Setting up Fundraising using PayPal Sandbox Mode

I am trying to set up my fundraising app to work with PayPal sandbox mode. Your instructions do not seem to handle this. Do you have any instructions on the minimal setup so that I can test this app.

As you probably know, the PayPal sandbox site is weird, confusing and obtuse. I am trying to make a decision about using this software but I don't think it is reasonable to proceed without testing it in SandBox mode first. The work (which includes applications to PayPal) is extensive.

Please advise.

Jeff Lapides

  • jlapides2

    OK, thanks. I got fairly far but the nomenclature is different between the plugin and WPMU so I got lost. Any help would be helpful. I also plan to call PayPal today and will post what I learn for everybody.

    Not sure what you mean by virtual user. I did set a separate dummy (?) account with a separate REAL email address.

    In the past when I tried to set up a new account with Paypal it got very complicated with them asking for proposals etc. since this is fundraising and not product sales.

    Jeff

  • Cole

    Hey Jeff and Tom,

    I think the biggest question here is standard or advanced payments?

    Standard sandbox requires you login to the fake merchant account at http://sandbox.paypal.com and then setup the instant payment notifications.

    Advanced payments sandbox is a bit easier. Just insert the API information and leave the APP ID blank to use the global sandbox application ID.

    Let me know if there is anything I can help clarify. I'm in the process of adding PayPal Express Checkout API which should also help make standard payments a bit easier to setup. No solid eta on that right now though.

  • jlapides2

    Hi:

    I am digging into the Fundraising plugin a lot more now. I will set aside the PayPal issues til I get the display right.

    Shall I start a new thread for each issue or keep them in one. Here is the first.

    If I put a simple fundraiser in the sidebar using a widget, the payment button appears. If I put an advanced fundraiser the payment button does not appear.

    http://sciencebucksdev.jlapides.com
    password: maxwell

    Please tell me what I am doing wrong.

    Jeff Lapides

  • jlapides2

    As I indicated in the last post, I set up an advanced fundraiser whose end data was yesterday. I posted two payments which totaled more than the goal. They showed up OK in pledges and were visible in the fundraiser transactions. The progress bar worked and the value shown in the Raised column turned green presumably indicating that the campaign successfully completed.

    Paypal Sandbox showed emails received by the dummy users from PayPal that they had set up a pre-approved payment. There were no emails from my site (I don't think that is supposed to work).

    When I checked the amount debited from the users accounts they were unchanged. You had indicated above that these would be debited. Is there something I have to do to manually close out the fundraiser for this to happen or is it suppose to happen automatically?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  • jlapides2

    Cole:

    I have a couple of questions to get to the bottom of this.

    1. When you sign on to the dummy PayPal CUSTOMER accounts does it show that your transactions have occurred? You did not mention this, just what was logged in WordPress.

    2. As far as I can tell my CUSTOMER accounts are valid for the month of October. PayPal however is telling me that my test accounts (presumably customer but they don't say) do not have credentials. So maybe this is the problem.

    3. When I try to sign on to the dummy accounts, I cannot. So I created a new account, put money in the VISA account, and successfully signed on. That is once. I can't get Paypal to take me to the same signon page twice even after clearing the cache, trying different browsers, etc. Are you able to sign on to the dummy CUSTOMER accounts?

    4. In order for me to simulate this again in less than 24 hours so this process does not take forever, is there a way to have a fundraiser that lasts for a duration of less than 24 hours, hopefully a few minutes. It seems that all I can do is enter a date, not a time. If I enter the same date, the fundraiser is automatically done and I can't use it.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks,

    Jeff Lapides

  • Cole

    1. Yes it does, this requires that you login to your account at https://developer.paypal.com/ THEN you have to login to the "customer" or "merchant" accounts at http://sandbox.paypal.com. Might be a good place to check about those particular payments that didn't process.

    2. The not having credentials errors (if we are talking about the same one that shows up paypal when pledging from the plugin) might be related to improper api credentials. Possibly from switching back and forth between standard and advanced payments? Make sure you have credentials for advanced populated. Also there is no need for an APP ID when in sandbox mode (I think I already said that earlier huh).

    3. Where are you trying to sign in? Clear every cookie that contains the word paypal in it. This is easier in a browser like chrome or firefox.

    4. Advanced Crowdfunding Payments are processed immediately after the goal is reached. You want to make sure your goal date range is correct and just make enough test payments to match or go over the goal. Shouldn't need to wait any amount of time.

  • jlapides2

    1. Yes it does, this requires that you login to your account at https://developer.paypal.com/ THEN you have to login to the "customer" or "merchant" accounts at http://sandbox.paypal.com. Might be a good place to check about those particular payments that didn't process.

    I know this but PayPal will not let me login to the customer accounts in sandbox except for intermittently. I have been unable to diagnose why. I have been using chrome and safari. I will try going in an deleting all the cookies. But it looks like I will have to do it EVERY time I sign in.

