AutoPay with PayPal

I would like to see PayPal as an option for the AutoPay system. PayPal is an option with manual payments, so there’s no logical reason it also couldn’t be used as an automatic payment option too.

The main reason I would like to see PayPal as an automatic payment option is so I have one less site I need to update when my card details change. I love the convenience of automatic payments, but I also like the convenience of PayPal too.

From a security stand point, the fewer sites that have my card details, the less likely it is that they’ll be stolen. It doesn’t completely eliminate the risk, and of course DH does their best to protect our card details, but reducing possible access points is always a good thing when it comes to security.

Besides the convenience and security aspects, making PayPal an automatic payment option also opens up the possibility of using a bank account for automatic payments outside the US. Heck, even the balance of a PayPal account could be used for automatic payments.

I hope DH will seriously consider implementing this suggestion.

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We’d love to, but the PayPal integration we’re using doesn’t support automatic payments. PayPal does have a separate service for “Subscriptions and Recurring Payments”, but it’s completely separate from their normal payment system, and it’s rather inflexible. In particular, it doesn’t have an API — as far as I can tell, the only way for us to modify or cancel a subscription is by logging into the PayPal web site! — and it doesn’t allow payments to vary from month to month, so it wouldn’t work well with charges that vary from month to month, such as charges for domain renewals or DreamObjects.

(It’s also really obscure. The documentation is hidden away in PayPal’s “Documentation Archive”, not in their main documentation section, and it hasn’t been updated since 2008. I get the sense they don’t really want people using it…)

That explains why PayPal isn’t an option for automatic payments. As for their documentation, I have noticed they’re not particularly good at providing information for less common payment paths. I could swear PayPal offered a pre-approval system for this kind of situation though. Maybe I was wrong.

I can’t remember, are request for payment emails sent out with a link that goes to PayPal without needing to log into the control panel first? Would that be an option? If it was possible, even if I had to pay my bill manually to take advantage of PayPal, I could do it without needing to login twice.

Even if nothing can be done, at least I understand why things are the way they are now, and for that I thank you. heh Funnily enough, I asked on Twitter how come PayPal wasn’t an automatic payment option, and they told me to suggest it.

Actually there are some big vendors that allow PayPal “preapproved payments” to be set up with PayPal through their sites/applications that allow dynamic payments to be made (either manually when one is shopping in their store, or for subscription-like payments).

Vendors like:
[]Valve (Steam)

Having programmed PayPal integration stuff in the past myself, I understand your frustration with the documentation, and the fact that there are different APIs for doing different things… and I assume the Preapproved Payments functionality is probably harder to deal with than the standard stuff… but it’s definitely possible.

Is there not a way to work directly with PayPal support for help to make it happen? I would also like to be able to set up a PayPal “Preapproved Payment” for DreamHost.

Actually, I did a quick Google while writing this and have to admit, it looks like the PayPal Developer site might have had an overhaul for the better.

Take a look at this API and see if this might help you make it happen:
PayPal Adaptive Payments API

Thanks DreamHost! And best of luck making it happen… it would make things much easier for us, and lift some PCI compliance burden off of you!

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Came to post exactly this. Paypal now has subscription and Adaptive Payments. Should be -nothing- to integrate this.

However, there might be some -security- based reason to not allow auto-renew via PayPal, though for the life of me, I couldn’t possibly know what.

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