How To Use PayPal Recurring Payments In Joomla

Trying to use PayPal to take recurring payments in your Joomla website? If you are dealing with subscriptions / memberships, installments and automatic billing on your website, then you can bill customers on a regular basis at intervals that you choose. This post will walk you through the process of how to accept PayPal recurring payments on your Joomla website.

You could already be using PayPal to accept payments on your website. Maybe not. Anyhow, recurring payments are a little different from the regular payments. In eCommerce, recurring payments are used when you are selling subscriptions and memberships on your site. This article speaks in the same context.

So, to begin with, let’s focus on the main part. Here’s how you can accept recurring payments on your Joomla + J2Store website using your PayPal account.

How to use PayPal for accepting recurring payments?

Assuming that you have created your PayPal account , let’s quickly jump to the procedure of setting up your recurring payment system.

Step 1 - Install the PayPal extension

Install J2Store and Subscriptions and Memberships extension, if you haven’t already. Then go ahead and install PayPal Standard extension (payment plugin) from the J2Store installer.

Step 2 - Enter your details

Enter your PayPal credentials and the API details in the plugin. Check out the installation details for more details. Here’s how the page would look:


You have to provide the following details from your PayPal account:

  • PayPal email address
  • API username
  • API password
  • API signature


The other configurations are related to your store. For example, you can charge a fixed percentage or fixed price as surcharge fee. Surcharge fee is what you charge the customers for using PayPal for payment.

Once you have entered your details, your PayPal merchant account is linked to J2Store. Great! There’s just one step left.

Step 3 - Enable Reference Transaction

The PayPal folks have to enable Reference Transaction support on your account so that your payments are processed seamlessly. You can either call or email them regarding this.

Step 4 - Done

Once the reference transaction support is enabled, you can sell multiple subscriptions, change recurring totals and billing schedule, allow customers to switch subscriptions, and much more.

That’s it. Could this get any simpler? But, there’s something else you should know.

And that is how to create a membership plan that can accept recurring payments. Isn’t it? Not only do you need to set up the PayPal account, you also need to configure your plans in a way that they accept payments automatically. Here’s how…

Recurring Payments for Joomla Subscriptions

The term “recurring” is only so suitable for the subscriptions and memberships. You could be selling anything - a subscription box with a lot of products, a single renewable product like a magazine, a software, premium blogs, etc. The list can go on and on. Basically, your customers subscribe for the premium experience you offer.

Now that you are acquainted with our Subscriptions and Memberships plugin, let’s quickly move on to learn how to create membership plans that take recurring payments.


With the Subscriptions and Memberships app, you can create recurring plans and bill your customers monthly or yearly or every 6 months, etc. So, to create a recurring subscription plan, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1 - Create a subscription product

From your Joomla / J2Store dashboard, create a new Joomla article. Navigate to the J2Store Cart tab, select “Treat as a product” and choose the product type as “Simple or variable subscription”. If you want variants to your subscription, then choose the variable subscription type. If you do not want any variants, just create a simple subscription.

Here’s a magazine subscription I created:


Step 2 - If it is a variable product, generate the variants

Generate variants of the product (say, different plans) if it is a variable subscription. You have to create the variants beforehand from Catalog > Options. Only the available options are shown as variants. The Subscription Period is displayed as variant here. Its values are set to be 6 months and 1 year.


Step 3 - Configure the variants, if any

Now you can configure the variants. The price, stock details, images, SKU, etc., of each variant can be filled in as shown in the below image.


Step 4 - Save the product

Save and publish the product. And voila! You have created a subscription plan (2 plans actually) that take recurring payments!

What is the result?

So, you know how to link your PayPal merchant account to J2Store. You also know how to create a recurring subscription plan. What happens when you actually create one?

A lot.

Yep. A lot of stuffs happen, but you do not have to worry about any of them. All you need to do is to market your product and follow up with your customer. The rest is taken care of by J2Store. Here is what is managed for you by our eCommerce solution:

  • Automatic renewal
  • Notification emails when a plan expires
  • Stock management of different variants of membership products
  • Automatic receiving of payments

So, once you are done configuring your online store as mentioned above, you can forget about the technical part. (Unless you want to create more products).

Recurring payments and recurring subscriptions are a great combination if you want to increase your revenue from the existing customers.

So, with this combo, you are increasing:

  • Customer engagement
  • Revenue from existing customers

And reducing:

  • Time spent on subscription renewal
  • New customer acquisition cost

Great, isn’t it?

Key Takeaway:

PayPal is one of the major players in the online payment industry. Owing to the fact that there are a lot of PayPal users, integrating your online store to PayPal can give your customers a seamless experience. Not only to your customers, you can have a seamless selling experience as well. So, go ahead to your J2Store site, and implement what you learnt today!

Happy selling!

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