If you use PayPal Standard you must read this page.

This page will cover PayPal Standard's weaknesses and our solutions in regards to its use with Nanacast.

This page only covers PayPal Standard. Paypal Web site Payments Pro and PayFlow Pro which Nanacast is also integrated with operate in much the same way as regular merchant account gateways and do not suffer the same issues we list below.

The first thing we want to do is make some recommendations. Ignore these at your own peril... at least you have been warned:

  1. We do not recommend using paypal for subscription recurring based transactions. One reason is because of they occasionally have IPN (instant payment notification) delay issues (which we cover below) which can effect verification and fulfillment.

    Another reason is because they are a third party processor and once you process a subscription with them you are then locked in at their mercy and if your account is ever frozen or closed you loose all your recurring subscriptions with it. Its just not the kind of risk you should take with your business.

    If you use a merchant account and process via credit card in Nanacast you can switch merchant accounts with just a couple entries in seconds. We make it easy.

    This is also why it is recommended that most serious businesses have multiple merchant accounts to process with. Sure if you are just starting out you may not be thinking about these things... but I have seen highly successful businesses in turmoil because they simply did not plan for contingencies and got zapped by PayPal. Its just smart business to have a back up plan.

  2. We recommend NEVER using paypal for physical product subscriptions such as auto ship supplements, book of the month, disk based monthly etc. Just don't do it. Its not smart. The main reason is because of the IPN unreliability which we will cover below which can really throw a monkey wrench into your fulfillment and for which there is no solution if the PayPal IPN completely fails (due to PayPal's own failed system).

  3. PayPal Standard cannot do certain things. For example it cannot do one click upsells. You cannot do one click with PayPal standard but due to PayPal's own limitations this is not possible. Anyone who claims to be able to do otherwise with PayPal standard is lying. You can do Upsells and Downsells in Nanacast with PayPal standard but not one click. If you want true one click upsells and downsells you should use a merchant account and credit card processing with Nanacast.

    PayPal Standard cannot do a trial with a single payment following the trial. For some reason they have limited that. Again you can do that with a merchant account and credit card processing with Nanacast.

    PayPal cannot do what is sometimes called "bump" offers "forced" or "optional continuity" or "bundle offers" where trials are included to completely separate subscriptions that are independent of the main purchase and can be managed and cancelled separately. Nanacast can do this when you use a merchant account and offer credit card as the payment option.

    There are some very amazing and important strategies that become available to you when you get smart and offer credit card checkout with your own merchant account/merchant accounts.

  4. If you sell a subscription via PayPal and IPN (instant payment notification sent from PayPal) completely fails you have no way of automating their delivery upon order or limiting their access upon cancellation or failure of all rebill attempts. This would never happen if you just use a merchant account and offer credit card payment.

So should you ever offer PayPal? Maybe.

It can be good for one time one payment transactions... you will still need to deal with the occasional IPN hiccup which PayPal has never resolved (as we explain below). We are not inherently against paypal... if we were we would not have integrated it with so many of our powerful features.

As I mentioned Nanacast is also integrated with their merchant account and professional gateway services PayPal Web site Payments Pro and PayFlow Pro both of which can be used without any of the limitations listed above and without the problems IPN sometimes causes for PayPal Standard users listed below.

If you still choose to use PayPal Standard here is what you need to know in order to properly manage your use of it with Nanacast:

PayPal for all its convenience has a really crummy notification system that is once in a while unreliable. Its been that way for years. Its totally PayPal's problem... and we doubt it will ever be resolved since its been an issue for years.

PayPal's IPN (short for Instant Payment Notification) is what scripts, ecommerce services, and shopping carts rely on to verify that a transaction really took place so that it can be recorded and so that fulfillment can take place.

The problem is that PayPal for many years has been notorious for IPN being occasionally unreliable. You might go for months with no problems and then suddenly an IPN may delay on a couple transactions. Generally they are sent.. though sometimes the delayed ones may take 12, 24, even 48 hours.

