Payment links: What they are and how to use them

Payment links: What they are and how to use them
Here's what you need to know about payment links, how they work and how you can use payment links to get paid anywhere you sell.
by Square Dec 08, 2023 — 3 min read
Payment links: What they are and how to use them

Payment links are a simple way to accept payments, no matter how you conduct your business – whether it’s in person, on social media or through email and SMS communication with customers. Here’s how to use payment links to simplify the payment process and get paid anywhere you sell.

A payment link (also referred to as a checkout link) is a clickable link or scannable code that allows a customer to complete a purchase. Payment links are offered in the form of digital links, buy buttons or QR codes and are used across websites, social media platforms, apps, messaging tools and in person. When a customer uses a payment link, they’re typically taken to the merchant’s online checkout page to complete their transaction. Payment links can be used for both a single transaction, such as a customer invoice and for multiple transactions like a buy button on a social media platform.

Payment links facilitate simple online payments and don’t require additional infrastructure, a website or any code to set up and use. Any merchant can easily create a payment link that takes customers to a straightforward online checkout page to complete a transaction.

Payment links are used to:

A wide range of business types use payment links to collect payments or fees, set up automatic charges for their services and even bill clients for individual classes, sessions or appointments.

Social media platforms

If you sell your products on social media platforms, payment links are a direct way to get customers from social media channels to your online checkout page. Provide a payment link in your posts on any social channel, so shoppers know exactly how and where to pay for the items they want.

Emails and SMS

Payment links are a useful tool in email and SMS marketing to help point customers toward a purchase. Buy buttons embedded in marketing emails and payment links sent in text messages offer an easy way for customers to engage, shop and complete a transaction.

Payment links can also be sent to a customer via email or SMS for specific transactions, such as a one-time invoice link, a recurring monthly payment for products or services, or with a personalised message to let customers know you have a product back in stock that’s ready for purchase.

On a website or blog

Payment links in the form of embedded buy buttons on a website, an online store or a blog are one of the most direct ways to move a customer toward a purchase. Customise buy buttons with specific text or colour and place them strategically on a site to alert customers that items are for sale.

In-person selling

In-person selling isn’t without digital advantages: QR code payment links are a quick way to direct in-person customers to an online store or checkout page. QR code payment links are especially useful for pop-up shops, mobile selling or professional services that only sell a handful of items or products, since a point-of-sale system isn’t needed.

Customer service chat

Now that many businesses offer personalised chat or chatbots as a part of their customer service, payment links are a way to point customers toward an item or a transaction. Payment links used within customer service chats can help direct customers to in-stock items, cross-sell and even facilitate customer purchases directly from the chat itself.

Payment links are easy to set up and share with customers. First, you’ll need to create a simple online checkout page where customers can pay you. 

Next, decide which type of payment link you want to create – whether it’s a shareable link, a buy button, a QR code or all three – and how you want to use that payment link. Once it’s generated, distribute the link to customers or clients over the channel that works best for your business.

Learn more about how to set up payment links with Square.


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