Most suitable Paypal payment integration option

My setup: Rails 3.0.9, Ruby 1.9.2, Active Merchant 1.15.0

I just started to explore the best way to integrate credit card / Paypal payment into my site. The subscribe button option seems to be the easiest way to integrate and it doesn't even require Active Merchant. However, it's Paypal's UI all the way which is not acceptable for my needs. At a minimum, here's is what I would like:

  1. My app hosts the credit card info gathering page
  2. Info from step 1 is sent directly to Paypal for processing so that none of the sensitive credit card information is ever stored on my app

For those of you with experience integrating Paypal payments, which option would you suggest and why.


You might find the Railscasts on integrating with PayPal useful. Ryan covers everything from the very basics right up to express checkout.

While my first answer still stands, I believe there is a better-than-Paypal solution available that will help you get what you want done.

Take a look at Stripe. Why? Well:

  • It's got the best API of anything (payment processor or not!) that I've used
  • No merchant account, no gateway required.
  • Credit Card statement will have your company name on it.
  • It's easier to get setup on than PayPal.
  • The credit card never hits your server.
  • Supports both one-off and recurring payments.
  • Doesn't require a name or address when collecting the CC info. Simply the number, expiry and CVV.
  • Priced well: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

Currently only available in the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland, but can accept payments from anywhere.

I took a different approach then the one you are suggesting.

You begin on our site by selecting an invoice you want to pay. We redirect to Paypal where the customer either logs in to a Paypal account or fills in their creditcard details. Once that's done the customer gets redirect back to our website where it shows the details of the transaction with a big "I confirm this payment" button. When that button gets pressed we issue the actual transaction. This way we don't ever have to deal with the creditcard details and the security issues implied with that. Remember that if you forward the creditcard details they fill in our your site to paypal those details might still end up in log files if you are not careful. I would opt for not dealing with them at all.

Thanks @Tim, @Maran your answers were helpful but it didn't quite answer my question. I came across this article, though outdated clarified a lot of my confusion regarding the various PayPal merchant services.

BTW, my ideal scenario is not possible.

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