the URL serves as a placeholder only; the correct URL will be set automatically by the ConfTool system).
- Payment Data Transfer: not relevant
- Encrypted Website Payments: Off
- PayPal Account Optional: On
- Contact Telephone Number: Off (as you prefer)
- "API access": not relevant
- "Invoice templates": not relevant
In the right column, please now choose "Getting paid and managing my risk" (see image 14).
- Points not mentioned hereafter are currently not relevant
- "My automatic payments": not relevant
- "Instant payment notifications": not relevant
For the "Notification URL", leave the field empty (or enter the address of your ConfTool installation, e.g. www.conftool.net/conference/ ; the URL only serves as a placeholder; the correct URL will be set automatically by the ConfTool system).
- "Block payments" (see image 15):
- Allow payments sent to me in a currency I do not hold: No, deny the payments (recommended)
- Block accidental payments: Yes, block multiple payments per invoice ID
- Block payments from users who: not used
- Block the following payments: not used
- Block payments from Student account users under 18 years old: Yes (recommended)
- Display "Add Instructions to Seller" text input field: No
- "Customer Service Message": You can enter an additional message to the participants. Normally, this is not necessary.
Please now continue with "More selling tools" in the right column (see image 16).
- "Encrypted payment settings": Website Payment Certificates - Deactivated
- "PayPal button language encoding": Western European Languages (recommended)
- "Seller reputation number": not relevant
3. Enable PayPal in Your ConfTool Pro Installation
To be able to use ConfTool Pro together with PayPal, you have to configure a few settings in ConfTool (see image 17).
As administrative user, please go to:
Overview => Settings => Manage Payment Options
- Set "Enable PayPal Payments" to Yes.
- Enter the e-mail address of your PayPal Account.
- Verify the 3-letter currency code for PayPal payments. You have to enter an official ISO 4217 code. Please note that this code must match the main currency of your ConfTool installation and that you usually can only receive payments in your national currency via PayPal.
That should be it. Please test your configuration with a smaller booking via ConfTool using PayPal as payment option. If you encounter any problems, please contact us at email@example.com.
Last but not least, some personal comments about PayPal:
- PayPal works well for credit card payments from most countries, but it is not a full credit card merchant, i.e. on the client's bank statement PayPal will be listed for the payment, but not the name of your organization.
- PayPal is available in the following countries: PayPal - Send and Receive Payments Securely Worldwide
- Since June 2017, participants from all EU countries as well as Switzerland and Norway need to open a PayPal account to complete the payment. The account is free of charge and set up quickly with most of the information already filled in with data from ConfTool.
- Participants from most other countries do not require a PayPal account to do the payment. For example, participants from USA, China, Australia, India, Canada (or many other countries) can do so called "guest payments" (without PayPal account). However, these are usually limited to 3 payments per credit card and a total amount of about €1,500. The exact conditions seem to depend on the country of the merchant (conference organizer) and the participant, we don't have any further details.
- In case the credit card of a customer has already been linked to a PayPal account, further PayPal payments with this card can only be executed via the PayPal account. Furthermore, a credit card cannot be linked to another PayPal account. This can lead to problems with business credit cards issued to the company or organization and one card being used by several members of the organization. It can happen that one member linked the credit card to his / her PayPal account inadvertently. If other members try to use this credit card for payment, a slightly irritating error message will appear: "The card you entered cannot be used for this payment. Please enter a different credit or debit card number."
- The supported payment methods and credit cards depend on the countries of the involved parties, but mainly on the country of the client. Usually all cards and payment methods that are popular in the land of the client are supported.
- The money arrives nearly immediately in your PayPal account, while most acquirers transfer the money after 30 or 60 days to your bank account.
- It is our impression that the service of PayPal has improved during the last years, but the service of traditional acquirers is often still better and quicker. You might receive replies mainly consisting of standard text modules. Furthermore, if they "freeze" your account for "suspicious" activities, it might take about a week to reactivate it. Talking to a customer representative on the phone can solve a lot of problems fast.
- It can be useful to create two PayPal accounts in advance, so you have a "backup account" if one is under inspection by PayPal. If you try to create a second account after your primary account is under inspection, this account will most likely be "frozen", too.
- We think it is a good idea to offer additional payment solutions: bank transfer and credit card payments via Stripe (if available in your country) could serve as useful additions. In most cases Stripe is even cheaper than PayPal.
- We heard about two cases during the last 5 years where the PayPal account of an organizer was blocked by PayPal, because PayPal considered the operations of the conference organizers as "risky". But in both cases this block was cleared after telephone calls with PayPal.