Lesson 5: Testing Payment Methods

Despite your best efforts to get everything communicating between MemberPress and your payment gateway, sometimes problems do arise. Don't feel bad. This is actually a common problem and is typically easy to resolve.

This lesson will give you several ways you can troubleshoot and fix any payment issues you're experiencing. Of course, if the solutions here don't work for you, you're always welcome to contact our support team for further help.

Here's a quick video that shows how to test two popular payment gateway methods: Stripe and Offline payments.

Testing Your Payment Gateway Integration

One of the most critical parts of your membership site will be to ensure that the payment gateways are configured, tested, and working properly. Spending a little extra time now to ensure your gateways are working properly will save you some big headaches later. 

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to test.  

If you’re using Stripe on your site, you can use fake testing data provided at https://stripe.com/docs/testing. See this example used in the video above.. 

Or, you can also get a friend or a family member to test with his/her PayPal account and/or credit card if needed. 

Also, don't forget to test both non-recurring and auto-recurring payments if you plan to offer both types of memberships on your site.

Did you find something that doesn't seem quite right? Below is a list of common issues we see and a few quick how-tos for resolving them.

Troubleshooting Common Payment Issues

Not redirected to PayPal or see an error when getting to PayPal?

  • You might have Sandbox mode enabled but have entered your Live PayPal account's email address or API credentials. The opposite can also cause this problem.

Are payments being taken properly at the gateway but not recorded in MemberPress?

  • Typically, this issue is caused by a communication issue between the Gateway and MemberPress. Most of the time this problem occurs because the notification URL for that gateway has been incorrectly entered or has changed since you originally entered it. PayPal calls this URL the “IPN URL” or “Instant Payment Notification URL.” Stripe calls it a “Webhook URL.” And Authorize.net calls this URL the “Silent Post URL.” Be sure to watch the setup video for your respective gateway and ensure that ALL steps were followed exactly as outlined. Missing even one step can result in your payments not being recorded properly.
  • If you're using PayPal Standard, it's also possible the IPN URL is correct, but your Website Preferences (specifically, data return option) are not configured correctly. Again, watch the setup video, and ensure you've set your Website Preferences for PayPal Standard exactly as outlined in the video.
  • Lastly (and fortunately not very common), you may have a security plugin or firewall, or your web host may be blocking the notification URL requests to your site. If you've exhausted the above troubleshooting solutions, then you may need to contact your web host for further help determining why the PayPal IPNs are not being recorded properly by WordPress/MemberPress.
  • If you're hosting with GoDaddy (which we strongly discourage), then you may need to add an additional &nocache=1 to the end of your gateway URLs to prevent GoDaddy from caching these endpoints.

Is the recurring membership showing as expiring the next day?

  • Most payment gateways can take a few hours to process the initial payment on a recurring subscription. In fact, Authorize.net typically doesn’t process the first payment until 2AM PDT. If after 24 hours the transaction isn't being recorded in MemberPress, you most likely have a notification URL issue. See above for information on troubleshooting these.

Experiencing an Issue Not Covered Here? 

We've prepared videos covering each of the gateway integrations we support. Here's a link to each of them: PayPal Standard, Stripe, and Authorize.net

Alternatively, you can contact our support team for additional help.