Paypal Incomplete Payments FAQ

Last Update: June 14, 2017

What is IPN?

IPN (Instant Payment Notification) is a POST message sent by Paypal (for regular merchant accounts) whenever a transaction is completed on their side. This message contains all the data regarding the payment transaction completed by a form user.

What are Incomplete Payments?

Each submission on a Paypal-integrated form is initially considered an Incomplete Payment entry. JotForm uses the IPN message to determine whether a submission's payment is successful or not. If successful, the submission is marked as completed -- the post-submission actions are then performed -- such as sending out the notifier and autoresponder emails and sending the submission data to WebHook URLs (if there is any).

If the payment is not successful, the submission remains Incomplete.

Therefore, IPN is crucial for your payment forms to work smoothly.

Completing submissions without payments

Under a form's submissions page, an Incomplete Payments button will appear in the toolbar if you have submissions that were not paid for, or whose corresponding IPN was not received by JotForm (hence the failure to be marked as completed). This button will bring up the list of the submissions with incomplete payments.

Clicking the 'complete submission' button on the list of incomplete payment submissions will NOT process payments. It will simply trigger the post-submission actions and dump the data to the submissions list, as if it was paid for (but not really).

IPN is crucial for JotForm to mark your submissions as completed if there was really a payment made. In the event that  Paypal IPN was disabled at the time of submission, you can still have them marked as completed by triggering the corresponding IPNs.

Luckily, Paypal keeps a history of IPN messages sent/not sent by their server.

Under the IPN Settings page, there is a link that says IPN History page. On that page, you can find the IPN messages that were not sent -- its status should be Disabled.

Select the unsent IPNs then click Resend Selected. Doing so will allow JotForm to process the Incomplete Payments on our side (with valid payments) and finally mark them as completed.

IPN Settings

IPN settings can be found under Profile > Profile and Settings > My Selling Tools > Instant payment Notification

For your Paypal-integrated form to work with JotForm, IPN Message Delivery needs to be enabled. Enabling IPN requires a default notification URL. You can enter any Notification URL, but for JotForm-initiated Paypal transactions, the URL will always be overridden with

Keeping Message Delivery set as Enabled will ensure that Paypal works with your JotForm form.

Sending IPN to a custom URL for JotForm-initiated transactions

There are times when you want to send the IPN data to your own URL, perhaps for data processing, but you also do not want JotForm and Paypal integration to break.

This is where IPN Relay comes into play.  The IPN message reaches our server first, then, if an IPN Relay URL is set, JotForm relays the message to that URL.

To set an IPN Relay URL, right-click on your Paypal field then click Show Properties. Enter your preferred URL on the field.


mrselisec (September 07, 2014 at 09:39 PM)

I"ve set up an IPN via Paypal, but don't know the paypal ID to get jotform to recognize it.

What is a Paypal ID? I tried my username, but Jotform keeps sending me to the "What is IPN" webage. Thanks.

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richter18 (September 09, 2014 at 12:39 PM)

Thank you for your help, i found the incomplete payment list but as i am reading this its saying just from me completing the payment that doesn't necessarily mean that the payment will go through . when will we know when the payment is through. what is the next step to getting the payment to go into the paypal account?

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ddbrokers (March 04, 2015 at 08:25 AM)

ok thanks.

I selected complete payment. When will it show in my paypal account?

diadyo (March 13, 2015 at 09:34 AM)

Same here. I had some incomplete payments. I made them completed but eventhough my clients were charged I see nothing on my paypal account. Any help?

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Ohiolesbianfest (May 03, 2015 at 09:06 PM)

When I try to submit a form to Paypal, the error message says "security header is not valid". What does that mean?

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iyengarconvention2016 (February 27, 2016 at 10:20 AM)

I created an unique ID. When pending payment, my customer will receive 2 notifications, pending payment and auto responder with full details and PayPal payment successful info. My problem is my customer will receive 2 different unique ID. How can I set the conditions that the pending payment notification will not show the unique ID in the email? Thanks!

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MsGlitter (April 11, 2016 at 09:35 PM)

where are my payments going? I have received numerous submissions with absolutely no payment in paypal. Why are they allowed to send the form through without payment and no indication of complete payment?? This is the second time that I have raised this question in a month??

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acregistration (January 13, 2017 at 12:18 AM)

Incomplete payment notification in one of 4 forms set up for registration. The PDF form say accepted and when I check PayPal the payment is there. Should I be concerned? What gives?

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