How to Enable Reference Transactions in PayPal

Contact PayPal via Phone regarding Reference Transactions

You can call your local PayPal Support Help Center to request PayPal to turn on Reference Transactions. Find the phone number at Contact.

Tell PayPal that you are specifically calling so a PayPal Specialist can enable Reference Transactions on your account. They may try to help you set up recurring payments with a button — that is not want you want.

They need to transfer you to a specialist who will ask you for your PayPal account information (email address), and then tell you that they filed a ticket, and you will hear back from PayPal via email on whether Reference Transactions have been enabled or not.

Contact PayPal via Email regarding Reference Transactions

You can contact PayPal via email.

  1. Login 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

Paid Member Subscriptions Pro - PayPal Pro and PayPal Express Checkout -Contact PayPal via Email

Example of message that you can send to PayPal via Email.


Could you please enable Reference Transactions on my PayPal account (email:

I need this feature to sell recurring subscription products via Paid Member Subscriptions.

Kind regards,

Your Name

In an effort to reduce support, PayPal may send you a response from an auto-response message with some links to documentation.

Hidden in this auto-response is the following:

If we haven’t answered your question, please reply to this email and our team will answer you as soon as possible.

You also need to respond to the auto-response before your support ticket is submitted to PayPal.

Will My Account Qualify for Reference Transactions?

PayPal does have a set a requirements that need to be met before they enable support for Reference Transactions on your account.

Unfortunately, PayPal does not publish these requirements and based on anecdotes from customers, the requirements can be different for different businesses.

Some things that store owners have mentioned PayPal require are:

  • High personal credit (FICO) score for US based PayPal Business accounts
  • Business plan
  • Average transaction price
  • Number of repeat customers
  • Number of Reference Transactions per customer
  • Revenue forecast and/or projected total revenue volume from Reference Transactions
  • Demonstrate a clear business rationale behind the request
  • Show the signup flow for customers in regards to Reference Transactions
  • Proof that you will show clear terms and conditions for customers in regards to Reference Transactions and how to cancel once they sign up
  • Written statement as to why you need Reference Transactions and how you will use it for your business

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