How To Enable Paypal Reference Transactions

Enable Paypal Reference Transactions

If you are using Buy Now plugin for one-click PayPal purchase (upsell), PayPal requires that you enable ‘reference transactions’ on your account.

How do I get PayPal Reference Transactions enabled?

Option 1: Call PayPal

Call your local PayPal Support Help Center and request them for Reference Transactions. You’ll get their phone number here.

Option 2: Send an email to PayPal

You can also contact PayPal via email.

  1. Login to your PayPal account.
  2. Go to the Contact Us.
  3. First choose a topic: Business solutions.
  4. Then choose sub-topic: PayPal payment solutions.
  5. Lastly, choose sub-topic: PayPal Express Checkout.
  6. Copy and paste the message below, inserting your PayPal email address and name.
  7. Wait for reply.

Example Message to send to PayPal:


Could you please enable Reference Transactions on my PayPal account (email:

I need this feature to do one-click upsell via WooCommerce.

Kind regards,

Your Name

Once your email is submitted, PayPal may send you a response from an auto-response message with some links to documentation.

Hidden in this auto-response is the following:

If we haven’t answered your question, please reply to this email and our team will answer you as soon as possible.

You also need to respond to the auto-response before your support ticket is submitted to PayPal.


1. What are Reference Transactions?

Reference Transactions allow you to set the Billing Agreement between a merchant and customer at the time of checkout. This Billing Agreement with the customer allows you to charge the customer at a later time.

2. Why Buy Now needs Reference Transactions?

To run true one-click PayPal upsell, Buy Now uses Reference Transactions to enable one-click purchase. It utilizes a Billing agreement between you and your customer and charges the customer.

3. Will my account qualify for Reference Transactions?

PayPal does have a set of requirements that need to be met before they enable support for Reference Transactions on your account. Unfortunately, PayPal does not publish these requirements and the requirements can be different for different businesses.

4. On following the above steps, will Reference Transactions get enabled on my account?

The above process can vary from one country to another. We cannot take guarantee that your account will be approved.