How You Can Use Square Checkout Links (Whether Or Not You Have A Website)
Square Online Checkout is intended to condense the eCommerce experience down to a simple link or button, making online selling easier than ever for both the merchant and the customer.
No matter what kind of business you run, whether it’s a small donation-based organization, a midsize physical store, a huge subscription-based website, or anything in between, you can easily increase your revenue by offering people an easier way to make payments online, especially if they’re paying through a mobile device.
One of the most effective ways to take payments online, whether you have a website or not, is to offer an online payment link. Payment links are so easy and fast to use that 73% of payment link clicks convert to a transaction within one day.
Square Online Checkout is a free payment link generator that anyone can use once they register for a free Square seller account. Keep reading to learn more about what Square Online Checkout is, how it works, all the places you can share a Square payment link, and how this Square checkout option can benefit your business or charitable organization.
Note: Square Online Checkout is not to be confused with Square Checkout, a separate hosted payment page solution you add to an established website for payments to be processed through Square’s API.
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What Is Square Online Checkout?
Square Online Checkout is a payment solution that allows sellers to accept payments online by sharing a Square payment link, similar to how PayPal works. Unlike PayPal, buyers do not need a Square account to pay using a Square link, just their name, phone number, email address, and payment info.
5 Ways You Can Get Paid Using Square Checkout Links
You can set up Square payment links at every customer touchpoint: on an existing website, in social media posts, in an email, in a text, and even a QR code for people to scan at a physical location. When you create a single payment link and list it on multiple channels, converting potential buyers or donors gets faster and easier.
Most importantly, you can sell items (physical and digital), offer subscriptions, and take donations online, even if you don’t have a website.
The following are just a few ways you can use Square links to increase your revenue:
1. Embed Square Buy Button On Your Existing Site
If you have an existing website or blog without eCommerce functionalities, you can easily add a Square payment link on web pages and blog posts.
All you need to do is customize your buy button, copy the buy button’s HTML code, and paste the code into any page of your website. You can embed buy buttons on most web builder platforms, including WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.
If you don’t have a website right now, but you want one, Square offers a free website builder that integrates smoothly with Square Online payments. Interested in learning more? Read our article on how and why to use the Square website builder to set up your online store.
2. Share A Square Link In A Social Media Post
Social media selling is a simple and increasingly popular way to reach potential customers online and convert them in the same day. Many business owners make Instagram posts shoppable and sell on TikTok by syncing their Square inventory with their dedicated business social media accounts.
However, if your main social media selling channels are on Facebook and Twitter, or you want to quickly get a post up without inventory syncing, simply generate a payment link URL and include it in your post caption or social media bio.
3. Send Square Payment Link In An Email
No matter what email marketing platform you use for your email marketing campaigns, you can add a Square payment button.
All you need to do is generate a payment link URL, design your marketing email with a clickable button, and embed the URL in that button. Add several payment links throughout a marketing email if you’re offering a special or launching a new collection.
If you don’t have an email marketing solution yet, or you’re thinking of moving away from the platform you’re using now, check out the eight best email marketing options for businesses to help you make a decision.
4. Send A Square Payment Link Via Text
You can use Square’s dedicated SMS marketing solution (offered to merchants on a monthly subscription basis) or another text message marketing software to send out SMS text message marketing campaigns.
One of the nicest payment link features is that when you create a Square link, you can add an image. This image will show up whenever you send a payment link out via text, which helps people visualize your offering and entice them to click on the message.
5. Create QR Code On Print Material
In-person sellers can post a QR code at their physical location for people to pay for a product, subscription, or class. Businesses and nonprofits with physical locations can use QR codes for contactless payments and donations.
Whether your business lives completely online or not, you can always send out print marketing materials with QR codes leading to product and donation pages.
How To Set Up A Square Link
The steps required to set up an Online Checkout link and accept payments are fast and simple right from the start. Let’s take a look at each component of the set-up process:
Create A Square Account
To create a Square Online Checkout link, you need a Square account. Square is free to use, so this step won’t cost you anything.
Here’s a quick summary of what you need to do to start accepting payments via Square link:
- Go to Square and click the “Get Started” button.
- Enter your first name, last name, and email address. Then, create a password, and select your country of residence (currently only sellers in the US can use Square Online Checkout links).
- Agree to Square’s terms and conditions.
- Enter the name of your business/organization and a business address.
