Accepting payments quickly: How to create a subscription plan

Offering subscriptions can be a great way to create a stable, predictable revenue stream. By following the steps below, you can set up, manage, and accept payments for subscription plans. We’ll take care of automating the billing and communication to your customers. If you need help at any point, please visit our online help centre.


Setting up subscription plans on your website

If you haven’t already, start by opening a PayPal business account. Then, follow the steps below to set up subscription plans and accept PayPal, credit and debit card payments on your website.

To get started, you’ll need the following:

  • Your PayPal business account username and password
  • Access to your website’s HTML code

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Log into your PayPal business account
  2. Navigate to the Manage Subscriptions page. To create a new subscription plan, click Create Plan
  3. Provide details for the product or service you’re including in the subscription
    1. Provide a product name, description, and your product ID
    2. Select the product type: physical goods, digital goods, or service
    3. Choose an industry category that best fits your business
    4. Copy and paste the product page URL
    5. Copy and paste the product image URL
    6. Click Next
    7. If you’d like to create additional product or service subscriptions, repeat the steps above
  4. Choose the kind of plan that you offer: fixed pricing or quantity pricing. Once you’ve made your selection, click Next
    1. Fixed pricing charges your customer the same price each billing cycle based on the plan they choose
    2. Quantity pricing charges your customer the same pricing each billing cycle based on the quantity they choose
  5. Create a plan name and description
    1. Provide a plan name that will be visible to your customers
    2. Provide a plan description that will only be visible to you
    3. Click Next
  6. Set up pricing for your subscription plan
    1. Select the currency
    2. Enter the price
    3. (Optional) Choose whether you will charge a one-time set-up fee
    4. Select how you want to calculate tax for the plan
    5. Enter the tax rate
    6. Click Next
  7. Set up the billing cycle for your subscription plan.
    1. Choose how long you want each billing cycle to last: day, week, month, year. We’ll collect payment at the beginning of each billing cycle
    2. Designate the length of the plan. You can limit the plan to a specific number of billing cycles or as long as plan is offered
    3. (Optional) You can choose whether you want to offer a trial period
    4. Designate the number of missed billing cycle before PayPal stops collecting payment.
    5. Click Next
  8. Confirm your subscription plan details
    1. Review your subscription plan details, and then click Save Plan. If you need to make changes, click the Previous button
    2. Confirm you’re ready to Turn on Plan

Once you’ve turned on your plan, you’re ready to add a payment button to your website!


Adding a payment button to your website

Once you’re created your subscription plan(s), the last step is adding a payment button to your website, so your customers can choose the plan(s).

NOTE: You can choose to create the buttons now or click Do this later if you’re not ready yet. When you’re ready, you can add buttons by first returning to the Subscription Dashboard from your PayPal Business account homepage. From your Business account homepage, select All Tools from the top menu, then Get paid in the left navigation, and finally click the Subscriptions tile.

  1. Navigate to the Subscription plan tab on the left-hand side of the dashboard
    1. Click on the three vertical dots of the plan for which you want to create buttons
    2. Click Copy code
  2. Create subscription buttons for each plan you’re selling by following the steps below:
    1. (Optional) Select the appropriate API credentials
    2. Currency: Set the currency you’ll use to accept payments.
    3. Choose a layout:
      1. Choosing the Vertical layout will show buttons display vertically on your page: a PayPal button; a debit or credit card button; and local payment methods (based on your customer’s location), where applicable.
      2. Choosing the Horizontal layout will show a PayPal button alongside PayPal Credit button, where applicable.
    4. Colour: Choose a color scheme for the buttons.
    5. Button Text: Choose the text to be shown on the buttons.
  3. After you make your selections, you can preview how the experience will look on your desktop and mobile website pages
  4. Click the Copy Code button
  5. Add the copied code to the page on your website where you want the buttons to appear
  6. Repeat the above process for every page where you want to add the same subscription plan buttons
  7. Finally, test that the buttons work properly by purchasing something from your website, and then check your PayPal Business account for the transaction

That’s it! You can now sell subscriptions on your website.

Your customers who have an account with PayPal can manage their subscriptions with your business under Settings > Payments > Manage automatic payments.

If you’re looking for other ways to accept payments, you can also: 

*PayPal Credit is subject to consumer credit approval

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