PayPal Commerce Checkout Payment Gateway

PayPal Commerce is an on-site payment method and is available to event organizers in many countries. PayPal Commerce Checkout will allow your attendees to pay for their event registrations using credit cards, debit cards, PayPal funds, Pay Later, Venmo, and more with or without a PayPal account.

Important Notes

  1. PayPal Business Account Required. As event organizers or merchants, a PayPal business account is required to accept payments. Have a personal account with PayPal? You can
    quickly upgrade to a business account for free. Need a business account with PayPal? Call 1-855-456-1338 or
    click here to sign up for a merchant account.
  2. PayPal Commerce is designed to supersede all other payment integrations with Event Espresso. If you are using PayPal Standard, PayPal Express, PayPal Smart Buttons, PayPal Pro, Payflow Pro, or Braintree, we recommend switching to PayPal Commerce Checkout. PayPal Commerce offers the same features and more features including: easier set up, more secure set up, payments by card, payments by PayPal accounts, PayPal accounts are not required, Venmo payments, installment payments, etc.
  3. Starting with EE 5.0, all other payment methods included in Event Espresso core will unavailable for new sites. Old Event Espresso website will still see old payment methods available, but any new websites that are first activated with EE5 will only see Invoice and PayPal Commerce as the payment gateway options included in Event Espresso core. For example: AIM, PayPal Express, PayPal Pro will no longer be included in EE5.0+.

Pro Tip!
Will PayPal Commerce be the only payment method enabled or the only one you offer? Click here to learn how to make it selected by default during the registration checkout.

Connect to PayPal Commerce from Event Espresso

After installing Event Espresso, navigate to:

1) Event Espresso dashboard and then go to > Payment Methods.

2) Click the PayPal Commerce label

3) Click the Activate PayPal Commerce button.

4) After activating PayPal Commerce, scroll down the page to the PayPal Onboarding section and click Connect with PayPal

5) Follow the prompts to authenticate with your PayPal account with your username and password or 2-factor authentication and connect to Event Espresso or Event Smart. Event Espresso and Event Smart both use this integration.

Once you have successfully connected your event website to PayPal, you will receive a similar confirmation message:

Payment Options During Checkout

When your attendees checkout, they will be provided with several payment options including: PayPal balance, PayPal Pay Later, Debit or Credit Card, and Venmo (on mobile). Attendees can also choose to pay through electronic bank transfer (ACH) and other local payment methods.

Set up Your Country and Currency

PayPal Commerce will use the country and currency settings that is set up for your website through the General Settings page. Would you like to check these settings?
1)  Login to your website dashboard
2) Navigate to Event Espresso –> General Settings –> Your Organization.
On this page you can set your country which will also configure the currency for your events. The default is United States or USD.

You can further adjust the PayPal Commerce settings for Event Espresso by adjusting several fields or options. You can make these changes on the same page you configured PayPal Commerce to connect to PayPal.

Navigate to Event Espresso –> Payment Methods –> PayPal Commerce tab.

Below are the available fields and explanations for each field.

  • Name – This is the name of the payment method.
  • Description – This description is shown during registration checkout.
  • Admin-Only Name – This is a name of the payment method that will only be shown in the Dashboard.
  • Admin-Only Description – This description is used only in the Dashboard.
  • Debug Mode On? – Enables debugging for this payment method. It should be off (set to no) on a live/production site.
  • Open by Default? – This sets this payment method to be pre-selected on the registration checkout page.
    To give your audience more payment options, you can activate multiple payment methods at the same time. However, if you are offering just one payment option, then we recommend that you set that one payment method to be selected by default during registration checkout. That will simplify the check out process for your attendees.
  • Button URL – This is the URL to the image that will be used during the payment process of registration checkout.
  • Usable From? – Select where this payment method should be available for use. This payment method cannot process payments through the Dashboard.
  • Order – The value (number) can be used to sort or arrange this payment option. A lower value means that it should appear first during registration checkout.
  • Update Settings – Click this button after making any changes to your payment method.
  • Deactivate Payment Method – Click this button to deactivate this payment method.


When I refund a payment, does it also refund through PayPal Commerce?
Refunds in Event Espresso are currently a two-step process. First, apply the refund through the transactional details screen of Event Espresso in your Dashboard. Then log into your PayPal merchant account and process the refund.

How can I set up a recurring payment or subscription through PayPal Commerce?
Recurring or subscription payments are not currently supported in the PayPal Commerce payment gateway.

When will Venmo appear? Venmo will appear on mobile devices when an attendee has the Venmo mobile app installed and when merchant payments are enabled in the app. An attendee can enable merchant payments through the Venmo app –> Settings –> Connect Browsers and then connect the browser.

Need more help?

  • Browse or search for more information on this topic in our support forums. Customers with an active support license can open a support topic and get help from Event Espresso staff.
  • Have an emergency? Purchase a support token and get expedited one-on-one help!
  • Go back to documentation for Event Espresso
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