How do I get Reference Transactions Enabled with PayPal?

In order to perform One Click payments for upsell offers via PayPal, not asking the user to go through the whole PayPal checkout again, you need to have Reference Transactions enabled by PayPal for your account. Here are the ways you can do it:

Is Your PayPal Account U.S. Based?

If your PayPal account is based in the U.S. we can take care of enabling Reference Transactions for you through a partnership we have with PayPal. Just send us a note (support[at]bogdanfix[dot]com) with your request and your PayPal email address and we’ll take it from there. It usually takes 24-48 hours. Email support[at]bogdanfix[dot]com

Phone Call

The simplest way to begin the process of having PayPal Enable Reference Transactions is to call your local PayPal Support Help Centre. You can find your local centre’s phone number listed here.

When you call the number, please specifically tell PayPal that you are calling so that a PayPal Specialist can turn on “Reference Transactions” on your account. They may try to help you set up recurring payments thru a button, and that is not want you want. They need to transfer you to a specialist, who will ask you for your PayPal account information (just email address) , and then tell you that they have filed a ticket, and you will hear back from PayPal via email on whether Reference Transactions have been enabled or not.

Email Application

Alternatively, you can contact PayPal via email. To do this:

  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. Go to the Email Contact Form.
  3. Choose topic: My Account.
  4. Choose sub-topic: Changing/Updating Account Information.
  5. Copy and paste the message below, inserting your PayPal email address and name.
  6. Wait for a reply.
Screenshot of the PayPal Support Form
Screenshot of the PayPal Support Form

Example Message to send to PayPal

Gotcha: Respond to the Autoresponder

In an effort to reduce support, PayPal may send you a response from an auto-response message with some links to documentation.

Unfortunately, hidden in this auto-response is also the following:

If we haven’t answered your question, please reply to this email and our team will answer you as soon as possible.

As that says, you also need to respond to the auto-response before your support ticket will actually be submitted with PayPal.

Will My Account Qualify for Reference Transactions?

PayPal do have a set a requirements that need to be met before they will enable Reference Transaction support on your account.

Unfortunately, PayPal do not publish these requirements and based on anecdotes from different customers, the requirements may be different for different businesses.

Some of the things store owners have mentioned PayPal require include:

  • High personal credit (FICO) score for US based PayPal Business accounts
  • Business plan
  • Average transaction price
  • Number of repeat customers
  • Number of reference transactions per customer
  • Revenue forecast and/or projected total revenue volume from reference transactions
  • Demonstrate a clear business rationale behind the request
  • Show the sign up flow for the customers in regards to the reference transactions.
  • Proof that you will show clear terms and conditions for the customers in regards to the reference transactions and how to cancel once they sign up.
  • In your own words please provide a business case as to why you need Reference Transactions and how they will use it for your business.

In terms of revenue forecasts, we have had reports that UK based PayPal accounts may require minimum forecast of £6,000 / month or more revenue.