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PayPal Pro error: 10501

Posted: August 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Kevin Doherty

August 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

just got to the point where I’m ready to test my PayPal and I have it in sandbox mode and setup the proper sandbox merchant and buyer accounts. I have my SSL setup and working properly on a dedicated IP with out any ssl errors.

at checkout I get this error:
Attention: your transaction was declined for the following reason(s):
Error Code: 10501
Short Message: Invalid Configuration
Short Message: This transaction cannot be processed due to an invalid merchant configuration.
Severity Code: Error

any idea how to resolve this?


  • Support Staff

August 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Do you have a PayPal Pro account? If not, use the standard PayPal option.

If you prefer to have on-site payments, you might want to look into Stripe.

Kevin Doherty

August 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I do have PayPal Pro but the account is “pending’ at the moment while I wait on their approval. I pray the error goes away then once its approved but thought I’d atleast be able to test successfully with the sandbox method.

I’m reading on their site that the error means “Occurs when the billing agreement is disabled or inactive.” Just looking around now to see if I need to login to my sandbox account and enable the billing agreement somewhere.

thanks Josh.
(also, wish I could use Stripe, customer wants paypal)


  • Support Staff

August 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

In order to use the sandbox method, you’ll need to set up a Sandbox account at A live or pending live account will not work.

Also, the PayPal Pro account will need to be approved (no longer pending) in order to accept live payments.

Kevin Doherty

August 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

ok, i’ve setup a PayPalpro sandbox test account and a sandbox buyer account but still getting the same error.
I guess I’ll just have to wait for the live account to be 100% approved without pending. Just wish I could test the checkout with sandbox and have confidence the gateway module is working.
thanks Josh.


  • Support Staff

August 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm

It might help to contact PayPal support for help with the account.

Kevin Doherty

August 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

thats what I plan on doing. I just confirmed that the “pending” on their account was only for them to be classified as a “non-profit” company in their profile and that their account is fully functional and operational.

I’ll contact them about the sandbox and the actual account as well and cross my fingers, or else I’m in big trouble. thanks Josh

Seth Shoultes

  • Support Staff

August 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

This is from the PayPal website:

ERROR: 10501 Invalid Configuration This transaction cannot be processed due to an invalid merchant configuration.

Make sure that you have accepted the “PayPal Payments Pro” agreement in your PayPal account after you have been approved by PayPal for PayPal Payments Pro. If you have accepted their agreement but are still getting this error, PayPal also occasionally acknowledges the agreement and activates Virtual Terminal but somehow misses activating PayPal Payments Pro itself; if your PayPal “Get Started” summary screen only shows Virtual Terminal and nothing about PayPal Payments Pro, please contact PayPal support to get your PayPal Payments Pro service activated.

Kevin Doherty

August 16, 2012 at 6:59 am

OK, thanks so much Seth, I’m a little embarassed since I just came across something in the account. The account was setup by my client and they were insistent on using PayPalPro. I believe they did purchase this type of an account but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have “Website Payments Pro” activated. I see (very inconspicuously) in their profile that the “Website Payments Pro – Not set-up”. Also from what I hear, the sandbox is having tons of issues and is being rebuilt (this is what support told me).

sorry to blow the whistle and waste anyones times. I’m just going to use express for now and ensure that works ok then get PayPal to activate the Pro. Hopefully this helps anyone else out down the road that doesn’t realize “Website Payments Pro” needs to activated inside of a “PayPal Pro” account.



  • Support Staff

August 16, 2012 at 10:48 am

They have been having lots of trouble with the PayPal sandbox, I know it was down for much of the month of July. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been recommending Stripe. From a user standpoint, they won’t be able to tell whether it’s PayPal Pro or Stripe, except that you’ll have fewer problems with Stripe.

PayPal Express is not supported at this time, you’ll need to use the standard PayPal IPN (that’s the only other PayPal option we support.)

Kevin Doherty

August 16, 2012 at 10:50 am

Funny you say that Josh, I noticed it only had support for IPN which is OK since my client has a “Business Account” so we’re in business. Going to have to investigate the Stripe option down the road, i’ve heard lots of good things. Thanks again!

Cindi Landreth

August 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Hi All,
Are there alternatives to PayPal Payments Pro to be able to using the shopping cart feature in Events Exp?

$30 is a little pricy for non-profits like us.

Thanks in advance,

Seth Shoultes

  • Support Staff

August 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

@cindi you might look into Stripe.

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