One of the single most important things to understand about the Paystack Dashboard is its two modes - the Test Mode, and the Live Mode. This article will explain what these modes are, and why they're important.
About the two Paystack Dashboard Modes
The Paystack Dashboard comes in two modes:
- Test Mode - when the Dashboard is in this mode, all the features that the merchants engage with are incapable of sending or moving around real money.
- Live Mode - in this mode, real money can be accepted and moved around.
Test Mode exists to create a safe 'sandbox' environment where you can experiment with various features without fear of accidentally spending real money. It's a great place to try out new tools and see how customer-facing features look before you publicize them.
Live Mode is where everything real happens. If a payment comes in on the Live Mode dashboard, it means money left someone's bank account into yours.
It's helpful to think of Test Mode and Live Mode as two sides of the same Paystack Dashboard - one side doesn't use real money, while the other side does.
All businesses start out in Test Mode
When you create a brand new business in Paystack, that business' Dashboard starts out in Test Mode. While in Test Mode, you're able to explore the Dashboard, create, edit, and delete things without fear of messing anything up.
When you want to accept real payments, you'll need to activate your business and switch into Live Mode. Only activated businesses can enter the Live Mode. Learn more about how to activate your business on Paystack.
How can I tell what mode my dashboard is in?
The quickest way to see if your Dashboard is in Test Mode is to look at the status at the Mode Toggle at the top right of the screen.
If you see TEST MODE in red text, you're in Test Mode.
If you see LIVE MODE in green text, you're in Live Mode.
To switch between live mode and test mode, all you need to do is click on the toggle button.
Important to note:
With the exception of your settings, whatever you do while in one mode does not affect what happens in the other mode.
For example, if you create Payment Pages in Test Mode, those Payment Pages will not show up in the Live Mode Dashboard. Similarly, if you created Invoices on the Live Mode Dashboard, you wouldn't see those Invoices if you switched to the Test Mode Dashboard.