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4 Min. Read

How to Create A PayPal Sandbox Test Account?

How to Create A PayPal Sandbox Test Account?

Are you developing your website and need a sandbox account to test things out? This guide will teach you all about PayPal sandbox options.

If you’re new to accepting payment through PayPal or have a new website, it’s worth testing things out. You want to make sure the user interface is well user friendly! Like many of us, you’ve probably used your own personal PayPal accounts to do the testing. Making dummy purchases and then refunding yourself.

But this has its downsides. PayPal offers a great alternative - sandbox accounts.

In this tutorial, we’ll discuss the benefits of sandbox accounts. We’ll also go into the step by step process of setting up your own personal and business sandbox accounts.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is a PayPal Sandbox Account?

Why Use a PayPal Test Account?

How to Create a PayPal Sandbox Account

Key Takeaways

What Is a PayPal Sandbox Account?

A PayPal sandbox account is a test account that does not affect your transaction history for your business. It has:

  • PayPal credentials (email address and password)
  • Test credit card details
  • Test debit card details
  • Test bank details
  • The ability to send automatic test reports after every transaction done with the test accounts. This ensures things are working smoothly.

It’s a very helpful tool to use. These accounts for testing can also be managed entirely within your company PayPal account. So it is not an extra account to manage. Rather it is a subset of your master account that does not pay or receive any real funds.

Why Use a PayPal Test Account?

While it may not bother you to make test purchases with your own PayPal account, there are many drawbacks:

  1. You may not want to share your personal PayPal details with your team. Or expect them to use their own PayPal accounts when running their own tests. A company sandbox account is, therefore, more secure.
  2. It might be a hassle in terms of accounting to use real accounts for tests. They will appear as real purchases on the back end which you’ll need to refund.
  3. Sandbox accounts are more reliable to use for multiple situations during your testing. You can test payment flows using every payment method PayPal accepts with sandbox credentials.

It’s helpful to have a sandbox account in times of technological failure too. Imagine a customer contacts you to say that their payments are not working via PayPal. You can use the sandbox accounts at any time to test out the transaction process and identify the problem quickly.

How to Create a PayPal Sandbox Account

  1. Log into your PayPal business account. This is the account that is linked to accepting payments on your business website or online store.
  2. Once you have logged into your account, open a separate window on your browser.
  3. On the separate window, type developer.paypal.com into the search bar. Click enter.
  4. On the left-hand menu, there is a section labelled “sandbox”. Under this heading, click “accounts”.
  5. On the sandbox accounts page, PayPal will show you any active accounts you have open at the moment under your profile. If there are none, there is a large blue button on the top right labelled “create account”. Click that button.
  6. PayPal will prompt you to choose an account type. That is, do you want a personal sandbox account or a business sandbox account? It can be useful to have both to see how they both behave when making purchases on your website. That said, it may not be relevant for everyone. Still, there is no harm in setting up both types of sandbox accounts to test your payment gateway thoroughly.
  7. Select the country you want your test account to be from. It makes sense to make this relevant to your most common clientele. Likewise, you may want to test out international payments too by creating sandbox foreign currency accounts.
  8. Click “create account”

After you have created the account, you can use the details PayPal generates to run test transactions on your website.

When you want to access the sandbox account as if it is a real account dashboard, follow these steps.

  1. Go to sandbox.paypal.com
  2. Use the PayPal sandbox credentials to log in. That would be a sandbox email address and system-generated password for the test account
  3. You will automatically be redirected to your dashboard. The dashboard appearance will depend on whether the sandbox account is business or personal.

Key Takeaways

Sandbox accounts are extremely useful for testing your PayPal payment gateway. You can then be confident that PayPal is working well for your site.

For more PayPal guides, head to our resource hub!


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