Handling an IPN

Many payment providers use notifications, generally described as "IPNs", "endpoints", or "webhooks", to submit information asynchronously to the payment gateways that support them. Payment providers may inform a Drupal Commerce site that a new pending/complete payment should be created (if the payment happened off-site), or they may provide information about an existing payment (refunds, disputes, etc).

The Drupal Commerce Payment module handles these notifications by:

  1. Providing a URL that can be used by the payment provider to send the information.
  2. Providing a route and controller, the PaymentNotificationController, that will pass the received information on to a payment gateway that can process it.

If your payment gateway module needs to handle IPNs, it can do so by implementing the SupportsNotificationsInterface. This interface defines the onNotify() method, which is the method called by the PaymentNotificationController:

 * Processes the notification request.
 * @param \Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request $request
 *   The request.
 * @return \Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response|null
 *   The response, or NULL to return an empty HTTP 200 response.
public function onNotify(Request $request);

What does the onNotify() method do?

The onNotify() method processes the notification request. It can create new payments or update existing payments. Typically, it will update the state of a payment based on the information in the request. If the state is set to completed, the amount of the payment will be included in the "total paid amount" for the order. The onNotify() method does not need to (and should not) touch the parent order. When the payment is saved in the onNotify() method, the total paid amount for the order will be automatically updated, based on all payments associated with the order.

If the payment is declined, the payment gateway should not create a payment entity. The only time a declined payment should be created is if the payment gateway utilizes async payments – like ACH or authorizations which take 24 hours to clear. Payment entities should be created only if the payment is successful or pending.

You may also want to log the request or other message, especially if the request was invalid.

The onNotify() method should return a Symfony Response or NULL to return an empty HTTP 200 response.

Off-site payment gateways and IPNs

All off-site payment gateways implement the SupportsNotificationsInterface interface. Generally, off-site payment gateways will create payments in the onReturn() method. However, if the payment provider supports IPNs, then creating the payment in onNotify() rather than in onReturn() is preferred, since it is guaranteed to be called even if the customer does not return to the site.

Examples of IPN handling by actual off-site payment gateways

PayPlug payment gateway

The PayPlug payment gateway module has a straightforward implementation of the onNotify() method, which is used to create the payment. First, the Request is validated, using a library provided by PayPlug:

$notification = $request->getContent();
$resource = \Payplug\Notification::treat($notification, $authentication = null);

If validation fails, it returns a JsonResponse with the exception thrown by the PayPlug Notification::treat() method:

return new JsonResponse($exception->getMessage(), $exception->getCode());

Otherwise, it uses the returned PayPlug resource value to create a new payment for the order and returns an empty (success) Response:

$metadata = $resource->metadata;
$payment_storage = $this->entityTypeManager->getStorage('commerce_payment');
$payment = $payment_storage->create([
  'state' => 'authorization',
  'amount' => new Price($resource->amount / 100, $resource->currency),
  'payment_gateway' => $this->entityId,
  'order_id' => $metadata['order_id'],
  'test' => $this->getMode() == 'test',
  'remote_id' => $resource->id,
  'remote_state' => empty($resource->failure) ? 'paid' : $resource->failure->code,
  'authorized' => $this->time->getRequestTime(),

return new JsonResponse();

Ingenico payment gateway

The Ingenico payment gateway is an example of an off-site payment gateway that creates the payment before the plugin form performs the redirect. So the payment is created in neither onReturn() nor onNotify(). The Drupal Commerce payment ID is provided to the payment provider so that the existing payment can be loaded in onReturn() and onNotify():

$payment = $this->entityTypeManager->getStorage('commerce_payment')->load($request->query->get('PAYMENT_ID'));

In both methods, every request is logged before any processing happens:

// Log the response message if request logging is enabled.
if (!empty($this->configuration['api_logging']['response'])) {
    ->debug('e-Commerce notification: <pre>@body</pre>', [
      '@body' => var_export($request->query->all(), TRUE),

Next, the response is verified using SHA signature/passphrase validation, as described in the Security considerations documentation. If the response received from the payment provider is invalid or unsuccessful, the payment state is set to failed and an exception is thrown.

$payment->set('state', 'failed');
throw new InvalidResponseException($this->t('The gateway response looks suspicious.'));

Finally, if the request is valid, the onNotify() method updates the payment state:

// Let's also update payment state here - it's safer doing it from received
// asynchronous notification rather than from the redirect back from the
// off-site redirect.
$state = $request->query->get('STATUS') == PaymentResponse::STATUS_AUTHORISED ? 'authorization' : 'completed';
$payment->set('state', $state);

The Ingenico payment gateway uses IPNs from the payment provider to more reliably capture the correct payment state. The payment state is only set to authorized or completed in the onNotify() method; the onReturn() method does not change a payment's state.

PayPal: Express checkout payment gateway

The PayPal: Express payment gateway creates payments in its onReturn() method with a remote_id value that can be used by onNotify() (and other methods) to load the payment, using the loadByRemoteId() Payment storage method. Its onNotify() method handles updates to the payment amount and state as well as refunds. Here is the portion of its onNotify() method that handles refunds using the IPN data:

elseif ($ipn_data['payment_status'] == 'Refunded') {
  // Get the corresponding parent transaction and refund it.
  $payment = $payment_storage->loadByRemoteId($ipn_data['txn_id']);
  if (!$payment) {
    $this->logger->warning('IPN for Order @order_number ignored: the transaction to be refunded does not exist.', ['@order_number' => $ipn_data['invoice']]);
    return FALSE;
  elseif ($payment->getState() == 'refunded') {
    $this->logger->warning('IPN for Order @order_number ignored: the transaction is already refunded.', ['@order_number' => $ipn_data['invoice']]);
    return FALSE;
  $amount = new Price((string) $ipn_data['mc_gross'], $ipn_data['mc_currency']);
  // Check if the Refund is partial or full.
  $old_refunded_amount = $payment->getRefundedAmount();
  $new_refunded_amount = $old_refunded_amount->add($amount);
  if ($new_refunded_amount->lessThan($payment->getAmount())) {
  else {

Handling IPNs from PayPal involves an extra validation step: PayPal includes a validation URL in its IPN data. So the first step for the onNotify() method is to extract that URL from the request and use it to send a request back to PayPal to validate the IPN. In the Commerce PayPal module, this functionality is included in an IPNHandler service:

// Make PayPal request for IPN validation.
$url = $this->getIpnValidationUrl($ipn_data);
$validate_ipn = 'cmd=_notify-validate&' . $request->getContent();
$request = $this->httpClient->post($url, [
  'body' => $validate_ipn,
$paypal_response = $this->getRequestDataArray($request->getContents());

// If the IPN was invalid, log a message and exit.
if (isset($paypal_response['INVALID'])) {
  $this->logger->alert('Invalid IPN received and ignored.');
  throw new BadRequestHttpException('Invalid IPN received and ignored.');

return $ipn_data;

See the Security considerations documentation for additional information on how PayPal uses token-based validation for requests sent to the payment gateway.

Configuring the notification URL for your payment gateway

By default, your Drupal Commerce site can accept payment gateway requests at /payment/notify/PAYMENT_GATEWAY_ID, where PAYMENT_GATEWAY_ID is the id defined by the payment gateway unique machine name defined when configuring the Payment Gateway. For example, PayPal: Express checkout accepts notifications at /payment/notify/paypal_express_checkout. You will need to read the documentation for your specific payment gateway to figure how to enable IPN/notification messages and how to configure the URL.

If you would like to alter the URL for notifications, you can implement a Route Subscriber for the commerce_payment.notify route.

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