PayPal Incomplete Payments FAQ

Last Update: 

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 their payment is “successful”, Jotform performs all post-submission actions, such as sending out the email alerts, and marking the payment as complete. 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 three dot menu in Jotform Tables.
  2. Select Pending payments from the menu.
  1. Select the entries in the Pending Payments panel.
  2. Hit the Complete button.

Completing Paid Submissions

IPN is crucial for Jotform to mark your submissions as completed if your user made a payment. In the event that PayPal IPN was disabled at the time of submission, you can still mark them 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

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


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 to break the Jotform and PayPal integration.

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 Continue button.

You’re done! Easy as that!

Was this guide helpful?
Contact Support:

Our customer support team is available 24/7 and our average response time is between one to two hours.
Our team can be contacted via:

Support Forum:

Contact Jotform Support:

Send Comment:

Jotform Avatar
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Podo CommentBe the first to comment.