Is this possible? (Urgent Technical Question)

Sorry for the “urgent” nature of this but it’s quite important…

So I’m in the process of selling my business and my income is built around a membership site / subscription through S2MemberPro and Paypal.

Due to technical reasons I cannot transfer my Paypal account to the new buyer so the deal we are proposing will be that I continue to receive payments from the existing / past subscribers into my account and he will receive all new subscriptions / sales into his Paypal account going forward.

But this throws up the technical issue of whether that’s even feasible because presumably we can’t have 2 Paypal accounts linked into S2MemberPro at the same time?

And if you remove my Paypal account from the S2Pro settings then S2MemberPro and my Paypal account will no longer be able to communicate, right?

So what happens in that situation with the existing subscribers that are tied into my Paypal account…

Does S2MemberPro take no action and just leave them as members on the basis that it doesn’t know if they are active / cancelled (which would likely be fine as we can just manually remove cancelled members from Wordpress every week).

Or does it go the other route of assuming that because it can’t find any information about their subscription status that they must have cancelled and therefore removes them as members?

Or is it neither of those, so what happens instead?

Is there a workable solution here to have existing / past subscriptions going into my Paypal account but whilst still having a new buyer receive future subscriptions into his account?

Hopefully you can help and thanks a lot.


Could we solve this problem if the new buyer uses Stripe for all new subscriptions?

That way existing subscriptions would continue to flow into my Paypal and new subscriptions into Stripe without any conflict, right?


Could we solve this problem if the new buyer uses Stripe for all new subscriptions?

That way existing subscriptions would continue to flow into my Paypal and new subscriptions into Stripe without any conflict, right?

I habet checked this however I thought that when you go into PayPal integration and change the PayPal user ID etc, it automatically updates all existing members as well as new members to use the new PayPal account?

I was always under the impression that subscriptions were locked into the Paypal account with which they were started and could not in any way be moved to a new Paypal account?

Someone with more experience can confirm hopefully.

Don’t you have a test account setup in s2members?
Change the PayPal merchant details in paypal integration nd then perform a transaction using the test account for 1 cent. See which PayPal account it goes too.

I’m sure it cannot use a PayPal account that is no longer active in the backend.
I changed a PayPal account for a client yesterday and it automatically switched to that account for me (I was using PayPal buttons created whilst setup as a sandbox account…it automatically switched those existing buttons to work with real PayPal account)
If your subscriptions isn’t working like mine I would suggest you have a bug. Other wise there is a huge fundamental flaw in the s2members system. It should not lock users to their own unique PayPal integration. It should simple use the centrally controlled one setup in the backend. If you change PayPal merchant details, all s2memebers should automatically switch over.

Setup a test subscription on a hidden page (ie password protected page that is not assigned to a menu in WordPress but for which you know the permalink url) and make two 1 cent transactions…one with your PayPal integration, then one after switching over to new PayPal integration) if it works you have your answer/solution. If not, submit a bug request.

I could be totally wrong here but I’ve always been under the impression that existing active subscriptions cannot be moved to a new Paypal account.

Obviously you can change the Paypal account / email and then NEW subscriptions will go to that new account but you’d lose all your historic transactions as they are tied into the “old” Paypal account which would no longer be active in S2Member Pro’s setup and no longer accessing the API / IPN.

That’s my understanding of it anyway but hopefully an admin or more tech savvy person can confirm.

This post here seems to confirm that switching Paypal accounts is a big no no and will “completely destroy the connection” and “The old transactions and/or subscriptions cannot be accessed through API calls or through IPN communication because s2Member® will be configured to operate with a completely new account once that changes”:

That didn’t happen to me yesterday when I changed from sandbox to real PayPal account. All existing users remained in the s2members database with their existing subscription levels.

I would be interesting in hearing what s2members support have to say about this because it should not be linking PayPal integration to specific user accounts

For me that would be a huge fail…enough to make me go looking for an alternative.

In the event the system is as it was back then, you would have to configure EOT for exiting subscriptions and then you can change over to the new PayPal account.

They need to fix this if it still works that way as that method is s h i t (like my workaround ) programming.

It’s Paypal that does not allow the transferring of subscriptions from one account to another so it’s probably a downside of Paypal rather than a specific S2Member Pro issue.

I didnt think S2members integrated that way with paypal. I thought the members details are stored in WordPress?

As you have the pro version, I wonder if other option might be to export the members database to CSV.
Do a search and replace on the PayPal integration for each member changing existing over to the new, then import cab back into s2members with new PayPal integration details?

Maybe the purchase unique identifier might be a problem?

They are in Wordpress yes but also connected in Paypal as it’s Paypal where the subscription shows as “active” and “cancelled” etc. Paypal are the ones processing the subscription payment not S2Member Pro.

Is there any admin / moderator or otherwise clued up tech-savvy person who can answer this for sure?

Just to clarify in case the original post wasn’t 100% clear…

So can we simply swap out the old Paypal account for the new Paypal account without negatively affecting existing subscriptions?

Or can we have 2 Paypal accounts running simultaneously so the existing subscriptions continue to run through that account and the new ones go into a new Paypal account?

Or instead can we use Paypal for the existing / historic subscriptions and Stripe for the new subscriptions without issue?


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Sorry to be impatient but I really need an answer on this ASAP as the sale of my business verges on this so bumping it in case it was missed.

Can anyone clarify the best options from those laid out above?

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Just noticed this thread. I’m starting to read it now and will give you a reply in a moment… :slight_smile:

Right, the integration is with one PP acct only. You can have more than one account notify s2Member by using a script that would receive them from the separate accounts and forward them correctly to s2. You can find a sample script for this in the “extras” zip in your Account page.

It’s not a problem that the PP acct notifying is not the one currently in s2’s options for PayPal, the main problem is the custom value field. Now, if you custom field remains the same, same domain name for the site, then I think the notifications would keep working normally, but you should verify testing it.


No. s2 doesn’t check with PayPal the status of the subscription normally. It waits for notification from PayPal about them.

The subscription lives in the PayPal account, so nothing changes there. Now, if the user changes the subscription for a new one on the site, s2Member won’t be able to tell the old PayPal account to cancel the previous subscription, if the old PayPal account details are not available to s2 anymore.

New subscriptions can be created on the new Stripe/PayPal while the old subscriptions are paying your PayPal account, I don’t see a problem.

Does that help? Let me know if you have more questions. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the detailed answer as I appreciate it.

I think I understand everything but just to clarify…

So the new buyer has said they’ll be using Stripe which solves the problem in the easiest way anyway doesn’t it?

As he can just plug in his Stripe details and receive all new subscriptions to Stripe without removing the Paypal details from S2MemberPro and then the existing / past subscriptions can continue to go into my Paypal, correct?

Sounds like it should be fine.

Keep logging enabled for a while until you know everything’s working fine. If you need to troubleshoot, the logs may help. WP Admin > s2Member > Log Files


What sort of issues might you expect to occur in this situation?

Just so I can brief them on any issues they might run into.

I don’t expect one, actually. It’s just good practice, because you’re making changes, and something may need troubleshooting. Having the log entries will make it quicker.


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That’s good news, thanks for all your help.

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