Hack 44 Try Accepting Payments in a Bogus Currency

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Weird out your pals and amuse your customers with PayPal's devilishly clever error message.

PayPal allows you to send and receive payments in five currencies: U.S. dollars (USD), Canadian dollars (CAD), pounds sterling (GBP), euros (EUR), and Japanese yen (JPY). If you are creating your own PayPal buttons, you'll need to indicate one of these five currencies in the button's markup. If you make a mistake here, your prospective buyers will be greeted with a confusing error message.

However, you might want to turn this error on its ear by working it into the storyline of your web site. If you offer products to Harry Potter fans, for example, you might want to put up a button like this:

<form action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post">

<input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_xclick">

<input type="hidden" name="business" value="burchell@inebraska.com">

<input type="hidden" name="item_name" value="The Monster Book of Monsters">

<input type="hidden" name="item_number" value="MboM">

<input type="hidden" name="amount" value="49.00">

<input type="hidden" name="no_note" value="1">

<input type="hidden" name="currency_code"


<input type="image" src="https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-but23.gif" border="0"

 name="submit" alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!">


Your customers will see this message:

This recipient does not accept payments denominated in sickles. Please contact the seller and ask him to update his payment receiving preferences to accept this currency.

The useful lesson: if your customers contact you asking you to change your payment preferences to accept CAN, CND, or YEN (none of which are valid), check your button code.