How to Add and Use PayPal As a Payment Option


This article will walk you through the process of setting up Paypal as payment option for your guests on booking engine.

PayPal Payflow is not the same as a regular PayPal account. Learn more here.

Adding PayPal as Payment Option

1 - Click on Gear Icon
2 - Payment Options
3 - Click on 'Paypal' tab
4 - Enable Paypal Option by toggling the switcher to 'Active'
Deposit amount for reservations created via the booking engine will be transferred directly to your account should that option be selected.

1 - Once it's 'Active', enter the email address that your Paypal account is registered. Funds will automatically be withdrawn and transferred to this account.
2 - Enter Token - Paypal identify Token is required if Payment Data Transfer is activated in Website Payment Preferences section of your Paypal account.
3 - Enter the First Name of the person the account is registered under - required to proceed
4 - Enter the Last Name of the person the account is registered under - required to proceed

Click SAVE to complete the process

How booking is made on mybookings when paying with PayPal

When reservation is created with PayPal in mybookings (the guest clicks on "Confirm reservation” in mybookings), the guest is redirected to PayPal payment page. Although at this moment the guest hasn’t yet confirmed or canceled the payment - myfrontdesk creates a booking immediately and keeps it in backlog (the booking is not visible yet to the myfrontdesk user until the guest confirms or denies the purchase).

  • If the guest confirms the payment in PayPal > the booking appears in myfrontdesk with status 'Confirmed'
  • If the guest denies/cancels the payment in PayPal (on PayPal modal window) > the booking appears in myfrontdesk but with status 'Canceled'. In this case you will see a log in Reservation Change Log (in myfrontdesk) “Status Modified from to Cancelled” (because the booking was not confirmed before it became cancelled/it's imported as cancelled immediately).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can guests book using PayPal but without having PayPal account?

With PayPal Express, the default is set to ask customers to log in to PayPal (or create a PayPal Account). From your PayPal Business account, you can allow customers to pay with their credit card even if they don't have their own PayPal account. To enable this feature, you need to:

  1. Go to your Website payment preferences on PayPal and enable PayPal account optional
  2. You must have your own credit card linked to your PayPal account.

Your guests will then see the option to Pay with a credit or debit card


You must have a business account to use this feature. Also, in some countries, PayPal requires that customers pay by using a PayPal account. To confirm whether this applies to the country where your business is located, contact the PayPal support team. Cloudbeds has no influence in how this feature behaves.

If your guest don't see the option to pay with a credit card, they can still choose to Create an Account and enter the credit card details in the next step.

Why the booking made on mybookings with payment method "PayPal" was imported as "Cancelled"?

It means that when making a booking on mybookings on the payment step the guest cancelled the purchase (decided not to pay for the reservation).

For detailed information see section How booking is made on mybookings when paying with PayPal above

Why is the Paypal Token not required?

The Paypal token is actually not a required field if "Payment Data Transfer" is not enabled in the Paypal backend. Having this enabled simply allows us to get more details about the transaction.

In order to have the Paypal Token I need to activate "Auto Return for Website Payments" and use a URL, what one should I use for Cloudbeds?

The return URL refers to the confirmation page that we show after the reservation was successfully completed. 

This is the one you'll want to use:

Alternatively, you can also use the following URL if the first URL is not successful: 

The "NNNN" should be replaced by your Cloudbed account's unique Property ID. This is the unique number attached to your account and can be found in the URL of every page on your platform. It will most likely be a four-digit number, but might be shorter for older accounts.

I have PayPal Payflow Pro, how do I connect?

PayPal Payflow Pro needs to be setup through our payment processing gateway.

Please check this article for further information: Payment Processing Setup


PayPal is configured but it does not appear on my booking engine

You must set up a Deposit policy in order to activate PayPal on mybookings. If you have it set up to not collect a deposit, then there's no need for PayPal to be active, since a payment will not be made at that point.

Why the system adds/posts payment again even though the reservation checked out already?

Why does this happen?

This happens due to a setting in PayPal where a payment has to be reviewed before it's accepted. Also, this setting is probably conflicting with your myfrontdesk settings. Check the troubleshooting below:

  1. On myfrontdesk Policies page, if you have the option "For online reservations, require confirmation of the deposit payment before reservation is confirmed" activated, be aware that this setting is for mybookings and direct reservations only, so it's not affecting other reservations.
  2. As you receive bookings from the website with PayPal payments, the reservation comes into the system with the status "Confirmation Pending" due to your policy set above (1).
  3. If your PayPal Payflow's transactions require you to accept them manually when you are doing this, it will trigger an action in our system which is automatically adding the payment into the folio as a confirmation, and at the same time, the status of the reservation also changes.


You should try approving the payments on PayPal first, as it automatically updates the reservation status instead of manually adding the payments using PayPal payment method on the myfrontdesk side. This will avoid the system from duplicating the payments added by PayPal.

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