PayPal Incomplete Payments FAQ

February 28, 2022

Instant Payment Notification or IPN 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 Personal (Standard) 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”, all post-submission actions are performed, such as sending out the email alerts, and the payment is marked as completed. Otherwise, the submission remains incomplete.

Completing Submissions without Payments

Note that marking pending payments as “Complete” will simply trigger the post-submission actions and dump the data to the main submissions list as if it was paid for – no actual payments will be collected.

To mark pending payments as “Complete”…

  1. Click the main tab’s kebab menu icon in Jotform Tables.
  2. Select Pending payments from the menu.
tables-pending-payments-menu-min.png
  1. Select the entries in the Pending Payments panel.
  2. Hit the Complete button.
tables-pending-payments-complete-min.png

Completing Paid Submissions

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 given that your PayPal account is set to receive IPN messages on https://ipn.jotform.com/ipns/paypal.php.

On the IPN History page, you can find the IPN messages that were not sent – their status should be “Disabled”.

ipn-history-page

Select the unsent IPNs then click Resend Selected. Doing so will allow Jotform to process the incomplete payments with valid payments and finally mark them as completed.

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 this up…

  1. Open the PayPal Integration panel.
  2. Expand the Additional Gateway Settings section.
  3. Input your preferred URL in the IPN Relay URL field.
  4. Click the Contunue button.
form-builder-paypal-ipn-relay-url-min.gif

You’re done! Easy as that!

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