    2. The not having credentials errors (if we are talking about the same one that shows up paypal when pledging from the plugin) might be related to improper api credentials. Possibly from switching back and forth between standard and advanced payments? Make sure you have credentials for advanced populated. Also there is no need for an APP ID when in sandbox mode (I think I already said that earlier huh).

    I have API credentials setup for the MERCHANT account and have only been using ADVANCED payments. What PayPal is telling me is that I don't have credentials setup for CUSTOMER accounts. I can find no way to do this. Maybe if I could sign on to the customer account, I could do this but I never saw that option when I could sign on.

    3. Where are you trying to sign in? Clear every cookie that contains the word paypal in it. This is easier in a browser like chrome or firefox.

    I will try this, but doing it everytime I sign in indicates to me that there is something wrong.

    4. Advanced Crowdfunding Payments are processed immediately after the goal is reached. You want to make sure your goal date range is correct and just make enough test payments to match or go over the goal. Shouldn't need to wait any amount of time.

    I will try this but with new CUSTOMER accounts in case the old ones are somehow corrupted. On your paypal account in the tab that says API AND PAYMENT CARD CREDENTIALS, do you have CUSTOMER ACCOUNT credentials or just MERCHANT ACCOUNT credentials? I gave you a picture of what I have. I only have MERCHANT CREDENTIALS which I think were automatically set up (I don't remember because I did it last weekend).

    Thanks,

    Jeff Lapides

  • jlapides2

    Cole:

    I just did another test. Here is exactly what I did.

    1. I deleted all PayPal CUSTOMER accounts and created four new ones with 1000.00 balances in their VISA accounts.

    a. Two of the accounts were of the first type (Buyer (Use to represent your customer's experience))

    b. Two of the accounts were of the second type (Buyer In-Store (Use to represent your customer's experience with in-store checkout enabled)). These ended up with Payment Card Credentials. I clicked the active link, <activate payment card> but nothing obvious happened.

    2. I attempted the following test with three separate fundraisers: (a) first I used the type 1 customer accounts, (b) then I used the type 2 user account but with out clicking activate payment card, (c) last I used the type 2 user account but after clicking activate payment card.

    Here is what I did for the three cases:

    2. I created a fundraiser with a goal of 30.00. I executed two transactions, totaling 31.00, one from each account. The messages on the posts seemed fine, the bar filled up etc.

    3. The pledges show up in Wordpress and the status of the pledges is "pre-approved.".

    4. I was able sign on to the PayPal CUSTOMER accounts. In each was a transaction that loaded the 1000.00 but there were no pledge transactions.

    5. My Fundraising settings included settings for advanced PayPal email address, API username and password, API signature but NO application ID as you suggested.

    I'm not sure what you did different.

    I would appreciate any suggestions. Also, please tell me if you folks are 24/7 or operating on Australian time and I will adjust my activities accordingly.

    Jeff

  • jlapides2

    Hi Cole:

    Thanks for your suggestions. Here is the latest unsuccessful attempt details.

    I created a preconfigured Buyer (in-store) account.
    I selected VISA under <add credit card>.
    I selected YES under <add bank account>
    I entered 1000 in account balance. (I am not sure if this is Paypal or Bank Balance)
    I created the account.
    I left <payment review> disabled.
    I made two payments, enough to meet the funding goal.
    I signed into the Buyer account.
    The only completed transaction was the initial funding balance. The two payment transactions were missing.
    I went to Profile>My_approved_payments. It was empty.
    I clicked the <pre-approved-payment-plans> link.
    I saw the two transactions which were hyperlinked without dollar info. I clicked and confirmed that they were the transactions by checking the amounts.

    It is very hard for me to diagnose what I am doing wrong if you only tell me that you got a different result. Unless you can see what the problem is, please tell me EXACTLY what you did to set up your demo on the PayPal side. There are numerous options and many things that simply do not work on PayPal’s site. For example if you try to pay by credit card, it asks you for the three digit code but there is no place to set it up. This note will get five times longer if I detail all of the myriad configurations that I tried to get this to work.

    I have added a few attachments to show what I saw.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  • Cole

    Hey Jeff,

    So I went through the process several different ways. I created brand new business and buyer accounts.

    As a buyer:
    I tried using VISA and existing paypal balance. Each payment made with either credit card or paypal balance what available in the "My pre-approval Payments" with the correct date ranges. ( Make sure your setting your window for no more than 30 days. )

    Before the goal was met all pre-approved payments were shown on both business and buyer accounts. After the last pledge that made the goal reached was submitted all the payments were removed from the pre-approved payments and were changed to status "Completed" in the fundraising plugin and in both the business and buyer accounts.

    I did this about 6 different times, using various accounts and payments trying to get it to fail.

    In short, I have no idea why you are getting different results.

