PayPal Integrator: How do I setup a PayPal Sandbox account?

Where do I go to setup a PayPal sandbox account? Where do I go to get the API Signature to use?

Date Entered: 4/1/2005    Last Updated: 02/04/2010

PayPal will provide you with one with you setup your sandbox account.

  1. First, you must Sign Up for a PayPal Developer Account. After you do that, Log In to your account.
  2. You'll be in "Developer Central". Click the "Test Accounts" link in the left panel under Sandbox. Click "Create Manually". This will launch a new window:
    • Select Premier or Business account. API functionality is not present in a Personal Account.
    • For a Premier account
      • First enter all the information it asks for and then click "Agree and Create Account".
      • You will now be at a page that allows you to select your payment preferences. There are two options available, which are Bank Account and Credit Card. For this tutorial we are just going to use the Bank Account.
      • Click the "Continue" button under "Pay with my bank account". Enter anything into the "Bank Name" text box, and leave the other fields at their default values. Click the "Continue" button.
      • Now you will be directed to the "Confirm your bank" page. Enter an amount in each text box under "Confirm Deposits" and click "Submit". You will then be directed to the Overview page of the account that you just set up.
    • For a Business account
      • First Select the payment solution you wish to use. Note that some solutions contain different steps, this tutorial is directly related to the "Websites Payments Standard" and "Email Payments" solutions.
      • Enter the necessary information on the next two pages to setup your business account and click "Continue".
      • You will then be directed to the page where you can set up your bank account. Enter anything into the "Bank Name" text box, and leave the other fields at their default values. Click the "Continue" button.
      • You can then click "Continue" on the confirm e-mail address page and you will be directed to the Overview page of the account that you just set up.
      • You will then want to confirm your bank account. To do this, on the Account Overview page, click "Confirm bank account" on the "Notifications" panel on the right side of the page. Now you will be directed to the "Confirm your bank" page.
      • Enter an amount in each text box under "Confirm Deposits" and click "Submit". You will then be directed back to the Overview page of the account that you just set up.
  3. Now that the account is set up, we must confirm the e-mail address.
    • To do this, you can go back to the "Developer Central" page and click the "Test Email" link in the Sandbox panel.
    • You should see an e-mail for the account you just set up with a subject of "Activate Your PayPal Account!". If you do not see this message, go back to the Account Overview page for the account you set up and click the "Profile" tab. Then click "Email" under "Account Information". You can then select the "Confirm" button to send the confirmation e-mail.
    • Click on this message. A new window will appear. There are then two options available for confirming your account.
    • The first option is to use the link provided in the e-mail.
      • Copy the link and paste it into a new browser window.
      • Enter the password for this sandbox account (NOT your Developer Central password). This will bring you to an "Email Confirmed" page.
      • Click the "Continue" button.
    • The second option is to use the confirmation number provided in the e-mail.
      • On the Account Overview page, click "Confirm email address" on the "Notifications" panel on the right side of the page. You will then be redirected to the "Confirm you email address page".
      • Click on the "Click here if the button does not appear in the email." link.
      • Then enter the confirmation number you received in the e-mail and click the "Confirm" button.
  4. Now that the PayPal account is set up and the email address is confirmed, you need to set up API access. Click on the "Profile" tab. Under the "Account Information" heading, look for the "API Access" link. (Note, if this is a Personal account, API access will not be listed here. API access is available only for Premier and Business accounts).
    • Click on the "API Access" link.
    • Click on the "Request API Credentials" link.
    • Select "Request API Signature" and click "Agree and Submit". (Note the API Certificate is also supported)
    • You will then want to copy the API Username value, and click the "Done" button. You will then be redirected back to the "API Access" page.
    • Click the "Grant API Permission" link.
    • Enter the API Username from the previous step, and check all the boxes. Click "Submit" and then "Confirm".

Whew, you're done! The PayPal Sandbox account is set up.

However you might want to go back into the PayPal account and add funds. To do that, log back into Developer Central.

  • Click the "Test Accounts" link. Select the PayPal account you wish to launch and press the "Enter Sandbox Test Site" button.
  • Login with the test account password. Click the "Add funds" tab.
  • Click "Add funds from a U.S. bank account". Enter the amount (the maximum withdrawal amount is $99,999.99 USD) and click "Continue". Click "Submit". Click "View the details of this transaction". Click "Clear Transaction".

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