BCOE&M 2.7.0: Implement PayPal Instant Payment Notifications

Since the release of version 2.1.10, BCOE&M offers the ability to process and receive PayPal payment data instantly.

PayPal's Instant Payment Notification (IPN) service is a way for your BCOE&M installation to update entry status to "paid" instantly after a user successfully completes their payment on PayPal.

No more fielding questions from entrants about whether their entries have been marked as paid, or why their entries haven't been.

Set Up PayPal

Implementing PayPal IPN involves a number of factors and a bit of setup on your PayPal account.

First, it is suggested that you have a dedicated PayPal account for your competition.

Second, to implement PayPal IPN, your PayPal account must be a business account.

Instructions for setting up IPN Notifications on PayPal can be found here. You will need to enter a Notification URL that points to the ppv.php file, commonly called a “listener,” in your site root for the function to work:

[your installation base URL]/ppv.php
e.g., http://www.brewcompetition.com/ppv.php

After setting up IPN notifications, you should also set up Auto Return on your account. Set the return value to:

[your installation base URL]/index.php?section=pay&msg=10
e.g., http://www.brewcompetition.com/index.php?section=pay&msg=10

Enable in Website Preferences

Set the PayPal Instant Payment Notification (IPN) preference to "Enable" in your BCOE&M installation's Website Preferences (Admin Dashboard > Preferences > Website Preferences).

Test, Test, Test

Once you have set up your PayPal account, since environments vary, it is suggested that you perform a test using your own BCOE&M account by adding an entry and paying for it via PayPal.

Or, use the IPN Simulator on the PayPal Developer Site - be sure to place your BCOE&M installation in TEST mode by changing the TESTING variable to TRUE in the [root]/paths.php file.

Transaction details will be saved to your BCOE&M database and will be available via your PayPal dashboard as well.