Adding a Payment Processor

Once you have secured the services of a merchant account/payment gateway (i.e., payment processor such as or PayPal), you can configure your payment processor within CiviCRM and begin taking online payments.

Each payment processor requires different information in its configuration. As PayPal Websites Standard is the most widely used payment processor by our subscribers, we will use this payment processor for our example.

To configure your payment processor:

  1. Within CiviCRM, navigate Administer → Configure → Global Settings → Payment Processors.
  2. Click the Add Payment Processor button.
  3. Select PayPal – Website Payments Standard from the Payment Processor Type. (Note: the default is PayPal – Website Payments Pro.)
    The screen will refresh with the fields of information required for PayPal Website Payments Standard.

    CiviCRM - Configure Payment Processor

  4. Enter a Name and Description (if necessary) for the payment processor.
  5. For PayPal Standard, enter your Merchant Account Email (i.e., your PayPal username) under the Processor Details for Live Payments section.
  6. Enter your test Merchant Account Email under the Processor Details for Test Payments section. [GingerFeet will supply this information.]
  7. Click the Save button.

Complete instructions for configuring PayPal Standard (including setting up a test account through the PayPal Sandbox), see:

You must now modify any contribution pages or events that you want to allow online payments.

Configuring a Contribution Page

To configure an existing contribution page for online payments:

  1. Navigate Contributions → Manage Contributions.
  2. Select Configure → Contribution Amounts on the right-hand side menu for the contribution page you wish to modify.

    CiviCRM - Configure Contribution Page for Online Donations

  3. Check the Execute real-time monetary transactions checkbox.
  4. Select the payment processor name you just created from the Payment Processor drop-down.
  5. Click the Save or Save and Done button.

To complete your PayPal Standard setup, you must configure your PayPal account to receive instant payment notifications (IPN) and auto return your users to your website.

Configure Paypal to Talk to CiviCRM

CiviCRM can receive feedback from Paypal after the contribution is made. This requires making some changes within your Paypal account Profile at

Instant Payment Notification

To configure Instant Payments Notification (IPN) for your PayPal account:

  • Click Profile > My Selling Tools > Instant Payment Notification > Update.
  • Enable Instant Payments Notification (checkbox checked).
  • Enter your CiviCRM site home page (e.g. as the Notification URL. This is a placeholder. CiviContribute will pass the exact IPN 'listener' URL to PayPal automatically during each transaction.
  • Click Save.

Then set the Auto Return so the contributor goes back to your site.

  • Click Profile > My Selling Tools > Website Preferences > Update.
  • Set Auto Return to On.
  • Enter your CiviCRM site home page as the Return URL. This is a placeholder. CiviContribute will pass the exact return URL to PayPal automatically during each transaction.
  • Set Payment Data Transfer to Off.
  • Click Save.

Your users can now make online payments through your website!