Common PayPal Error Messages

Your attendees might at times face issues while making payments online using PayPal. Whilst some of these problems are related to incorrect entry of credit card details or due to problems with the payer's PayPal account, sometimes a problem with your PayPal account can also lead to payment failures. 

In any case, please ask your attendees to describe the exact error message that they received on PayPal's website. Without this, we will be unable to effectively support your with resolution. 

Following is a list that we progressively append to, which describes some common error messages returned by PayPal and their most common underlying reasons:

Message Type 1:


The card you entered cannot be used for this payment.
Please enter a different credit or debit card number

The rejection message described by your buyer is a general PayPal message which could indicate a number of issues. Some common reasons why PayPal could reject cards and display this message are:

  1. Credit Card Is Linked or Associated with a PayPal Account. 
    If you’re using a credit card that’s linked or assigned to a PayPal account, try login to PayPal during payment process. You can change the source of fund to make the payment after logged in to use credit card instead of PayPal balance.

  2. Credit Card Is Previously Used in PayPal Account or Assigned in Closed PayPal Account
    PayPal remembers credit card details even if it has already been removed from a PayPal account or was previously linked to a closed or deleted account. In this case, please use another credit card or link another credit card to your PayPal account then login to your PayPal account and pay using your newly added card.

  3. PayPal Limit on Non-Member Credit Card Usage 
    According to PayPal source, there is a limit based on the number of times, the amount of the transactions, the type of merchandise being sold that a credit card can be used within the system without having to verify ownership by opening an account. The restriction is for security and fraud protection reasons. There is no workaround to this limitation, but you should be able to use another credit card. If there is problem, try using another email address. Else, register an PayPal account.

  4. Credit Card or Email Address Raises Flag in the Transaction 
    Closely link to reasons above, where some part of the transaction raises flag on the server that stop the payment. Two possible flags are on credit card or email address. Try changing either credit card or e-mail address or both when attempting to pay again.Please contact, if you have any additional questions.

Message Type 2:


We can't process your payment right now, so please try again later. We're
sorry for the inconvenience.

The main reasons for this particular error according to PayPal technical support:

  1. When a customer does not have paypal account, a credit card has a total lifetime transaction limit of approximately $4000. This value is the total of all payments ever made through the PayPal Guest Checkout Experience on that credit card. Even if the total is below $4000, they can only use that card 15 times as a guest. If the card is flagged by PayPal, an account (username/password) will be required for security reasons.  In either case, your attendee/buyer will need to sign up for a PayPal account in order to use that credit card.
  2. If your customer does have an existing PayPal account and the credit card or email address is recognized, your client MUST log in to PayPal first for security reasons.

These are unfortunately limitations imposed by PayPal for security reasons and entirely have to do with the buyer’s credit card account.  The only workaround is for you to advise them to create a PayPal account using that credit card (if they already do not have one), or use their existing PayPal account if they already have one to complete the transaction.

Message Type 3:

The seller accepts encrypted website payments only. You cannot pay the seller through un-encrypted buttons. Please contact your seller for more details.
If your customers receive this error message, you can turn off the PayPal Encrypted Website Payments feature in your PayPal account profile.To Turn Off the PayPal Encrypted Website Payments Feature
  1.     Log in to your PayPal account.
  2.     Click Profile.
  3.     From the Selling Preferences column, click Website Payment Preferences.
  4.     In the Encrypted Website Payments section, select Off.
  5.     Click Save. 
Message Type 4:
“Your payment can’t be completed. Please return to the participating website and try again”
Based on the above error message you forwarded to us, PayPal technical support suggests the following solution:
If you are a PayPal Standard (Personal, Business or Premium) user and you receive the above PayPal Error:
You may need to follow these steps to remedy the situation:
  •     Log into your PayPal Account
  •     Click ‘Profile’
  •     Click ‘More Options’
  •     Select ‘My Selling Tools’
  •     Click ‘Block Payments’
  •     Under the Payment Receiving Preferences, find the “Block payments from users who:” section
  •     Uncheck the “Initiate payments from the Pay Anyone subtab of the Send Money tab” option
  •     Click ‘Save’
This should solve the problem. 

Please contact, if you have any additional questions.