HTML Variables for Website Payments Standard 1

Technical HTML Variables

Technical HTML variables control how PayPal responds technically when people click Buy Now, Donation, Subscribe, Add to Cart, and View Cart buttons or when third party or custom carts initiate payment processing with the Cart Upload command. They also control how your buttons interact with special PayPal features.

Table 1. Allowable Values for the cmd HTML Variable

Value of cmd



The button that the person clicked was a Buy Now button.


The button that the person clicked was a Donate button.


The button that the person clicked was a Subscribe button.


The button that the person clicked was a Buy Gift Certificate button.


For shopping cart purchases; these additional variables specify the kind of shopping cart button that the person clicked:

  • add – Add to Cart buttons for the PayPal Shopping Cart
  • display – View Cart buttons for the PayPal Shopping Cart
  • upload – The Cart Upload command for third party carts


The button that the person clicked was protected from tampering by using encryption, or the button was saved in the merchant's PayPal account. PayPal determines which kind of button was clicked by decoding the encrypted code or by looking up the saved button in the merchant's account.

Table 2. HTML Variables for Special PayPal Features


Required or Optional


Character Length



The URL to which PayPal posts information about the transaction, in the form of Instant Payment Notification messages.



Required for buttons that have been saved in PayPal accounts; otherwise, not allowed.

The identifier of a button that was saved in a merchant's PayPal account. Allowable values are assigned by PayPal when payments buttons are first created and saved merchants' PayPal accounts.

Note: A merchant's PayPal account can have a maximum of 1,000 saved payment buttons.

See description.



An identifier of the source that built the code for the button that the payer clicked, sometimes known as the build notation. Specify a value using the following format:


Substitute <Service> with an appropriate value from the following list:

  • BuyNow
  • AddToCart
  • Donate
  • Subscribe
  • BuyGiftCertifcate
  • ShoppingCart

Substitute <Product> with WPS always for Website Payments Standard payment buttons and for the Website Payments Standard Cart Upload command.

Substitute <Country> with an appropriate two-letter country code from those defined by the ISO 3166-1 standard.

For example, a Buy Now button on your website that you coded yourself might have the following line of code:


Note: HTML button code that you create on the PayPal website includes bn variables with valid values only for PayPal-generated buttons.


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