Payment links via SMS or WhatsApp have emerged as the front runner in contactless payments in the second wave of the pandemic. It allowed for omni-channel transactions where in-store purchases were completed with online payments — a huge win in social-distancing times. Pay By Link (PBL) transactions grew from 2.37 lakh in March 2020 to 12.55 lakh in March 2021. The Total Payment Value (TPV) noted through PBL registered a four-times growth from ₹107 crore in March 2020 to ₹400 crore in March 2021. The average ticket size of a PBL based transaction was around ₹3,000.
Metro cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad were quick to adopt this method of payment in ecommerce, auto-accessories, CDIT goods and more. On the other hand, in non-metros, businesses are witnessing higher traction for link-based payments for groceries, electronic items such as mobile phones, purchase of travel tickets, clothing, and at restaurants.
Introducing Plural Links
Clearly, payment links have a place in the payments world however, the solutions in the market allow for little to no customisations. Businesses are forced to use the fixed email templates and the limited payment links fields, often leaving out relevant, important information that could otherwise be used to convey empathy and build trust. Enter Plural Links — a fully customisable payment link solution for businesses to convey trust and transparency. With Plural Links, you can add your brand name, logo, relevant information for your customer, date of purchase, and more!
Here’s an example of a message a customer would receive if he uses the current solutions in the market:
SMS 1 –
Hi, your payment of Rs. 100 of invoice no. 1234 is due in 2 days. Here is the <payment Link>
- Does not convey what the payment is for
- Is impersonal
- Lacks any additional details that would confirm a credible source
Instead, let’s look at this same payment link with Plural Links.
SMS 2 –
Hi Amrita, your payment of Rs. 100 for your ICICI medical insurance, purchased on 11 Nov, 2022 is due in 2 days. Kindly make your payment here <payment link>
From ICICI Lombard.
- Is personalised (has my name)
- Tells me what the payment is for
- Tells me when I made the purchase
- Tells me who the sender is
As a customer, this messaging assures me that this link comes from a credible source. The additional information of my date of purchase makes the message trustworthy and overall, I’m happy to instantly make a payment towards a purchase I instantly understand and is fully transparent. I know exactly what I’m paying for!
Plural Links’s customisable payment links solution is perfect for businesses to build trust and offer great user experience to customers.
Features of Plural Links
- Customisable SMS & email: Create custom fields to provide your customers with additional relevant information as part of the payment link.
- Branded email template: Customise the email template to display your brand name, brand logo, invoice number, the content of the email, and more!
- Custom dashboard view: Choose what information you want to see with a custom dashboard view. Create, track, delete, download, cancel and search all within your dashboard.
Other features of Plural Links
- Share anywhere — WhatsApp, email, SMS, Instagram, social media
- Multiple payment methods
- Bulk upload feature
- Webhook notification
- Partial payments
- Set reminders and expiry
- 1-click refunds
Benefits for businesses
- Conveys trust and transparency: With customisable payment fields and email templates, businesses can add more information such as payment details, purchase date, sender details, brand logo and name, etc. to build credibility. Details such as these make the transaction process transparent.
- Enhances the customer experience: When customers are given relevant information while making a payment, it eliminates confusion thereby enhancing customer experience in the payment process.
- Effectively tracks payments: With a custom dashboard view, businesses can track payments from customers based on status, expiry dates, recent invoices etc. A custom dashboard view for a full picture.
- Easy identification with unique payment links for every good/service: Multiple businesses under one name? No problem. With customisable UDFs, create unique payment links for multiple businesses or services.
Plural Links have fantastic uses-cases for a number of industries and businesses. Due to the customisation feature of the payment links, businesses can add as much information, have full disclosure and be completely transparent in the payment collection process.
Rentals: Rental businesses can easily collect recurring payments with a simple payment link. With customisable emails and SMSs, businesses can give information such as amount, source, due date etc. so customers know exactly what they’re paying for!
BFSI businesses and lending companies: Collect monthly or recurring premiums with a single payment link. This is common practice for many insurance companies. Additionally, for investments in mutual funds and SIPs, transparency and trust are of utmost importance. Plural Links are especially useful in such payments as they can be used to give more information to the customer.
Retail stores and malls: Contactless payments were a boon in the pandemic times, as we spoke about earlier. Offline stores can use payment links to collect payments from customers right in front of them!
Ecommerce: For ecommerce businesses, payment links are a great use case due to the popularity of the cash-on-delivery payment option. According to a study by CMS Infosystem, 90% of new buyers pay through the ‘cash-on-delivery’ (COD) in India. Ecommerce businesses can use payment links to collect payments at customers’ doorstep.
Food delivery businesses: Like in the case of ecommerce businesses and cash-on-delivery, food delivery businesses too could use payment links to collect payments at the customers’ doorstep.
Utility provider merchants: Merchants can send reminders and collect payments for utility bills and similar services such as telephone, gas, electricity bills, insurance premium and other services using Payment Links.
Education institutions: Tutors, coaching and education institutes can collect fees in bulk by sending links and reminders to students. Online courses and educators can request, send reminders, and collect course and test fees.
Other use-cases include:
- Collection of donations
- Collection of payments on chatbots
- Sales tele callers sharing payment links to customers
- Businesses without a website or app
- Businesses present only on social media
We hope your business will make the most of this product in your payments journey. Write to us at email@example.com to get started with Plural Links today.
Plural by Pine Labs has received an in-principle authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as a Payment Aggregator.
Amrita Konaiagari is a Marketing Manager at Plural by Pine Labs and Editor of the Plural blog. She has over 10 years of marketing experience across Media & Tech industries and holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. She has a passion for home décor and is most definitely a dog person.