You may wonder: What exactly is a payment link? How can you use such links? And what are the best payment link providers out there?
The following information will answer these and other questions you may have about this time-saving, revenue-generating tactic.
Okay, so what is a payment link?
A payment link is, as the name suggests, a URL link (or QR code) that directs the user to a payment portal or payment landing page. This page has fields that are pre-populated with the details of the user's intended purchase. Once you land on this page, you must enter your payment details and finalize the transaction.
As you can imagine, payment links can be useful in cutting out any extra steps in a buyer's journey, from deciding what to purchase to committing to it. These links are also exceptionally versatile. They can be personalized for a single customer, customized for a whole segment of your consumer base... or even made available to everyone! Moreover, you can ensure that the link is only used once or make it a permanent link (which is especially helpful for recurring payments, such as subscriptions).
The best thing about payment links is how they can "travel" with your customers. Unlike a shopping cart feature on your website, you can add payment link URLs to text messages, emails, and other communications. (And, of course, QR codes can be incorporated into your print advertising.)
Yeah, but are payment links safe?
Absolutely... if a reputable company is providing them. Real payment links will direct users to secure gateways operated by third-party payment processors (or payment service providers, also known as PSPs). Trustworthy PSPs use encryption, tokenization, and other security methods to protect user data.
Granted, there are plenty of fake payment links and just as many scammers behind them, waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. However, if you've built up a strong level of trust among your customers and refrain from sending out unsolicited payment links to prospects who are still unfamiliar with your brand, you're not likely to get any pushback from your users. Most importantly, if you work with a PSP adhering to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), you'll keep your data and customers' information safe.
So how do I create a payment link for my customers?
The first step is to find one of those reputable PSPs mentioned in the above section. We'll discuss some of the best ones you can partner with in a minute. Once you find the one that best suits your needs, you'll need to take a few basic steps:
- Sign up for an account with the PSP. You can expect some sort of background check, credit check, or underwriting process before the PSP will start processing payments to your company.
- Create your payment/product page. Depending on the PSP, you'll either need to connect your link to a specific product or service or simply assign a dollar value to your link.
- Generate the link. At this point, you'll need to add key details, such as billing terms, who can access the link, and so on.
Which is the best PSP for my business?
The answer will depend to a large extent on the size, scope, and nature of your business. There are scores of reputable PSPs out there to choose from, each with its own unique advantages and drawbacks. (Please note that most PSPs will deduct a small percentage from each payment made.) Here are a few of the more popular ones in the industry today:
Square Online Checkout
Square Online Checkout offers one of the fastest, most convenient ways for businesses to set up payment links. You don't even need a dedicated website! With a free seller account, you can generate simple links from Square's platform and distribute them to your buyers.
HubSpot is perhaps most famous for its sales, marketing, and CRM solutions. However, it also boasts HubSpot Payments. It's a multi-purpose payment tool that you can easily integrate with your content management system and your CRM. In other words, you'll be able to connect links to virtually all your digital marketing content. This includes your website, emails, and chat messages.
Stripe Payment Links
Stripe is known throughout the world as a leader in the PSP industry. In terms of payment links, Stripe offers one of the simplest, most user-friendly solutions on the market. This includes pre-fabricated payment pages and ready-to-go checkout carts that you can customize according to your preferences. If you value simplicity as much as functionality, then you should explore Stripe as an option.
What list of PSPs would be complete without the mighty PayPal? Perhaps the most famous payment provider on the planet, PayPal has earned a great deal of trust over the years. And speaking of trust, PayPal makes the payment process much more comfortable for your users by one unique feature: instead of redirecting your customers to a dedicated payment page, it takes them to your PayPal account.
Of course, there are many more PSPs out there that we could talk about (like Melio, QuickBooks, Amazon Pay, etc.). But the above list samples the industry's most popular and trusted vendors today.
In conclusion, payment links make the buyer's journey much smoother and more convenient for customers. When you make it easier for customers to pay, you make it easier to get paid. And when you partner with a reputable PSP, you provide your consumers with increased peace of mind.
To learn more about incorporating payment links in your sales and marketing strategy, reach out to our experts at OverGo Studio today for a free consultation. We'd love to answer any questions you may have!
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