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What are payment links?

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Last editedSep 20212 min read

Payment links are a safe and efficient way for ecommerce businesses to enable customers to pay for their goods quickly. They make the payment process simple and help remove any extra obstacles that might prevent some people from following through on a purchase due to the otherwise complex payment process they would have to complete. 

A payment link will appear in the form of a link or button either on the product page on the website or sent via text, private message or email. The link or button will open the payment or checkout page, which will specify the amount to be paid. Completing the process then transfers that exact amount from the customer to the specified receiver.

The term “payment link” is the most common, though other terms for the same thing include:

  • Payment button

  • Pay button

  • Buy button

  • Pay by link

When you create a payment link, you provide an easy way for customers or clients to pay for goods or services, but they can come in different forms as described below.

Payment buttons

The payment button, also known as a pay button or buy button, appears on the ecommerce website and directs the customer to the checkout page where they can enter their payment details. 

Some ecommerce businesses will send their customers a one-time payment link via SMS or email once they complete a purchase. The customer then clicks on it to access the payment page in a browser. Payment links can also be sent via social media or instant messaging services, and can be time-limited or time-unlimited.

Invoicing for services rendered can also be performed via payment links sent through email. The recipient’s company details will be specified, including the name, address and VAT information. Payment links for email invoicing will often invoke reminder emails if the payment is not paid by the due date.

As a payment link button is basically some code embedded on a website to create a pay or buy button, it allows you to create an online store on an ordinary website. This saves ecommerce businesses from building the online store from scratch.

Additionally, the process is simplified by not requiring the customer to add the details of the recipient, as that element is built into the code.

There are many safe and secure payment link providers around, including the likes of PayPal and Stripe, to name just a couple. The PayPal payment link is probably the most recognisable, but others like the Stripe payment link are just as reliable. 

If your customers have PayPal accounts then a PayPal payment link will be useful for them. It is easy to apply to your website and is free to set up, though you pay a small fee per transaction.

The first step is creating a PayPal business account. On PayPal’s website you can click on the Create Your PayPal.Me link. Create your profile and click on Agree and Create. The PayPal payment link can then be posted on social media or sent via email. It can also be embedded as a button on your website.

Creating a Stripe payment link also requires signing up to an account via the Stripe website. It’s a fairly simple process – you can set it up and start accepting payments within around 10 minutes. Its APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are developer-friendly and Stripe users can choose low-code or pre-built solutions to integrate into their websites.

Stripe also offers a custom package for businesses. You can contact Stripe and arrange for a particular button or layout aesthetic that matches with your business brand.

We Can Help

If you’re interested in finding out more about payment links, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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