How to create my own SMS payment links

This article is a detailed introduction to SMS payment link. We'll be going over such topics as, what it is, how it works, what it is used for and how it can be beneficial business use. This page itself contains technical details, as well as real life examples of how the system can be useful. The emphasis is mostly is on to provide a general understanding of the technology to users. If you're interested in SMS payment link, continue reading below.

What is an SMS Payment link?

An SMS payment link is an instant payment method where users receive an SMS containing a clickable link, allowing them to make payments without the need for a credit card, only requiring a smartphone.

How SMS Payment Links Work

First, the seller creates a Payment Link. This is a long link. In order for the link to be able to fit into the SMS or next to any other messages alongside, the link generated by the payment processor has to be shortened. This can be done by one of the Ozeki services as well.

The short link will get the customer into the Ozeki SMS Gateway system which is a powerful SMS gateway software.

Once the customer is already in Ozeki SMS Gateway, everytime they want to use the service, and pay for something, they will receive a Payment Link in SMS. Clicking on the link opens the Mobile Website that displays the payment details and gives the customer the choice to complete the transaction.

For safety reasons the Payment Processor system will ask the customer to confirm their payment, indicating that the payment was successful. After the payment the customer receives a confirm notification. Than the product or service delivery can start (Figure 1).

how to send payment sms link
Figure 1 - Ozeki Payment SMS link

Benefits of SMS Payment

  • True Contactless Payments: “Contactless payments” became a buzz phrase during the COVID-19 pandemic for payment methods that don’t involve touching anyone else’s hardware or cash. SMS payments are a simple and quick way to go contactless.
  • Easy Invoicing: SMS payments can be a convenient way to combine your invoices with payment processing. Over One In Three Customers Wants The Option: An independent study commissioned by Weave found that 35% of customers were interested in paying by text.
  • Younger Customers Especially Want The Option: Sixty-two percent of customers under the age of 35 say they would pay by text message frequently or always if they could. Text Bills Are More Likely To Be Read: Texts have a higher chance of being read than snail mail and email. The chances of a text being read are somewhere around 90%.
  • Most Americans Have Smartphones: Over 85% of Americans own a smartphone, making SMS payments a viable option for most customers. It Can Support Multiple Payment Types: Depending on your service provider, pay by SMS can be used to make credit/debit card transactions, ACH payments, or digital wallet payments.
  • It Can Eliminate The Need For POS Hardware: While high-volume businesses probably don’t want to give up their POS terminal just yet, SMS payments can be a viable alternative to a traditional POS setup for some businesses.
  • The merchant can accept payments from any of the billions of mobile phones capable of texting worldwide
  • Companies can build upon customer loyalty through SMS marketing messages, discounts, coupons.
  • Reduce the number of late payments and collect receivables faster.

Why is SMS Payment beneficial for businesses?

There are many advantages of including SMS Payment in a business' payment methods. The biggest one being accessibility. Billions of devices worldwide already use SMS technology. It has already been widespread for decades. This way, customers who don't have (or don't want to use) a bank account or credit card, can still pay for products and services, giving companies an even wider customer range. The payment receiving business doesn't even have to worry about billing or customer identities, since that is handled by the mobile operator. SMS payments are also incredibly easy to keep track of, since the business can see when the SMS was sent, and if the customer has opened it or not. And best of it all, the system cost very little to set up and it is easy to use and maintain. Additionally, companies may employ SMS marketing strategies such as discounts or coupons, to further popularize their SMS Payment services.

Reach your customers

In additon to being quick and easy to use, data shows that SMS messages have the highest opening rate at 97%. This consequently makes it the most efficient message format, beating e-mails and other digital communication methods. Customers are more likely to make payments this way, than in any other communication channel. This can also be useful for promotional material such as discounts, sales and coupons.

Why is SMS Payment convenient for customers?

