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Pay Fines and Charges Via PayPal in Koha

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Without doubt, one of the most exciting features in Koha 16.05 is the ability to pay fines and charges via PayPal (using your PayPal balance or credit/debit card). For library staff, this removes an entire administrative process (and sometimes headache!), simplifying your day to day transactions. For your clients, they can not only keep track of their fines, but also pay them in the convenience of their home without having to make that tiresome journey to the library. With this latest and eagerly anticipated feature, Koha has further proven its worth as an indispensable component of your library.

So, how do you enable the payment of fines and charges in Koha via PayPal? First, we are going to show you how to do this in ” sandbox” or testing mode.

What is a sandbox?

A sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository, in the context of software development including Web development and revision control.

This helps you to test your system by simulating real-life transactions in order to make sure everything is working properly before you go live. Here’s how to do it.

You will need:

  1. A PayPal Account (It’s free! sign up here. If you are planning to receive payments via credit or debit card, you will need to open a Business Account. Use a personal account if your users are going to be paying using their PayPal balances only).
  2. A PayPal Developer Account (after you create your PayPal account, go to the developer site here and login using your PayPal username and password)

Create A Sandbox Test Account

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  • Click on Dashboard
  • Click on Sandbox > Accounts
  • Under Sandbox Test Accounts, you will notice that there are already two accounts created for you, one with -facilitator@email.com and another with -buyer@email.com
  • The account ending with -facilitator@email.com is your facilitator account. This is the one that will act as your merchant account in your sandbox testing.
  • The account ending with -buyer@email.com is your buyer account. You will use this to simulate purchases or payments.
  • The facilitator account has a username, password, and signature. To view them, click on Email Address > Profile > API Credentials > Classic Test API Credentials. Take note of them, because you will need them to set up PayPal in Koha.


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  • The buyer account has a username and password. To view them, click on Email Address > Profile > Profile. You can change the password to any random password. Take note of your username and password because you will need them to simulate the payment of fines and charges in Koha.


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  • Now that you have those two set up, go to your Koha admin interface and setup your PayPal preferences.

SetUp PayPal Payments in Koha Preferences

  • Login to Koha as a staff user
  • Go to Home › Administration › System preferences
  • Click on OPAC
  • Scroll down to Payments

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  • Under 
  • Enter the description  of your charges under PayPalChargeDescription or leave it at the default description.
  • Under PayPalPwd enter the password from the facilitator account.
  • Under PayPalSignature enter the signature from the facilitator account
  • Under PayPalUser enter the email address from the facilitator account
  • Click Save all OPAC preferences

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