FoxyCart is proud to be a PayPal Gold Partner.
To understand how PayPal and FoxyCart work together you first need to understand the two different checkout flows, which are ultimately separated by where the customer enters their payment information.
PayPal Standard, Premier, and Business are all “standard” PayPal accounts, and all work with PayPal's Express Checkout (which is sometimes abbreviated by us and others as “EC”). Express Checkout is a way to integrate PayPal with an external e-commerce system like FoxyCart, and is not a separate type of account; it's just a way to use a PayPal account. Express Checkout allows all the power and flexibility of FoxyCart while allowing your customers to pay using their PayPal accounts, or to pay via credit card or check through PayPal.
The biggest distinction with PayPal's Express Checkout is that the customer gets redirected to PayPal.com to complete the payment, instead of remaining on your own domain or your customized FoxyCart checkout. This is for obvious security reasons: A customer should only enter their PayPal password at PayPal.com. The order flow is like this:
(The above flow can also work if the customer enters PayPal from the FoxyCart-powered checkout instead of the cart, but the important thing to note is that they get sent back to your FoxyCart-generated receipt regardless.)
The other option, a FoxyCart-Hosted Checkout keeps the user on your customized FoxyCart checkout throughout the checkout process, and their payment details are entered on your secure FoxyCart-hosted checkout page. Again, because of the security concerns and PayPal's limitations, this approach cannot be used with PayPal as a payment method (ie. paying from a PayPal balance or saved bank account or credit card). To allow this checkout flow, which is generally preferred by non-PayPal customers and is much faster (through FoxyCart's one-page checkout), you need a “real” payment gateway. (Confused by gateways, merchant accounts, and etc? Learn more.)
Both PayPal Payments Pro and Payflow Pro can serve as gateways and allow a completely customized checkout flow. These services also can be used for Express Checkout, so you can get the best of both worlds. Both of these services have monthly fees and a more involved signup process, and are not available in all countries.
It should be noted that you don't have to use a PayPal gateway in order to enable Express Checkout. You can use any gateway in conjunction with almost any PayPal account to allow both payment methods.
As of FoxyCart v060, subscriptions and recurring products cannot be sold using PayPal Express Checkout. If you're using v070 or greater, please see these instructions for using PayPal recurring payments.
Also, while Payments Pro accounts can work with FoxyCart for processing recurring billing and subscriptions, it is not recommended and not always possible (as of v0.7.0), depending on your account settings.
PayPal account types in the UK sometimes have multiple names for the same account types. If you have either Payments Pro or Payflow Pro you may need to read below to ensure you select the appropriate account type in FoxyCart.