Why Paypal is not showing credit card option sometimes?

Store owners with Paypal payments standard account often find that their customers were not able to pay with their credit card. Simply, there is no credit card option in the payment page of the PayPal. You may wonder why you or your customers are not seeing the credit card option in the Paypal Payment page.

Well, the answer to the question needs quite an explanation and understanding of how PayPal works.

Primarily, it's related to how your PayPal account is setup. You read it right. It is YOUR account set up. Please read the following checklist and ensure that your account matches them.

  •  Your account must be either Premier or Business.  Personal type accounts do not have this option.
  •  PayPal Account Optional (a setting in your account) should be turned on - this enables non-PayPal members to pay by Credit Card.
  •  The email address you use to log into your PayPal Account must be verified.
  •  Bank Account linked and verified.
  •  Credit Card linked and verified.

Make sure your PayPal account meets all these creteria so that your customers are presented with a credit card payment option at the PayPal's checkout page.

Read on to understand more about these requirements.

How to enable the PayPal Account Optional feature

 Go to your Account Profile.
 Select:  My Selling Tools
 Under:  Selling Online
 Locate:  Website Preferences
 Click on:   Update
 Locate:  PayPal Account Optional
 Click:   On
 Click:   Save

When the "account optional" feature is turned on, customers don't need a PayPal account.   They can use an alternate checkout and have the option to sign up for a PayPal account afterward.   Customers with PayPal account can still log in to their PayPal account to checkout.

Specific reasons why the Credit Card Option may not be available to your customers:

  •  You are using Express Checkout. Express Checkout requires a PayPal Account
  •  You are using the wrong email address or an unverified email address.
  •  The country you reside in. Not all countries have all the PayPal features available.
  •  The country your customers reside in. Not all countries have all PayPal features available.
  •  The IP address of your hosted site is on a blocked list.

What alternatives do I have to accept credit card paymets in my online store

Well, PayPal should be one of the payment option presented to your customers, you can also offer them another choice. So even if your customers find no credit card option at the PayPal Payment page, they could still use the alternative option you provide to make payment. That way, you can retain your customers.

While there are a number of payment gateways available to accept card payments, I would recommend you to try Stripe. It is a very popular gateway and merchants from 27+ countries can sign up for an account. It is simple and hassle-free set up. The best part is Stripe is that it charges less transaction fee (only 2.9 %) than Paypal (which charges about 4% and above ). No setup, monthly, or hidden fees. Try Stripe with J2Store

I still have no luck

You have your PayPal Account setup properly but, still don't see the Credit Card Option or the small link to the Credit Card Option.

It's all about the cookies. The PayPal screens are designed to be displayed in a specific way and what you see is based on the cookies and/or your PayPal Account configuration.

PayPal relies on the use of cookies to track what's in your cart and retain other info about you and therefore the screen that is displayed may not be the screen you expect to see.   If you are a new customer visiting PayPal for the first time, the Credit Card Option will be clearly displayed.

If this is your second or third visit to PayPal and your previous cookie has not expired, PayPal now views you as a returning customer.   You will get a screen with a small link to the Credit Card Option.   Although this is not as obvious to the customer, the Credit Card Option is still available.   For example, the cookie that holds the cart info will retain that info for up to 21 days.   The only way it will change is if you remove the items selected from the cart or delete the cookie.

 If you are testing your web pages, creating new code or making changes, etc., simply delete your web browser's cookies, temp files and history, then close your web browser, reopen it and try your web pages again.   When you view the PayPal Screens, you will now get a screen with the Credit Card Option because PayPal views you as a new visitor.

 Other reasons for deleting cookies.  Let's say you changed your business email address or business graphic logo.   If you don't delete the cookies, temp files and history before you test, you will still see the old information.

And One Last Item: (IMPORTANT. So read it)

With PayPal's Payments Standard, PayPal advertises that you do not have to have a PayPal Account to make a purchase.   This statement is quite true however, there is one small bit of very important information that is not mentioned in any of the available documentation.

Example Scenario:
You have returning customers or have clients that pay you for services or rent on a regular basis.   After your customer or client pays you 3 to 4 times using the same credit card, PayPal will interrupt the transactions and require the customer or client to open a PayPal Account or ask the customer or client to use a totally different credit card.   Although the customer or client's credit card is good, they will be unable to complete the transaction until they either open a PayPal Account or use an another credit card.

PayPal's mission it to sign up new business or accounts and by tracking the number of times a credit card is used is one method designed to help accomplish that goal.   Opening a PayPal Account may be OK with some of your customers or clients but, perhaps not all.   Just something to be aware of.

Payments Standard is a great concept because you pay only for the services you use but, there are some limitations as this is one of them.

For folks who really just want their customers or clients to pay with a credit card with no limitations as described above, and then the product to use is Payments Pro.   Pro is different as it does have a monthly fee, plus transaction fees and there are specific PCI security requirements to consider.

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