Paypal Website Payments Pro VS Payflow Payment Gateway

Okay so if you were wondering what the difference between Paypal Website Payments Pro and Payflow Payment Gateway then this is for you. I just read an article titled ‘understanding the new paypal‘ and finally it makes sense.

  • Express Checkout (WPP): Activate it on your store if you want to provide an alternative checkout option, similar to Google Checkout. When you activate Direct Payments, Express Checkout is also enabled automatically (this is a PayPal requirement)
  • Direct Payments (WPP): an easy way to support credit card payments on your store, without having to get an Internet Merchant Account through your bank.
  • PayFlow Pro: a more robust payment gateway that is the way to go if your store gets/is busy (several hundred orders a day). You do need an Internet Merchant Account.
  • PayFlow Link: if you use a professional shopping cart, you don’t need it.

(WPP) = this is part of PayPal Website Payments Pro.

Massimo Arrigoni asks Matt Watts, business development manager at PayPal what the differences are – and here are some of the things he said.

What are the main differences between Website Payments Pro and PayFlow Pro, in terms of features?

Website Payments Pro combines a gateway and merchant account into a single solution. Merchants intending to use this service open a PayPal business account, submit an application, and are vetted accordingly. The reporting functionality is limited with Website Payments Pro, so for any merchants who are transacting over about two-hundred orders monthly, they’d most likely want to use PayFlow Pro. PayFlow Pro is a gateway only and requires the merchant to find their own banking relationship for the Internet Merchant Account. PayFlow’s functionality is more advanced from a reporting standpoint, so reconciliation of transactions is much easier.

When would you advise a company to adopt WPP vs PayFlow Pro? What are the elements that should trigger a decision towards one solution versus the other?

If the merchant is new to the e-commerce landscape, they’re probably better off working with WPP for processing, simply because it’s an all-in-one solution that is inexpensive. However, for merchants who are established, process numerous orders daily and need more advanced reporting, then PayFlow Pro is the better solution.

[Massimo’s note: getting an Internet Merchant Account for Payflow Pro is probably harder than getting approved for Paypal Website Payments Pro, especially if you have a brand new business].

Could a store have both PayPal Website Payments Pro and PayFlow Pro active ( e.g. to use PayPal Express)?

It would be possible for a merchant to have PayFlow Pro and WPP active on their site. However, merchants typically have one gateway and one merchant account for direct credit card payments. When Express Checkout has been integrated into a shopping cart like ProductCart, then it can be used with any gateway the merchant wants to use (ie. If the merchant is using, PayFlow, or WPP, they’ll be able to add Express Checkout).

[Massimo’s note: assuming your shopping cart supports both, you would not activate Direct Payments and PayFlow Pro on the same store, since to the user they look the same = a credit card form on your Web store. But you might indeed want to have Express Checkout active together with another payment option (e.g. or another payment gateway). If you enable WPP Direct Payments, then Express Checkout is enabled automatically].

When would you advise a company to adopt PayFlow Link?

PayFlow Link merchants typically don’t have much experience with e-commerce and they want a solution where they can cut and paste HTML into their website to post payments to our secure form. Since most shopping carts have other payment gateways integrated and merchants don’t need to worry about the integration, PayFlow Link becomes irrelevant since the primary market it serves is lower-level, new merchants who can’t integrate API-based solutions.

[Massimo’s note: Back in the old days when SSL certificates cost hundreds of dollars a year, a payment system like Payflow Link was a popular option as you would send customers to a secure page, outside of your Web site, and didn’t have to buy an SSL certificate. But… it’s 2007 and the cost of SSL certs has come down dramatically, so having your own SSL certificate should be a no-brainer if you are serious about running a professional ecommerce store.]


7 responses to “Paypal Website Payments Pro VS Payflow Payment Gateway

  1. Pingback: Paypal Website Payments Pro VS Payflow Payment Gateway | Blog

  2. Great article. We’re hoping to implement WPP, and so I’ve downloaded the WP e-commerce plugin. However, Website payments pro isn’t actually listed on the payment modules yet. Is it possible to use website payments pro with wp ecommerce? Is there an extra plugin I need to download, or is it simply not ready yet?
    Thanks in advance!

  3. Hello. It is available in the latest nightly “Development Version”. Its great to see people are already enjoying it 🙂

  4. Hey

    Ah – that’s great news. Have installed the development build (at the bottom of that page)…. However I’m now getting to menu options on the left — both Settings, and Settings (New)

    When I click Settings, that loads fine. Clicking Payment options, changes the wording to “Loading” in italics, then it flips back to saying “Payment Options”, but the screen that’s loaded is the initial “General Settings” tab still.

    So trying Settings (New) — I have the same options across the top. Clicking Payment Options brings up the Payment Options screen. Just the Manual Payment / Test Gateway option is ticked.

    If I tick any other options (eg. Paypal Pro) and press update, the page reloads. But my selection disappears and I just get Manual Payment / Test Gateway ticked again…

    Any help much appreciated!

    Tom K

  5. Give it 12 hours and then download the next Development Version. The “Settings New” page is the new settings pages that we are currently working on.

    Once this is the only settings page all your problems should be solved.

  6. Cool – great to hear you guys are working on it. Really only just stumbled on this post from Google (after spending quite a while looking at different WordPress ecommerce options), so very excited to try it out!

    Btw, is there a better or easier place for me to report feedback? I’m conscious that just having it here on the blog might not be too useful for you guys! Am happy to help out with testing etc.

    Many thanks


  7. Yes. Probably a good idea since this is not my site or the WP e-Commerce site. Email me (hunt me) down…

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