Check your server that handles PayPal Instant Payment Notifications

From a client:

“We’re getting emails from PayPal that say Please check your server that handles PayPal Instant Payment Notifications (IPN). IPNs sent to the following URL(s) are failing. Matt, what does this mean?”

I’ve gotten the same warnings. I traced it to work I did long ago on my site that was just exploratory development work — i.e.: it doesn’t do anything on my server, not critical to my sites.

Thus, after Googling about this warning that many people are getting by the way, I disabled IPN  in my PayPal account.  IPN is an advanced feature that most people do not use. Read more about it here.

So, from my advice that’s admittedly NOT WELL RESEARCHED and worth exactly what you’re paying for it 😉 I’d turn IPN off. Then if something stops working, we can look at it further.

From PayPal’s site:

Introducing IPN

Instant Payment Notification (IPN) is a message service that notifies you of events related to PayPal transactions. You can use it to automate back-office and administrative functions, such as fulfilling orders, tracking customers, and providing status and other information related to a transaction.

What is IPN?

IPN notifies you when an event occurs that affects a transaction. Typically, these events represent various kinds of payments; however, the events may also represent authorizations, Fraud Management Filter actions and other actions, such as refunds, disputes, and chargebacks.

IPN is a message service that PayPal uses to notify you about events. These events include the following:

  • Instant payments, including Express Checkout and direct credit card payments
  • eCheck payments and associated status, such as pending, completed, or denied
  • Payments that may be pending for other reasons, such as those being reviewed for potential fraud
  • Events related to recurring payments and subscriptions
  • Authorizations, which indicate a sale whose payment has not yet been collected
  • Chargebacks, which are initiated by a credit card processor; for example, when a customer disputes a charge
  • Disputes, which are initiated by a buyer using the PayPal resolution process
  • Reversals, which occur when you win a dispute or a chargeback is canceled

Refunds, which you may choose to give

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