In very rare occasions PayPal's system may fail to send the IPN all together. Usually its just delayed but once in a while it completely fails.

Again... this is rare... but if you use PayPal you will experience it once in a while when PayPal delays their IPN. Below we will tell you what to do about it.

The only way to completely solve this is to NEVER use paypal. The issue is ENTIRELY PayPal's fault. They have a crummy unreliable IPN and again it has nothing to do with Nanacast...

Do you wonder why I am repeating that? Its just because its natural for someone to blame the shopping cart because... well why would PayPal allow something like this to happen and never fix it?

We wish PayPal would answer that question... and you as a paypal user may want to take it up with them. Demand that they fix their IPN and eliminate delays and failures of their system to send it. But since they have not fixed this issue in all the years that it has been a problem...

We have created a few solutions to help you resolve the customer support and fulfillment side of the issue that happens when PayPal fails to send their IPN:

1. The solution below does NOT work for physical "auto ship" type subscriptions. Remember we tell people to NEVER do that right? So DON'T ever sell physical "auto ship" type subscriptions with PayPal. Do it with credit card. Its fairly safe if all you are doing is shipping one item and their is a digital subscription attached. But other than that... stick with a merchant account and credit card for all ongoing physically shipped subscriptions where physical product is shipped on a recurring basis. If you ignore this bit of advice you are going to have a real headache if PayPal fails to send an IPN.

2. For one time digital goods sales, one time physical goods sales, and recurring digital goods subscriptions where the client has contacted you because they were not directed to the "thank you" page or because they have not received their purchase because the PayPal IPN was delayed...

Here is the process to go through in Nanacast:

(Remember this is ONLY for scenarios listed in number 2 above for everything else use a merchant account)

  1. Login to PayPal and look up the transaction in question to confirm that payment has been made. In the transaction details in paypal find the "invoice ID." Remember you are looking for the "invoice ID" and NOT the transaction id.

    The "invoice ID is ID number of the transaction that Nanacast sent to PayPal and the invoice ID is what PayPal would have sent Nanacast in the IPN had PayPal not failed to send the IPN in a timely manner. Copy the invoice ID.
  2. Once you have confirmed the transaction was valid and submitted to your paypal account and you have copied the invoice ID login to your Nanacast account.

  3. Go to the left menu to Manage > Memberships or Products or Podcasts etc. Then on the management page under the offer in question in the line "Members" or "Subscribers" (depending on whether its a membership or product) click the link "view." On the members or subscribers list view page you can paste the "invoice ID" found in paypal for the transaction into the search box at the top. You may also go to advanced search if you want to pull up more criteria.

  4. This will pull up the record which will be marked as Pending. You will also notice that some or all of the fields like name etc. for that subscriber record may be missing. This would be because you did not require those fields before the buyer was directed to paypal. But that is ok all you need to do is match this record up by pulling it up with the "invoice ID" search you just did.

  5. If you need any of that data in the record like for fields you are requiring then get that info from the subscriber and enter those fields before you save the changes to the subscriber record. At the very minimum you must enter an email address so that the system can deliver the login details if one is not already present in the record.

  6. Once you have entered the info into the fields that needed to be collected (at the minimum an email address for delivery is required on digital products and shipping info will be required for physical delivery) then change the status from "Pending" to "Subscribed" and click save.

    The system will now create the active subscriber record and will send them their email receipt, create any access accounts and send a ship request for any physically shipped product associated with that initial order... again this only works for one time shipments and digital goods and services.

  7. If the PayPal system finally send the IPN, and it usually does it will update the record with any missing data but since fulfillment has already taken place when you manually changed the record to Subscribed it will not fulfill it a second time.

That's all there is to know about handling PayPal IPN failures. Remember... if you offer PayPal its highly likely you will occasionally encounter this and its entirely a PayPal issue and has nothing to do with the Nanacast system.

Processing all your sales via merchant account/credit card processing will eliminate it. If you need a merchant account we can give you lots of great suggestions for US, Canada, UK, AU, NZ, and International. You will find some of these great options on our recently updated merchant accounts page.