We are getting the following PayPal error when trying to process a direct credit card payment via the PayPal Website payments processor on our event page:

10549 This transaction cannot be processed. The merchant's account is not able to process transactions.

The merchant account attempting the transaction is not able to process Direct Payment transactions. Contact PayPal for more information.

We do have a business account, so that can't be it. Am I correct in assuming that this is because this processor no longer works with current PayPal accounts? Do we need a legacy PayPal account? Or is there something else going on?

We are on Wordpress/CiviCRM 4.7.7

2 Answers 2


The ability to do a Direct Payment transaction is what you get with PayPal Pro, as I understand it (i.e. allows you to host the payment page on CiviCRM).

But you do likely want to update to the latest 4.7.x, I have heard of issues with PayPal, though not this drastic.


I had discovered, quite accidentally, that there are 2 "versions" of paypal website payments pro. There's the "old" version, which they don't tell you about, and the "new" version which they're rolling out by default on all new accounts. The "old" version, as I've learned, is the one that's compatible with the current version of CiviCRM (as of 4.7.19+) and if you want to be able to support recurring donations, you have to add the "DPRP" feature (Direct Payments Recurring Payments) which costs more.

They way I discovered this was when my org implemented a new account for a non-profit and the recurring donations kept failing. Upon weeks of troubleshooting with the paypal tech implementation team, we discovered that the issue was that the account type was all wrong and there's no way to revert to the older version, you would have to create a new account.

That said, I came here looking for a solution to this issue altogether, since I think it's somewhat odd that CiviCRM hasn't updated their integration with PayPal's latest APIs.....even though paypal currently supports the existing integration, you have to make sure to ASK for it when you upgrade to the business account.

I'd love it if someone from the Civi team could maybe add some color or background to this? I haven't found a lot of info on the interwebs.....

  • I'm trying to get recurring payments working right now using Paypal Pro. It is nightmare-ish. As you say it looks like there are two (at least) approaches taken by Paypal. Although I and my client are in the UK I've just been advised to set up a US business sandbox account so that they can add DPRP. The Civi wiki pages look be rather outdated.
    – Graham
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 13:15

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