The Payflow Gateway

This document details single and recurring credit or debit card transactions via the Payflow gateway. Please note that if you wish to process recurring credit card payments you will need to have this feature enabled by Payflow, as well as making the necessary changes in Engaging Networks. Reference Transactions must be enabled as well.

Using the Payflow gateway, we can currently process donations from Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover credit cards. We strongly recommend that you explicitly confirm the payment methods and currencies available to you with Payflow.

The currency is selected when you set up the gateway with Payflow. It’s also necessary to include a currency form field in your default supporter record and on your donation pages. It is possible to take single and recurring payments through the same page, by including the ‘Recurring Payment’ field as a drop-down, radio button or check box.

Before creating Payflow donation pages, you will need to have arranged your merchant account with Payflow. You will also need to decide what base URL you would like to use for your donation pages, and ensure that a certificate exists for it on our load balancer.

Setting up a gateway

It is recommended that you create and keep two separate gateway records in your account, one for testing and one linked to your live gateway. Donation pages should be linked to a test gateway initially, and then switched to a live gateway before launch. To create each one:

  1. Go to Hello YOURNAME > Account Settings > Gateways
  2. Click New Payment Gateway to create a new entry
  3. The fields are set up as follows:
Field Description
Reference name

A unique name for the gateway. It is a good idea for the name to include the type of gateway (eg. Payflow NA), the currency, and whether it is a live or test gateway.

Select gateway

Select the Payflow gateway.


Your Payflow account username


Your Payflow account password


Please enter the vendor name NOTE: vendor is usually the same as your username


This is typically PayPal

Test mode

Should be checked for a test gateway, but must be unchecked for a gateway that will accept live donations.

Required form fields

The following fields need to be set up in the default supporter record and then added to the form in ‘build’.

Basic required fields

Form Field Value type Comments
Email Address Alphanumeric Email address identifying the supporter record
Donation Amount Numeric May be entered as a whole number, or with two decimal places. Eg. Twelve dollars may be entered as ’12’ or ‘12.00’. You may want to consider using the ‘select with input’ or ‘radio with input’ field types.
Credit Card Number Token Credit card number w/o spaces
Credit Card Expiration Date Format must be MMYY. It is strongly recommended that you use the ‘split select’ field type for this form field.
Currency Alpha Format must be 3-letter ISO. Eg USD, CAD, etc.

Additional optional fields

Form Field Value type Description
First Name Alpha The first name of the donor
Last Name Alpha The last name of the donor

Credit Card Verification value

(CVV2 or CVC2)

Token The additional Card Verification Value printed on the card, used for fraud checks.

Additional Fields for Recurring Payments

Form Field Value Description
Recurring Payment Alpha Submitting ‘Y’ will flag the transaction as a recurring payment. Any other value will result in a single payment.
Recurring Frequency Alpha Permitted values are MONTHLY, QUARTERLY, SEMI_ANNUAL and ANNUAL. Please see the notes below on ‘select’ field types for details of ways of presenting these fields to supporters.
Recurring Day Numeric The day of the month on which the recurring payment should be taken.
Recurring End Date (optional) Numeric When this recurring payment should cease. The value must be in the format DD/MM/YYYY

You will need to enable reference transactions in your Payflow account

Processing ACH

Payflow’s ACH offering depends on usage of processors listed in this guide. Please confirm with Payflow to submit the appropriate materials (also included in the guide linked here) with your processor details in order to get set up with the proper merchant account to accept ACH payments. 

Additional Fields Required for ACH Payments

Form Field Value Description
Payment type Alpha ACH
Credit card holder name Alpha This is the name of the person on the bank account.
Bank account type Alpha “C” for checking or “S” for savings
Bank account number Numeric Account number
Bank routing number Numeric Routing number

For more details on the tagged fields in your Account Data Structure, please reference this article.

Dependencies are also recommended to use on your forms to conditionally display the relevant fields based on payment type selected. Learn more here on adding dependencies to your forms.

Testing donation pages

Provided that you are using a gateway set up in test mode, you can use the following details during the testing process.

  • Payment type: Visa
  • Card number: 4111111111111111
  • Expiration date: some MMYY combination in the future

All other fields may take any valid value for testing.

Please note that you should not submit real credit card or bank account details to a test configuration.

Updated on February 22, 2024

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