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Paypal Payflow Pro Payment Processing Using ColdFusion

Payflow Pro is one of the secure, open payment gateway from PayPal. Using Payflow Pro, we can able to do create Authorization and do sales transaction, Refund transaction and Void transaction.Payflow pro Payment Gateway handles all major credit and debit cards. Payflow is integrated with major shopping carts and works with almost every processor.

paypal payflow pro logo
  1. To use Payflow, we must have Paypal Payflow Gateway Account
  2. After creating a gateway account, know your API credentials, Such as PARTNER, VENDOR, USER, PWD

API_Credentials Descriptions
USER If you set up one or more additional users on the account, this value is the ID of the user authorized to process transactions. If, however, you have not set up additional users on the account, USER has the same value as VENDOR.
VENDOR Your merchant login ID that you created when you registered for the account.
Limitations: Sixty-four alphanumeric, case-sensitive characters
PARTNER The ID provided to you by the authorized PayPal Reseller who registered you for the Payflow SDK. If you purchased your account directly from PayPal, use PayPal.
PWD The password that you defined while registering for the account
  • Live :
  • Test/Sandbox :

In this post, we will explain, how we can able to create a sale transaction, Recurring sale transaction and Refund transaction using ColdFusion. First create a folder called as 'Payflow' in your webroot. Inside of the folder, create following files Application.cfc, index.cfm and com/payapl.cfc.


In this file, we created a singleton PayPal object in OnRequestStart function to access the PayPal component's methods. We created object in Application scope to access to access to any files of this application.


This ColdFusion component has all neccessary functions for create transaction, create recurring transaction and refund transaction. We prefer to use modern cfscript syntax instead of tag based syntax. For demonstrated purpose, we have just hardcoded PARTNER & endPointURL values in init() function. But we could pass these as arguments too. In each function, we provided proper hints attributes, that will explain each arguments purpose as well as, it will be useful to create documentation of your ColdFusion components using DocBox ( another excellent open source project from Ortus solutions to create documentation from source code of ColdFusion components)

Create sale transaction

A sale transaction charges the specified amount against the account and marks the transaction for immediate fund transfer during the next settlement period.

paypal payflow pro sale transaction coldFusion
Parameters Used in Sale Transaction
Arguments Description

The method of payment. Values are :

  • C = Credit card
  • P = PayPal

Indicates the type of transaction to perform. Values are:

  • S = Sale transaction
  • C = Credit
  • A = Authorization
  • V = Void

Credit card or purchase card number. For the Pinless debit TENDER type, ACCT can be the bank account number.

Limitations: This value may not contain spaces, non-numeric characters, or dashes. For example, ACCT=5555555555554444


Expiration date of the credit card.

Limitations: mmyy format. For example, 1008 represents November 2008

AMT Amount (Default: U.S. based currency).

A code that is printed (not imprinted) on the back of a credit card. Used as partial assurance that the card is in the buyer's possession.

Limitations: 3 or 4 digits

FIRSTNAME Account holder's first name.
LASTNAME Account holder's last name.
Sale transaction sample Request
Sale transaction sample response

Explanation for few notable parts of the PayPal response is,

  • RESULT=0 - If a transaction is successful then, we will receive 0 value for RESULT.
  • PNREF=A80A0BEF6290 - This is the transaction ID, we can use this to cancel / refund transactions.
paypal payflow pro sale transaction sample response
Refund Transaction

You can only refund a transaction that has not been settled. You need to include the original transaction ID obtained from the transaction's response. Using this endpoint, we can able to Refund the amount to your customer/client.

paypal payflow pro refund transaction coldFusion
Refund sample Request

PayPal support both partial & full refunds. If we pass amount to PayPal api endpoint, it will considered as partial refund & only that particular amount will be refunded. If we omit amount parameter, then whole transaction amount will be refunded. For example, In the above sale transaction we are transfered $1 amount. If we would like to refun only $0.5 amount, then we need to pass the amount like $0.5 in the corresponding field. If we didn't pass the amount arguments means, the payflow automatically refund the whole $1.

Refund sample response
paypal payflow pro refund transaction sample response coldFusion
Create Subscription transaction

Recurring Payments allows you to bill a buyer's credit card or PayPal account for a fixed amount of money on a fixed schedule. PayPal offers Payflow recurring payments with the Direct Payments (credit card processing) solutions.

paypal payflow pro recurring transaction coldFusion
Parameters to Create a New Recurring Transaction
Arguments Descriptions

The transaction type R for recurring payments profile request.

Character length and limitations: One alpha character.


The value A for creating a new recurring payments profile.

Character length and limitations: One alpha character.


The tender type. Is one of the following values:

  • C = credit card
  • P = PayPal

A unique name for referencing the recurring payments profile.

Character length and limitations: 127 alphanumeric characters.

EXPDATE Credit card expiration date. Character length and limitations: Four numeric characters in the format MMYY.

Beginning date for the recurring payments cycle used to calculate when payments should be made. Use tomorrow’s date or a date in the future.

Character length and limitations: Eight numeric characters in the format MMDDYYYY.


The total number of regular payment periods over the life of the agreement. If there are 36 monthly payments, for example, TERM is 36.

Character length and limitations: Numeric. A value of 0 means that payments should continue until the profile is deactivated (suspended).


How often the regular payment occurs. On the PayPal website, PAYPERIOD is called payment cycle. Values are:

  • DAY: Every Day
  • WEEK: Weekly - Every week on the same day of the week as the first payment.
  • YEAR: Yearly - Every 12 months on the same date as the first paymen

One of the following three-character currency codes:

  • USD
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • CAD
  • JPY
  • AUD
Recurring transaction sample response
paypal payflow pro recurring transaction sample response