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What is a payment request link (Pay by Link)?

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our daily lives in 2020, with shop and hotel closures, travel restrictions, and millions of people staying at home. However, it also triggered a surge in online shopping.

For businesses without an e-commerce platform or with limited payment options available, Pay by Link provides an excellent way to expand or retain their customer base and continue selling.

What is Pay by Link?

Pay by Link, also known as payment link or pay link, is a secure and reliable payment option businesses can offer their customers through a link. This feature expands payment options available both on their ecommerce and other channels.

The benefits include:

  • Cross-border payments: Merchants and hoteliers can sell their products or services to international customers on their ecommerce platforms, allowing them to pay through their preferred methods without additional investment or complex integration.
  • Improved customer experience: For businesses with a significant customer database, Pay by Link activation enabled exclusive promotions and private sales through their CRM, rather than the generic "we are here to help" check-up email.
  • Social commerce: As social media activity increased by 20% during lockdown, according to Gfk, even brands with minimal social media presence saw the advantages of converting their profiles into sales channels.
  • Revival of QR codes: Direct Marketing also allowed businesses to reach a captive audience with printed collateral and engage them through QR codes.

Business owners in the tourism and travel industries, such as hotels, fashion outlets, and department stores, turned to Pay by Link to stay connected and afloat during international mobility restrictions.

For example, a popular French department store, which attracts many Chinese customers, could accept digital wallet payments such as Alipay and WeChat via Pay by Link. Within weeks, this move improved the retailer's sales and provided customers with the convenience and security of their preferred payment method.

However, Pay by Link is for more than just international brands. Small business owners have also adopted this solution to move their inventory via email or social media quickly. In addition, pay by Link helps businesses maintain relationships with their distant customers and expand their customer base using other channels without costly integrations.

Additionally, Pay by Link's speed, convenience, and security positively impact conversion rates. It eliminates the thousands of transactions that fail due to an unfriendly or complex payment process.

From the customer's perspective, Pay by Link is a hassle-free payment option that offers the security of keeping payment information private. It is also flexible, allowing payments in the buyer's currency with Planet Pay by Link.

How Does Pay by Link Work?

Pay by Link offers businesses a convenient way to provide secure and flexible online payments through a web link, making it an ideal solution for invoicing. Businesses can send customer payment requests via a URL, even without a website or point-of-sale machine.

In addition, Pay by Link can be embedded in a "Pay Now" button that takes customers directly from platforms like Instagram to a secure payment page. Optional currency conversion functionality (Dynamic Currency Conversion or DCC) allows cardholders to pay in their currency of choice.

Using Pay by Link is straightforward for customers, resulting in faster business funds and efficient payment processing. Here's how it works step-by-step:

  1. The merchant logs into the Payments Portal and navigates to Pay by Link.
  2. To generate a payment link, the merchant completes relevant fields, including payment description, redirect URLs, and the email address for the receipt.
  3. The merchant then copies the link into a company-branded email or SMS (text message) and sends it to the customer.
  4. The customer pays by clicking the URL link to launch a secure hosted payment page that can be customised with the merchant's look and feel.
  5. The customer enters their payment details, the system performs a DCC check (if the guest chooses to pay in their own currency) and completes the 3DSecure check. The checkout page is then displayed.
  6. The merchant can track completed transactions in real-time via the Payments Portal.

Fully secure payments, made simple

The secure, hosted page reduces the compliance burden on the merchant. The 3DSecure check will also be prompted if supported by the bank, which can reduce the one-off transaction cost.

It also provides better protection to merchants against chargebacks, as completing the payment falls to the customer.

Customers that use recurring payments are also protected thanks to secure tokens: Merchants can create a payment link with a zero amount and generate a token so that credit and debit card details are securely captured and can be used for future charges and subscriptions.

Key benefits of Pay By Link

  • Pay by Link offers a fully secure payment solution with a simple, hosted page that reduces the compliance burden on the merchant. The 3DSecure check is also prompted if supported by the bank, reducing transaction costs and providing better protection against chargebacks.
  • Recurring payments are protected through secure tokens, enabling merchants to create payment links with zero amounts and generate tokens for future charges.
  • In the hotel industry, Pay by Link helps comply with PSD2 regulations while reducing errors and optimising time and resources. For retailers, it provides compliance and agile business transformation, allowing small business owners to launch payment links from additional channels and add payment methods not integrated into their ecommerce.
  • Since the shopper completes the transaction, Pay by Link reduces the risk of fraud and chargebacks resulting from card or identity theft.
  • Shoppers enjoy a simple and secure payment experience with more options at their fingertips, and recurrent shoppers gain more convenience through tokenisation. All this leads to improved conversion rates and increased sales.

How to choose the right Pay by Link service provider

Short implementation timings and value for money to keep operational costs under control. Once the onboarding process is completed, the right payment partner will provide the service in just a few days.

  1. Compliance with the latest regulation standards allows businesses to process safe cross-border payments. The PSD2 regulation introduced Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to protect online and contactless payments. A Pay by Link provider should include 3DSecure authentication to make the payment fully PSD2 SCA compliant, providing peace of mind for businesses and spenders.
  2. Customer protection against fraud and credit card or identity theft by offering a secure online environment with reinforced transaction security.
  3. Convenience for recurring spenders through secure tokens. Merchants can generate a Pay by Link with a zero amount and generate a token so that card details are securely captured and can be used for future charges.
  4. Simplicity for businesses by launching the process from a payment portal. A Pay by Link provider should provide businesses with the choice to create a link that can be used for one single customer only or select to use it multiple times so that the same link can be sent out to many customers at once.
  5. Flexibility and customisation. The payment page must be customisable to guarantee a consistent experience and keep the payment moment on brand.

By considering these factors, business owners can choose the right Pay by Link provider that meets their specific needs and provides a secure and reliable payment solution for their customers.

In today's fast-paced world, businesses need payment solutions that are not only secure and reliable, but also convenient for their customers. That's where Pay by Link comes in. It provides a simple and efficient way for businesses to offer secure e-payments through a web link, reducing the compliance burden from the merchant and making payments easy for the customer.

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