- Enter some general information about your business, such as the size of your business, your EIN (if you have one), and what industry you are in.
- Enter your name, home address, date of birth, phone number, and the last four digits of your social security number. This is to verify your identity, which you have to do before you can start posting payment links.
- Add a bank account. You can either link an external account or sign up for Square Checking.
Read our complete guide to creating a Square account for more detailed instructions on setting up and using your Square merchant account.
Create A Link
Once you have a Square account, you can create Online Checkout links from your online Square Dashboard on the website or from the Square app (available for iOS and Android devices).
Square’s guidelines for creating Online Checkout links are as follows:
- Head to the Homepage of your Square Online Dashboard.
- Click “Create a Checkout Link and Buy Button” and then click “Create a checkout link” in the Online Checkout section.
- Choose whether you want to create a link or create a buy button.
- Choose whether you want to collect a payment, sell an item, accept a donation, or sell classes or tickets.
- Enter a title for your link. The title is visible to users.
- Fill in the required information fields. There will be different fields to fill in depending on the purpose of your link. For example, you can’t enter a price on a donation link. That’s filled in by users.
- While it’s optional, you should write a concise link description and add an image.
- Change any additional settings in the Advanced settings tab. For example, you can enable tipping or let customers set a price on payment collection links.
- Click “Create link” to create your shareable link or buy button.
You can also create Online Checkout links through the Settings tab or the Edit Item page.
Note: You must verify your identity and enter your banking information before you can start collecting payments via Square link.
Share Or Embed The Link
Once you create a shareable link, you can:
- Copy the link URL to post anywhere online
- Send the payment link to a specific customer’s phone number or email address
- Create and download a QR code to display at any physical location or on any print marketing materials
- Post the link directly to Facebook or Twitter (once you log into your business’s social media account, of course)
Once you create a buy button, you can:
- Customize your button’s color, text, font, and shape
- Choose whether or not to display the button’s title, pricing, and/or image
- Copy the button’s HTML embed code and paste it directly into your blog or website
Shareable links and buy buttons are interchangeable. If you build a link first, you can generate a corresponding buy button afterward. If you create a buy button, then you can generate a link to share.
Start Accepting Payments Via Square Link
Once you share your link, you can immediately start accepting payments, assuming you correctly entered your bank account number when setting up your Square account.
On the user end, the process is simple. Buyers don’t need a Square account to pay using a Square Online Checkout link. All they need to provide is their name, email address, phone number, and credit card number. Alternatively, they can use Google Pay to complete their transaction.
This is a welcome departure from PayPal checkout buttons, which require buyers to log into a PayPal account before they can pay.
Note: There are transaction limitations. You can only accept transaction payments up to $50,000. People can only donate $5,000 at one time.
Square Online Checkout Cost
Payments accepted via Square Online Checkout links are subject to Square’s standard online processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. That’s the only fee involved. There are no monthly or annual fees associated with having a Square account.
One thing to keep in mind: Square discounts don’t work with Online Checkout links.
Why We Like Square Online Checkout Links
One of our favorite Square Online Checkout payment link features is the fact that links are shareable. If someone buys a product they like or donate to a cause they believe in, they can share those links with others.
Square Online Checkout links are also accessible for everyone. Buyers don’t need a Square account to pay through a payment link.
Other Square Online Checkout features we like include:
- Simple link setup and sharing process
- Reports to track the number of sales generated from each checkout link — easily see which links are performing best
- Subscription checkout/recurring payment options
- Service-based advanced link building options such as tipping and customer price-setting
- Customizable checkout button styles to reflect your company’s branding
- The ability to create marketing campaigns around your shareable links
We also love that it’s free to create payment links and buy buttons!
The only downside is that you can’t pass discounts on to buyers who pay through a Square link.
Square Online Checkout FAQs
Final Thoughts On Using A Square Link
If you’re looking for an easy way to take payments online, even if you don’t have a website, Square Online Checkout links make eCommerce simple for both you and your customers. You can accept payments for physical and digital items, services, and subscriptions. You can also accept one-time and recurring donations.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to set up a full eCommerce website, sell internationally, or use Square’s more advanced eCommerce features like discounts and customized receipts, you might want to take advantage of Square’s other eCommerce tools. You can also check out Merchant Maverick’s shopping cart software reviews to get an idea of the full range of options available.