PayPal "Important notice regarding subscriptions."?

Did anyone else get this email about needing to recode your PayPal subscription buttons by April 24? Did anyone deal with it?

From what I understand, the challenge I see with complying with this notice is that the PayPal button generator code must be merged with the s2Member button generator code so that you have any new variables and settings along with what s2member is adding.

(I have my own customizations in my button code such as default amounts and text and formatting, etc.)

Thanks for any insights or comments. See the full text of the email below.

BTW, I already seemed to have lost the ability for my users to modify their subscriptions months ago. They used to be able to double their amount if desired but then lately they are told they are limited to only a 20% change, which is kind of useless, so if all this email means is no one can modify subscriptions at all till I modify my code, then it’s not so critical yet.


We are always looking to evolve our customer experiences in order to provide the best products and solutions. To ensure that customers are receiving the latest capabilities, we continue to optimise our platform to provide the best experience to our consumers and merchants.

To align with these goals and deliver on those capabilities, we’ll be making a change to a product we’ve identified that you may be using with your PayPal Payments Standard integration, subscriptions. This change means your integration will no longer provide the ability to modify an existing subscription. Please find an FAQs section below for any questions you may have.

We appreciate your understanding with this upcoming change. If you have any additional questions, please Contact us.

PayPal Merchant Services


Q: When can I expect this change?
A: This change will take place on 24 April.

Q: What changes do I need to make to my integration?
A: If your button enables subscribers to sign up for new subscriptions, modify their current subscriptions or modify only their current subscriptions, you will need to update your button.

Q: How do I update my button?
A: You can find steps to creating a new subscription button in our Create a Subscribe button documentation.

Q: Can I try this change first?
A: Yes, you can follow the instructions in our Test your Payment Buttons documentation to ensure your updated button will work as expected.

Q: Is payment for the new subscription taken immediately?
A: It depends on your subscription schedule or set up fee.

Q: How is payment for the new subscription calculated? Is it a pro-rata’d payment or the full cost of the new subscription?
A: It’s the full cost


Hi Tim,

Thanks for the heads up! I have not gotten this email from PayPal. I’m adding this to my to-do to look into as soon as I can.


That is for the Paypal’s own buttons. Not applicable to s2M, as the plugin uses the Paypal’s API, not buttons.


Thank you so much Krumch… Very relieved.

I think that email was generated for me because I have a donation page that has subscriptions and I generated that from PayPal. So that needs attention probably.

Alles klar!

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This HAS affected our site - I used to have modify = “1” and the button doesn’t work - it throws an error when you end up on PayPal’s site. Changing that to modify = “0” and the button works fine. So it does definitely need looking at.


Thank you for reporting it, Tim!

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Thank you for giving details. I also had modify=1 and I’ll try the same change of making it modify=0. Please post any further insights or observations that may save me work/trouble!

UPDATE: After a failed test (and post after this I deleted) from not clearing the cache of that page properly, I confirmed that it failed before with modify=1 with the same error you reported “something wrong, try again later” and with modify=0 it works beautifully again.

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Hi madeglobal, thanks so much! Your solution worked for me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the modification button. PayPal’s error message was: “Things don’t appear to be working at the moment. Please try again later.” The other membership buttons were working fine. I hope s2Member will provide an update soon.

Some of my users seem to have problems too. I’m not using modify at all - should I add modify=0 ?
Strangely on mobile browsers it seems to be working without problem - but on desktop not for the affected users.

Modify values 1 and 2 have been deprecated, only 0 is valid, basically removing the ability to modify a subscription through buttons. I’ve been searching for another way to make it possible, but they haven’t provided an alternative.

your integration will no longer provide the ability to modify an existing subscription

The modify values 1 and 2 are deprecated. If your customer clicks an existing modify subscription button that uses a modify value of 1 or 2, PayPal returns the following message: Things don’t appear to be working at the moment. Please try again later. Update your code to use modify=0, the only valid value, which allows your customers to sign up for new subscriptions only.

So I’ll be removing this from the PayPal Standard buttons integration in the next release.