What is the PayPal Payouts API?

PayPal Payouts API is a new REST-based API that replaces the Mass Payments classic APIs. Payouts has more features in comparison to Mass Payments. Businesses that need to send disbursements to upwards of 500 recipients in a single API call would use the Payouts API.

In order for Payment Rails to provide our clients an optimal user experience, we will request 2 sets of PayPal API credentials, since the new REST API’s from PayPal does not support getBalance. The second set of PayPal API credentials is to display your PayPal balance on the dashboard (Transfers page) and during the Payment process.

To summarize:

  • New - REST API:  this will be used for PayPal Payouts (does not support Balance display)
  • Legacy - NVP/SOAP: this will be used to retrieve your PayPal Balance.


What are the main differences between PayPal Payouts and PayPal Mass Payments?

These new API’s close the product gap between PayPal Payouts capabilities, and our new crop of competitors. And crucially the new Payouts API’s solve numerous product problems inherent in the Mass Payments APIs

Main Differences

  • Pricing changes for domestic payouts
  • Ability to send up to 500 payouts in a single API call
  • Duplicate checking – PayPal can check for duplicate payout requests
  • New Single payout capability – PayPal will return transaction status directly in the Payouts call response - 1:1 mapping of an entire batch’s requests – easily retrieve via API call the status of each request in a batch, whenever you want, how frequently you want
  • On-Demand Reporting – Allows you to easily query for payouts by time, status or recipient
  • PayPal Payouts does not allow for manual file uploading.
  • PayPal Payouts does not have the ability to check Balance status.

As the newer API does not support a balance status call, Payment Rails also supports the older Mass Payments API in order to return the PayPal Balance to the Payment Rails Dashboard. 

For more details on how to set up PayPal Payouts and Mass Payouts please see How to enrol in PayPal Mass Payments and How to enrol in PayPal payouts API

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