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PayPal Invoicing APIs in beta

July 21, 2011

Today I’d like to write a little bit about PayPal’s Invoicing APIs, currently in beta.

The Invoicing APIs allow you to create and send electronic invoices.  Here’s PayPal’s high level description of how the APIs work, excerpted from the Invoicing APIs page on

To initiate a request for payment, merchants initiate an API call to PayPal. Customers receive the invoice via email and click on an included link to view the invoice on PayPal’s website. Customers who have a PayPal account can log into their PayPal accounts to pay the invoice. Invoices paid using PayPal are usually paid to the merchant’s PayPal account right away. Customers can also pay using a check, debit, or credit card.

The PayPal Invoicing API Developer Guide (click here for PDF) provides an introduction to using the API.  The guide details the three API calls currently available to developers via NVP, SOAP, or JSON:

  • CreateInvoice – used to create and populate the required fields in a new invoice; used in conjunction with SendInvoice
  • SendInvoice – used after creating an invoice to send it to the payor
  • CreateAndSendInvoice – alternatively, you may use this call to both create and send an invoice in one operation

PayPal illustrates the single operation creating and sending an invoice thusly:

Click here to read the complete post on the PayPal X Developer Network including links to the available SDKs and planned additions to the Invoicing APIs.


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