SMS Payment is just as convenient for customers as businesses. Most importantly, it is quick and easy to use for everyone who carries around an SMS capable smartphone, which is nowadays almost all of us. The customer doesn’t have to enter their credit card or bank details. They don't even need to have a bank account to be able to pay. It is also incredibly safe and secure, since it doesn't store or release any personal information, passwords or account details. In addition, the service works 24/7, so customers don't have to worry about when they can use SMS Payment, because they always can.

Where SMS Payment can be used

SMS Payment, also refered to as Pay By Text has a wide range of use in various different fields such as:

Travel and hospitality

  • Send Pay by Text links to instantly book a vacation package or upgrade
  • Drive ratings and reviews with automated checkout texts
  • Promote on-site events or property amenities
  • Update travelers on last minute discount rates when cancellations and no-shows happen
  • Manage Text Payments and conversations from one secure portal

Billing companies

  • Collect payments faster
  • Accept one time or recurring payments
  • Issue instant refunds
  • Save on paper billing
  • Auto due date reminder texts
  • Manage all conversations in one place


  • Collect loan and service center payments fast
  • Text pictures of new inventory or repairs
  • Engage more with buyers
  • Manage multiple customer conversations in once place
  • Route messages to various departments
  • Text about big sales events, recalls, discounts

Call centers

  • Increase efficiency
  • Route messages by department
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Offer a new, convenient payment option
  • Automtate due date and other reminders
  • Manage multiple agent conversations in one place

Clubs and associations

  • Collect More Payments
  • Issue Instant Refunds
  • Grow Your Membership
  • Save on Paper Billing
  • Batch or One-Time Pay by Text Invoicing


  • Raise Patient Satisfaction & Retention
  • Boost Collection Rates
  • Statement Batches or One-Off Invoices
  • Save on Paper Billing
  • Issue Instant Refunds

Types of SMS Payment

SMS Payment links mostly consist of 2 types. One-time payments and Bulk payments. One-time links are only used for a single transaction once. These are usually specific orders made by a single customer. Bulk, or batch payments can be used for recurring payments. Recurring payment means when the same payment needs to be made multiple times over a given amount of time. The perfect example for this are subscriptions, or other monthly or yearly fees.

How SMS Payment processing works

SMS Payment processing mainly consists of 3 steps.

  1. Customers receive an SMS, which contains an interactable link. This link will take them to a payment processing website. When the customer has provided payment details on the website, they’ll receive a unique code to send to the text number provided for confirmation.
  2. Customers receive a text asking for payment verification. They can enter their confirmation directly in response to the SMS message and the approval is sent to the mobile phone provider for payment processing. The charges are then simply added to the customer’s phone bill.
  3. The customer enters a mobile phone number on a payment processing website, with the SMS payment provider then texting back a code used to access their purchased content or service.

Secure SMS payment gateway

Another question that always seems to come to mind regarding payment is security. Secure payment is a major focus of SMS Payment technology. While some businesses may prefer to automate the SMS process via a file upload or information push, others are better served by using an SMS Virtual Terminal or Pay by Text Virtual Terminal. A customer service representive logs into a secure website. The website offers a dashboard allowing for easy navigation. This become the control center for originating texts and 2-way communication. This secure website is the SMS Virtual Terminal. A business may have unlimited users. Admins can with limit permissions as well as view reporting based on an individual user. An invoice text can be easily and quickly created, then the customer clicks on a link to be taken to a secure page with the business's branding and contact information. Texts are delivered to the customer from a local number that when called redirects the customer to the business. Unlike other providers that use SMS to simply notify consumers of a payment, 2-Way Text platforms allows secure and compliant payments to be made with the tap of a mobile device.

How do I send a payment link via SMS?

Payment links can be created via dashboard or API. You can configure payment links to be generated automatically. After the payment link has been generated, the seller must enter the customer contact details. Although this process can be automated too. Then, the system sends the correct payment links to the correct addresses via SMS.