Paypal IPN not creating user level

Hi All, I am attempting to establish a recurring payment using the “Paypal Buttons for Level 2 access”

First, the USER has to be logged in to get access to the paypal buttons (so they have already created an account)

Second, It proceeds smoothly and performs the transaction, then returns and remains on the return page “s2member_paypal_return=1”. I copy the HTTPS address and placed it the IPN field and turn on 'notifications"

Third, I then receive an email saying “Your membership has been approved” and blathers about “the next step is to Register a Username” - its already done.

But when I check the level of the USER, it remains on ‘subscriber’. And the USER remains on the ugly “s2member_paypal_return=1” page

Can anyone advise what is happening? I checked the logs on s2member and they say it was complete BUT the email used to complete Paypal payment is DIFFERENT to the email on the registered user - intentional - many customers have different emails

[0] => IPN received on: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:37:10 am UTC
[1] => s2Member POST vars verified through a POST back to PayPal.
[2] => s2Member originating domain ($_SERVER["HTTP_HOST"]) validated.
[3] => s2Member txn_type identified as ( web_accept|subscr_signup ).
[4] => s2Member txn_type identified as ( web_accept|subscr_signup ) w/o update vars.
[5] => Signup Confirmation Email sent to: “Donald Trent”
[6] => Storing IPN signup vars into a Transient Queue. These will be processed on registration.

Hi Donn.

I copy the HTTPS address and placed it the IPN field and turn on 'notifications"

I’m not sure I understand what you did there. Could you show me a screenshot? What URL did you use and where did you paste it?

[4] => s2Member txn_type identified as ( web_accept|subscr_signup ) w/o update vars.

s2Member is not being told that this is an existing user, so it considers it a new signup…

Is the user logged into his account when he loads the page where the button is loaded?

Are you using the shortcode for the PayPal button, or the HTML? Can I see it?

I look forward to your update. :slight_smile:

thanks for replying Cristian - I retested this morning and found a different outcome, which suggests that I “might” have been confused about whether the USER was logged in.

This morning’s outcome was that it successfully altered the USER’S level (and I received an email confirming such), so that part of the function is working correctly.

HOWEVER I have a remaining question - the Paypal “PDT” specifies that the ‘return page’ must " explain to the customer that the payment has been made and the transaction completed"

However, s2member indicates that the page “?s2member_paypal_return=1” is required BUT obviously requires modification to comply with Paypal demands

So - question please - can I insert another PDT page into paypal, or where can this page be modified

And a final question - Paypal insists that a customer MUST have a Paypal account to transact a subscription - most other sites allow a subscription from just a credit card.

Are there alternatives to this forced Paypal account (so they can pay purely by credit card)? I see it mentions shopping cart, or is there another provider (stripe, etc)

Thank you

Cristian, OK, I am using success=“

and it PERSISTS in STAYING on the “?s2member_paypal_return=1”

It seems a LOT of people have this problem - is there a solution?

Donn, got it.

The redirection is likely not working because of the error that happens and shows up in your log entry (the one you sent privately).

Any error before the redirection step would cause the redirection to not happen, that’s why it comes up from time to time for others. The lack of redirection is the most visible part, so it’s what the problem is first reported as.

First I’d like to figure out what that error is about, and once no errors come up in the logs, the redirection should work, but if it doesn’t, then I can dig deeper in the code for it.


In your PayPal Preferences for Website Payments, did you make the PayPal account optional?



Notice that that option is not available for subscriptions.

Does that help? :slight_smile:

Yes, thanks Cristian, it is optional and I read further and acknowledged that for subscriptions an account is obligatory

Now that I re-read your question, I see how you meant it. I misunderstood it as asking why PayPal was requiring an account although it was supposed to be optional. I’m very sorry.

Well, to not require a PayPal account for subscriptions, there’s the PayPal Pro integration. Or, if Stripe is available to you, that’s a very good option. I personally use Stripe and have PayPal as an option for those that prefer it.