Paypal automated pay/receive and success notice with business account? (what if I don't have a business?)


I would like to know if is possible to create a system that pay/receive automatically based on what is happening in the site.
I would like to know after a payment that it has succeeded or not in order to activate the service.

I don't have a business so what is my best choice? (country: Portugal)

Example of what I would like is (not exactly how it happens):

  • Users pay to open a new contest
  • Website somehow is noticed by the success of that payment and opens the contest
  • There is a winner and the money are sent to that user and a little commission to the Website


What I Really NEED:

  • Available in Portugal;
  • API to know if the payment has been done
  • Low fees, I prefer no monthly fees
  • What about if I don't have a business, but just the site
  • Business name instead of my Name when someone receive/pay


asked Dec 11 '11 at 09:58
108 points

1 Answer


This is actually some what of a technical question not really a 'start up' question.

I'm not sure what countries PayPal works in, but whether you have PayPal standard or Pro you can achieve what you are looking to do.

With PayPal Standard there is a concept called IPN Instant Payment Notification. You can essentially call a web service or page back on the originating website once they finish the transaction on PayPal. Once IPN calls back to your website you would need to have custom code/logic to mark in your database that the contest has been paid for.

If you were able to upgrade to PayPal Pro in your country you can do a lot of this without the user ever having to go over to the actual PayPal website.

You would essentially pay commissions out to people by sending them money via PayPal to their email address.

There are probably content management systems or e-commerce systems that may be a good fit for you to automate some of this. It's possible that Drupal 7 and Drupal 7 commerce could achieve this without much programming. (But I'm just guessing).

Typically this stuff is custom coded for a specific need.

Regarding your update:

  • Available in Portugal ('I think' PayPal is)
  • API exists for PayPal Standard. See this link for Express Checkout, has API docs
  • PayPal charges a transaction fee under a dollar and a percentage typically 2.5 - 3.3%
  • PayPal standard has no monthly fee
  • In the US you don't have to have an actual registered business to do business. There are benefits to incorporating but you can just claim any income on your personal income taxes. Not sure if it's the same in Portugal.
answered Dec 11 '11 at 11:39
Ryan Doom
5,472 points
  • Thanks! I didn't knew about paypal pro but it has a little problem. the 30$/month fee. Is there any way to have that kind of automation (API access to know if succeed or not) by paying by transaction? The problem is not about coding as is a Django app. I only want to know what I can do regards this topic. – Totty 11 years ago
  • Pretty sure IPN is still valid with PayPal standard. It's just the user has to go to PayPal to finish the transaction but your site i s still called back via HTTP post to let you know the transaction succeeded. The new kid on the block that is awesome is but wouldn't work for you since YOU are in Portugal. Site owner / bank has to be in the US. – Ryan Doom 11 years ago
  • it's not a problem the user to go the paypal site to finish. The main points are: available in Portugal, API to know if payed/received, not too much money, and the problem about me don't having the business. Just the website :... (check my update) – Totty 11 years ago
  • Gotcha, ok i revised my comments above too. – Ryan Doom 11 years ago
  • Thanks a lot, really good answer. But on the last point I don't think is really a problem because in the beginning will not not be a lot of people (and way less transference) and I don't think would have any legal impact (because is not noticed). Then if it works well I will open a business and do it right (:. There is any other way in order to don't show my real name when someone make a transaction, I would prefer to show the business name if possible. thanks again (: (updated with a last point) – Totty 11 years ago
  • In PayPal you can there is a setting to show whatever you choose to show on the credit card statement. You may need to make your account a 'business' account but when I did it (few years back) it was like a single click. Didn't need any real business info. Business account is not really different than standard. You don't pay monthly until you go to 'Pro.' But yeah in PayPal you can set what shows up on the buyers credit card statement. – Ryan Doom 11 years ago
  • Thanks. Now I have to try it (: that really helped me out, as I'm really new to Paypal and online payments. Thanks again (: – Totty 11 years ago
  • Well if you are coding python/django the IPN integration should be pretty simple! Good luck. – Ryan Doom 11 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: