PayPal SSL Certificate Changes


To continue our policy of ensuring the highest level of security for our merchants, developers, and consumers, PayPal is making upgrades to the SSL certificates on all web and API endpoints.

Merchants and developers will need to ensure that all required upgrades are implemented, as described below, to prevent an outage to your payment processing, Instant Payment Notifications (IPN) services, or other API service connections.

Why are These Changes Needed?

Due to security concerns over advances in computing power, the industry is phasing out 1024-bit SSL certificates (G2) in favor of 2048-bit certificates (G5), and is moving towards a higher strength data encryption algorithm to secure data transmission, SHA-2 (256) over the older SHA-1 algorithm standard.

Since Chrome is deprecating support for SHA-1 by the end of 2015, and all support for SHA-1 will be deprecated by the end of 2016, we need to act soon to implement these changes.

During the upgrade, we will ensure that all SSL certificates meet the following standards:

  • Discontinue support for secure connections that require validation with the VeriSign G2 Root Certificate; only validate with the VeriSign G5 Root Certificate.
  • Use a stronger algorithm by upgrading from SHA-1 to SHA-2 (256).

Who will be Impacted?

The main impact of these changes is to merchants and developers with an integration that does not use the new VeriSign G5 Root Trust Anchor, or those whose hardware / software does not support the SHA-256 signing algorithm.

If you are unsure if you fall into one of these categories, please contact the company / developer who assisted with your original integration. Typically these integrations may come through a 3rd party cart system (e.g. Zen Cart), hosting company (e.g. GoDaddy), or individual developer.

Please click here for a complete rollout schedule for the upgrades on PayPal.

How to Update to Prevent Service Outage

To prepare for these changes, please use the checklist below to ensure everything has been upgraded completely:

  • Talk to the technical contact or 3rd party partner that you used to create the checkout.
  • Save the VeriSign G5 Root Trust Anchor in your keystore.
  • Upgrade your environment to support the SHA-256 signing algorithm.
  • Perform end-to-end testing of the integration against the Sandbox / Payflow Pilot environment (including Instant Payment Notifications (IPN), Payment Data Transfer (PDT), and Silent Posts).

Upgrading is not required if you are using Website Payments Standard (the “Buy Now” buttons), or Payflow webapps only.

Testing Your SSL Certificate Upgrade

Any tests that are currently run against PayPal Sandbox endpoints will require a VeriSign G5 root certificate, so you can test your upgrades by making requests against the Sandbox environment by using the following steps:

Testing Your SHA-256 Algorithm Upgrade

SHA-256 testing is available as of April 8th using the Payflow Pilot, or testing will also be available against the PayPal Sandbox in Q1 2016.

Need More Information, or Running into Problems Upgrading?

For technical upgrade information, please see the merchant security system upgrade guide.

Every integration is unique, and unexpected issues can always arise. If you are running into problems with the upgrade, PayPal MTS is available to assist with any specific errors or problems that might arise.