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Payment links are a simple way to accept payments however you do business, whether that’s in person, on social media, or through email and text communication with customers. Here’s how to use payment links to simplify the payment process and get paid anywhere you sell.
What is a payment link?
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, such as a buy button on a social media platform.
What are the benefits of using payment links?
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:
- Take payments anywhere you sell products or services: Whether you send clients a payment link via text message or direct customers to your online checkout page from multiple social media platforms, payment links allow you to get paid however you do business.
- Customize a purchase: Payment links come in different forms, so choose the ones that work best for the platforms you sell on. Direct payment links work well for customer interactions and conversational commerce, while buy buttons and QR codes work well for online, social, or in-person selling.
- Offer customers multiple ways to pay: Once customers have reached your online checkout page, you can accept credit or debit card payments, or digital payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cash App Pay, or Afterpay.
- Keep payments simple: Customers don’t need an account or a special app to use a merchant’s payment link. They can access your online checkout page from any device for direct payment.
How to use payment links
A wide range of business types use payment links to collect payments or fees, to set up automatic charges for their services, and even to bill clients for individual classes, sessions, or appointments.
Square’s payment decision tree offers a detailed view of how and when businesses use payment links, but these are some of the most common uses:
Social media platforms
If you sell your products on social media platforms, payment links are a direct way to get customers from social channels to your online checkout page. Provide a payment link in your posts on any social media channel so shoppers know exactly how and where to pay for the items they want.
Emails and text messages
Payment links are a useful tool in email and text message 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, to shop, and to complete a transaction.
Payment links can also be sent to a customer via email or text for specific transactions, such as a one-time invoice link, a recurring monthly payment for products or services, or with a personalized 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. Customize buy buttons with specific text or color and place them strategically on a site to alert customers that items are for sale.
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.
In customer service chat
Now that many businesses offer personalized 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.
How to create sharable payment links
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 sharable 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: