How setup Paypal to accept credit cards

By: The WP Guy Posted in ecommerce, PayPal, WooCommerce

Where to find that mysterious setting to allow people to buy from you without them needing to create a PayPal account. It is one of those things that drives me a little crazy as I can never remember of the top of my head where to change the setting. So for my benefit as much as yours I have laid it out below with screenshots and links to speed up the process.

By default it’s turned off would you believe so every single PayPal user needs to make this change in the setup stage.

Very  handy reference manual for PayPal Standard, it has lots of screenshots and even though a few years old still valid as PayPal has not changed most of their screens for years:
PayPal Standard Guide (PDF)

This is based on using the PayPal Standard style of account.

Step 1 – Edit profile

Actual PayPal link:

Edit Paypal profile

Step 2 – Select my selling tools

Paypal - My selling tools

Step 3 – Select website preferences – update

Actual PayPal link:

Paypal - Website Payment Preferences

Step 4 – Set PayPal Account Option to ‘On’

Further reading about this setting on official site:

Paypal Account Optional

Other useful setting on the same page

There are a few more items on this page that are used in the e-commerce setup that you may need. They are:

Auto Return for Website payments:

Auto Return for Website Payments brings your buyers back to your website immediately after payment completion. Auto Return applies to PayPal Website Payments, including Buy Now, Donations, Subscriptions and Shopping Cart. Learn More

You also need to add a the URL where you want your customer to go back to on your website after a successful transaction.

For WooCommerce the return URL is:

PDT – Payment Data Transfer

Payment Data Transfer allows you to receive notification of successful payments as they are made. The use of Payment Data Transfer depends on your system configuration and your Return URL. Please note that in order to use Payment Data Transfer, you must turn on Auto Return.

More useful links to WordPress shopping cart plugin resources

WooCommerce plugin

Paypal Standard guide :

WP e-Commerce plugin

Paypal Standard guide:

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Article Comments

  1. Hi WP Guy,

    you have no idea how valuable your instructions on this page are. Without it, it will have been impossible to figure out why the buyer isn’t allowed to pay with credit card without a PayPal account.

    There must be thousands of Woocommerce users out there who are looking for exactly these instructions.

    Well done and keep it up!


    • Thank you for the feedback Edmund, I am so pleased the post is helping others which is the goal.
      Yes its such a small details to miss that makes all of the difference.

      Kind regards,

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for your information!

    Is it also possible for international customers to pay without an account? Can everybody pay without setting up an account?

    I like to hear from you.

    Kind regards,


  3. Thank you for this valuable information. But im running around in circles. Somehow my woocommerce shoop just links to paypal, and isnt initiating any payment options…. meaning after clicking “pay with paypal”, it just redirects to where nothing further current site is

    Please tell me you have an idea why that might happen.
    Ill name my first-born after you if you get it to work.

    Cheers mate

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for the great info. I’m setting up an ecommerce for a single digital download product using woocommerce. I’m trying to configure the checkout so that my customers don’t enter any personal info on my site (e.g., name, address, etc.) and complete the entire checkout on paypay, and then are redirected back to my site for the digital download. Is that possible? Thanks.

  5. This might be me but i have manage to get everything working, but i just not getting the Credit card payment section without a customer having a Paypal ACCT.

    Any clue on what i might be doing wrong? I have a Paypal Premier account.


  6. The “ON” setting seems to work only with buttons. Have you only tried buttons? Because with the API it does not seem to work as non-PayPal customers are required to register.

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