    A few notes:
    Use the pre-configured credit-card that should already be attached to the buyer account once its created. Manually inserting another card isn't possible as far as I can tell because of the missing 3 digit code etc.

    The next step in this is to diagnose what is happening with the Instant Payment Notifications system to cause this. This would require putting in some debugging code and making some more test pledges.

    I'd be happy to run some tests on your development server for you if you have one. Otherwise I can layout some of the steps in detail over email. You can reach me at cole@incsub.com

  • jlapides2

    Cole:

    1. I just tried again with a 15 day interval, two payments to reach goal.

    I got the same result, no completed payments.

    2. Don't know how you get credit card payments to work. I see it set up in the account but I don't get an option to use it. If I try to set it up as an alternate payment, it asks for a three digit code which they don't provide.

    Grabbing a bite, be back in about 20 mins.

    Jeff

  • Cole

    You should be able to set it in a secondary funding source during the paypal checkout process and use the credit card it pre-configured for you.

    Just ran a few tests. It looks like your API signature was incorrect. I did this a few times too try to just double click it and give it a quick copy and paste. There is always a sneaky "-" in there that stops you from quickly copying the whole thing.

    I also removed some white space from the api username and email address.

    After completing a goal all the "pre-approved" pledges were captured and switched to Complete.

  • jlapides2

    Cole:

    Hooray! I got it to work (or you got it to work, I should say.)

    I tried a number of scenarios with and without credit cards, all of which went through to completion. I did notice a number of issues that are probably SandBox issues or limitations.

    1. The amount deducted was slightly different than the amount donated. Do you now if SandBox is simulating a transaction fee?

    2. I was able to set up a credit card as a secondary payment source. I note that it is not persistent. You have do do it every time you use the account.

    3. I did one transaction where the PayPal balance was less than what I donated but there was a credit card added as a secondary. Everything went to completion as it should.

    4. Just for kicks, I bounced the PayPal account and DID NOT have a credit card added. This went through to completion also and it should not have.

    #4 raises the issue of declined payments. When a fundraiser goes over a long period, is it possible that payments will be declined or is the donation reserved against the account so that the fundraiser is guaranteed the donation as long as the goal is met?

    Again, thanks for your help. My best guess is that I copy and pasted the API in two actions and missed the dash.

    Jeff

  • jlapides2

    Cole:

    I think you misunderstood my question.

    1. First its good to know that one failed transaction does not halt everything.

    2. However, my question was regarding the single transaction. What I saw was that a transaction that should have failed because there was no money in the account, did not fail. Is that a problem with your software? or with PayPal Sandbox?

    3. I am proceeding to register with PayPal. I got to say that dealing with PayPal is a nightmare and I don't usually talk like this. I generally have no idea what they mean on their site and there is no easy way to get help. I don't know if Amazon is better but I strongly urge you to try. One of my concerns with using your plugin when I go live is having to deal with PayPal if something goes wrong and that is looking like a pretty bad option right now. If I were a big company, it would not be so daunting but right now I am the only one.

    Thanks again for your support over the last several weeks.

    Best,

    Jeff

  • Cole

    I see now Jeff,

    I did misunderstand you. You are correct in assuming that its a discrepancy with PayPal sandbox. All the plugin does is try to capture the payment and paypal messages back and says "It worked" or "It didn't work".

    I hear you on your concerns with PayPal. My experiences with PayPal have been on average better than other credit card processors but that doesn't mean I haven't had a few issues here and there. I am developing additional gateways for fundraising including Authorize.net (AIM & ARB) and 2Checkout. PayPal was the first gateway developed because of its large reach.

    Happy to help Jeff. I hope we can get this plugin working in a manner that works well for you and your project.

  • jlapides2

    Cole:

    Now I am trying to test the simple payments options. Forgive me in advance but I am starting to get pretty testy (no pun intended).

    There is a message in Fundraising/Settings that says I have to turn on Paypal Instant Payment Notifications implying that there is something to 'Turn On.' I don't know if the URL posted there is something I can use for testing purposes or only for live purposes.

    What I see in IPN Sandbox is a huge amount of new options to fill out. I can't find any documentation from WPMU on this. I must test this in Sandbox before I subject my customers to it. Further, I believe I have to show and describe to PayPal what I am doing in order to get registered.

    I am concerned that I am going to have to figure this out by trial and error and would greatly appreciate some guidance. The PayPal forms are attached.

    Best,

    Jeff Lapides

  • Cole

    Honestly, I wouldn't bother trying to test using the IPN simulator.

    Login to one of your sandbox merchant accounts at http://sandbox.paypal.com

    Then go to your account profile and look for the Instant Payment Notification settings. Make sure IPN is turned on and set the IPN url to the url given to you in your fundraising settings page.

    Now when you make any sandbox payment to that account the proper notifications will be sent to your pledges list.

    Let me know if you have any trouble.

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