Which PayPal Payment Gateway and Account Type Do I Need?

If you choose to use Paypal as your Payment Gateway, its important to note that there a few different set-ups Paypal allows for. In this document we'll highlight the difference between all the PayPal Payment Gateways provided by Easy Digital Downloads to help you select the PayPal option that’s right for you.

PayPal Standard

Gateway:  Built-in
Required PayPal Account Type:  Any

PayPal Standard is the simplest of all PayPal gateways. It can be used with the most basic PayPal account type, the Personal account. All you need to do is enter your PayPal email address into the PayPal Settings section and you’re ready to start selling with Easy Digital Downloads. No other setup is needed.

This type of PayPal account is free.

What to expect

When someone presses the Purchase button they will leave your web site and go to PayPal.com.  They'll pay there, and then will be sent back to your web site.

CostsAs listed on PayPal.com

PayPal Pro

Gateway:  Extension (paired with PayPal Express)
Required PayPal Account Type:  Pro
Additional Considerations:  

  • If using PayPal Pro to process credit cards, you must have an SSL certificate. 
  • PayPal Pro is only available to merchants in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
  • There is a $30 montly fee from PayPal for this type of account.
What to expect

PayPal Pro allows you to collect credit card information directly from your checkout form so the customer does not have to leave your store. This provides a much more streamlined experience for your customers

PayPal Pro does not allow the customer to pay with the money in their PayPal account, it is exclusively for paying with credit cards.

CostsAs listed on PayPal.com

PayPal Express

Gateway:  Extension (paired with PayPal Pro)
Required PayPal Account Type:  Business
Additional Considerations:  PayPal Express is only available to merchants in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia (though it does NOT handle AUD currency).

PayPal Express is for sites that already have existing credit card processing systems in place and merely want to add "Pay with PayPal" to the site.  The PayPal will not process credit cards with PayPal Express, it relies on your existing system to do that.

The customer will leave your site to authenticate with PayPal and then return to your site to complete the sale.

CostsAs listed on PayPal.com

PayPal Adaptive Payments

Gateway:  Extension
Required PayPal Account Type:  Business
Additional Considerations:  To use PayPal Adaptive Payments, you will need to request an API Signature from PayPal and create an application, which may take time to be approved by PayPal.

PayPal Adaptive Payments allows the customer to submit one payment that is then split and shared among multiple receivers.   PayPal has excellent documentation on how Adaptive Payments work.

CostsAs listed on PayPal.com

PayPal Payments Advanced

Gateway:   Extension

Required PayPal Account Type:   Business

With PayPal Payments Advanced, you can accept both PayPal and credit cards on your site. You can set it so that customers are sent to PayPal to pay, or you can give them the ability to pay with a credit card without ever having to leave your site.   Detailed features found on PayPal.com.

Costs:  As listed on PayPal.com

PayPal Comparison Chart

PayPal Global Availability
Where is your business located?
PayPal Standard 190 Countries around the World
PayPal Pro UK, US, Canada and Australia* (*requires PayPal Pro Payflow account)
PayPal Pro Hosted Australia, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom
PayPal Advanced USA and Canada
PayPal Express Available in the same countries as PayPal Standard
PayPal Digital Goods Australia and New Zealand, Canada, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Philipines, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States
PayPal Adaptive Payments 190 Countries around the World

For more information,  PayPal has a detailed description of coverage for every country in the world.

PayPal Features
Customers need a PayPal account to pay for products. Keep the customer on your site? SSL Certificate Required Included Free with EDD? Monthly PayPal fee?
PayPal Standard No* No No Yes No, just transaction fees
PayPal Pro No Yes Yes No Yes, varies by country
PayPal Pro Hosted No Yes No No Yes, varies by country
PayPal Advanced No Depends on settings Depends on settings No Yes, currently $5
PayPal Express Optional No No No No, just transaction fees
PayPal Digital Goods No* Yes No No No, just transaction fees
PayPal Adaptive Payments No No No No No, just transaction fees