LifterLMS PayPal Reference Transactions


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LifterLMS PayPal utilizes PayPal Reference Transactions to facilitate automatic recurring payments. By default, reference transactions may not be enabled on your PayPal account. This guide will show you how to check if reference transactions are enabled, and how to get them enabled if they are not.

Automatic Check

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LifterLMS PayPal can check if reference transactions are enabled for you. Head to LifterLMS -> Settings -> Checkout and find the PayPal section. Locate the PayPal Reference Transactions area and click the “Check Now” button.


LifterLMS PayPal will let you know whether or not reference transactions are enabled on your live account because reference transactions are always enabled for sandbox accounts.

A notice will let you know whether or not reference transactions are enabled. If they are, your customers will be able to purchase recurring access plans via PayPal! If they are not, read on to get reference transactions enabled.

How do I get Reference Transactions Enabled?

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The fastest way is to call PayPal support. You can find the number to call here.

When you call, please specifically tell PayPal that you are calling so that a PayPal Specialist (Note: It has been reported that you must ask specifically for a “specialist in the PayPal Business Support Department” in order to be connected with the correct king of PayPal specialist) can turn on “Reference Transactions” on your account. They may try to help you set up recurring payments thru a button, and that is not want you want. They need to transfer you to a specialist, who will ask you for your PayPal account information (just email address) , and then tell you that they have filed a ticket, and you will hear back from PayPal via email on whether Reference Transactions have been enabled or not.

You may also contact PayPal via Email:

Alternatively, you can contact PayPal via email. To do this:

  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. Go to the Email Contact Form.
  3. Choose topic: My Account.
  4. Choose sub-topic: Changing/Updating Account Information.
  5. Copy and paste the message below, inserting your PayPal email address and name.
  6. Wait for a reply.

Sample Email:


Could you please enable Reference Transactions on my PayPal account (email: [email protected])?

I need this feature to sell recurring subscriptions via LifterLMS.

Kind regards,

Your Name

Once you’ve heard back from PayPal that Reference Transactions have been enabled, return to the “Automatic Check” step and repeat the steps to ensure that LifterLMS PayPal can process payments via reference transactions.

What if PayPal Denies Reference Transactions for my Account?

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If you are unable to turn on reference transactions, you can still accept manual recurring PayPal payments.

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