SMS payments/text to pay vs. Email payments: what’s best for your business?

  • Research shows that around 50% of businesses experience delays in acquiring payment for products and services every year.
  • There are a number of causes for this including cash flow problems and issues with the product itself. However a major reason is many businesses are far too deferential.
  • If you have a robust payment system that eliminates any barriers to paying, you will minimise late payments.
  • The days of sending an invoice, waiting and hoping for a swift bank transfer are gone. SMS payment systems and email payments mean you can send a direct payment link that will get you paid immediately.
  • This guide runs through each payment method and will help you decide on which one is most suitable for your business.

What are SMS payments?

A Short Messaging Service (SMS) payment otherwise known as text to pay consists of a text message from a mobile phone that contains an embedded link. This takes the user to a payment page when they click on it.

Customers don’t have to log-in to an account or speak to anyone with mobile payments. Transactions can be completed on the same device they are using.

One of the main advantages of SMS payments is that their use isn’t widespread. SMS payments work great if you need a memorable form of communication that will get your customer’s attention.

Short code texts offer great functionality. They can be used for social media/marketing messages as well as online payments. 

Is SMS payment safe?

Links are completely safe and no bank account information is sent in the text message itself. Once users click on the link in the text, they are taken to an encrypted 3D secure payment website.

At WPay, card information is never stored on the platform and all payment links are deactivated once links have been paid.

What are the benefits of SMS payments?

Customers want them

A whopping 35% of businesses in this report said that they would be interested in text message payments for products and services. Yet, only around 4% of businesses offer this kind of mobile payment solution.

More business

Research has shown that businesses that offer four or more payment options bring in as much as seven times more revenue. Providing customers with all their favourite ways to pay increases conversions and encourages repeat business.

They’re easy to use

SMS texts reduce the hurdles that customers need to jump through to make payments. Customers don’t need to remember invoice numbers, bank details or account details. All the user needs is their chosen debit card/credit card details and they can complete the transaction.

They’re unforgettable

Receiving a text message from a business is a rare occurrence. When businesses do use it, it will catch the attention of the customer. If you have been waiting for payment and want direct access to your customer, an SMS text is the perfect payment reminder.

Low cost

SMS texts are a cost-effective way to process payments should you wish to send links to thousands of customers. Mobile phone operators also will offer discount phone bills if you purchase bulk orders. At WPay we have just one pricing model, and charge a 1.49% transaction fee.

When should I use SMS payments?


To get paid

You can streamline your payment processing by implementing SMS payments. The vast majority of businesses use email invoices or worse, paper invoices. With SMS texts you will stand out from the crowd.

Billing a customer immediately after a completed project is really important to getting paid on time. So long as you have the right phone number, your customer has no reason not to pay instantly.

To chase bills

It’s easy for invoices to get lost in email inboxes even for businesses that keep on top of their bills. If you need to get your customer’s attention, an SMS text will provide you with direct access to them.

Should the customer have an issue preventing them from paying they can communicate with you directly. Once resolved, the customer can make payment on the same device they are using.

To aid marketing 

If you have new deals and offers and engage in SMS marketing, should a customer show interest then you can send them a link to purchase the product immediately. SMS texts are a great way to support your marketing efforts and also support customer loyalty programmes.


Email payments


What are email payments?

Email payments are emails that contain links that users can click on. This will take them to payment screens where they can pay for outstanding invoices, goods or services.

Emails will usually contain an invoice which will also provide the customer with all the information they need to make payment.

If you work with a customer remotely, email payments are the ideal solution and far more effective than paper invoices sent by post.

Are email payments safe?

The links contained in the emails are safe and no sensitive information is sent in the email itself. Once users click on the link in the text, they are taken to a secure and encrypted website.

At WPay, card information is never stored on the platform and all payment links are deactivated once links have been paid. You can also track how many times are link has been opened and from what location.

What are the benefits of email payments?


They’re convenient

Digital invoices are much easier to manage than paper invoices. Templates can be used and much of the work can be automated. You can track invoice payment emails far better making the whole payment process a lot more effective.

More control

With invoice emails, you know exactly when they have been sent, when they have been opened and when they have been paid. You have the information you need to reduce inefficiencies and get paid quicker.

Low cost

Sending pay by link emails are a lot cheaper than sending them through the mail. You can reduce your costs by moving your invoicing onto a digital platform. Your staff also need to spend less time within the merchant management system.

Better management

Should an issue arise with a customer, it’s much easier searching through digital invoices than paper invoices. Easier management means you can provide a better service for your customers.

When should I use email payments?


To get paid

Moving from paper invoices to digital invoices will make payment processing a lot simpler and easier. Although digital invoices make more sense, over half of businesses still regularly use paper to get paid.

Email invoice payments will transform your processes and drastically reduce the waiting times for bills to get settled.


To chase bills

You can use email to chase payments, however, emails can easily get lost in inboxes. Combining them with phone calls and messaging is the best way to use them when chasing late payments.

How do I set up and accept email payments through WPay?


Sending email payments is just as simple as sending SMS text payments:

  • Open the WPay app.
  • Go to the menu on the top left corner and select Payment Request.
  • Enter the amount you want to charge, or click on a product.
  • This will create a one-time link that you can then send via email.
  • Enter a reference (to make it easier to track).
  • Change the pay by date if you prefer (the default is 7 days).
  • At the payment gateway, your customer clicks on the request, and can input their payment details or an alternative payment method at the checkout.
  • You’ll get an email notification when the payment is completed and will receive the funds in your account the next working day.

What payment method is right for my business?


If you currently use paper invoices you should begin the move to email invoices immediately. Digital invoices save time, reduce costs and allow you to better manage your payment processing. They should be the standard way you operate.

When it comes to SMS payments, using them regularly like emails could be counterproductive. Instead use them as an additional tool when businesses are particularly behind on payments. You’ll be able to get their attention and ensure that you get the money you’re owed.

Whether you’re a small business or major corporation, combining the two will make your business better. If you’re looking for a PCI-certified payment provider who can help you send email links and SMS links, contact us at WPay.