Insights & Trends

Payment Links vs Payment APIs: Which is Better for your Online B2B Business?

Payment Links vs Payment APIs: Which is Better for your Online B2B Business?

It is a given that all online B2B businesses strive for a seamless checkout experience, crucial for cementing a reputation of impeccable service and reliability. But when it comes to payment solutions, the choice between Payment Links vs Payment APIs often arises. What exactly are these options, and which is best suited to meet your specific business needs? Dive deeper as we explore these online payment integration solutions to determine the best payment API for B2B businesses or if payment links offer the efficiency and security your business requires.

Payment Links

There’s often confusion surrounding the term ‘payment link’ due to varying terminologies used by different payment providers, including phrases like ‘pay by link’ or ‘pay button’. Essentially, payment links are URLs or buttons clicked by users to transfer funds specific to a transaction—typically for purchasing a product or service, distinct from standard options like a “Buy Now” or “Donate” button.

Despite the simplicity of payment links, providers may offer variations:

  • One-time links sent via SMS, email, chat, or social media.
  • Email invoice links.

Payment links seem straightforward to implement and use, but are they the right fit for your online B2B business? Let's explore the advantages and potential drawbacks.

Pros and Cons of Payment Links:


  • Simple and effective: Easy to set up, payment links require only transaction details and can be sent through any digital communication means, offering a personal touch between buyer and seller.
  • Immediate processing: Transactions are registered in real-time, enhancing efficiency.
  • Flexible engagement options: The variety allows businesses to experiment with customer engagement methods from emails to chatbots.


  • Trust issues: Ensuring emails align with your brand’s voice is crucial to avoid mistaking payment links for spam or phishing, a challenge when using third-party providers.
  • Legal restrictions: In regions like Europe, GDPR compliance is mandatory, requiring explicit permission before sending email invoices.

Which Businesses Benefit Most?

Given their straightforward nature, payment links are particularly advantageous for businesses in the early stages of digital transformation. For instance, freelancers with portfolio sites or businesses that have yet to fully integrate an online checkout system could see significant benefits. Payment links provide a simple yet effective solution for these scenarios.

Moreover, businesses that have not completely digitised their customer interactions or brokers who facilitate transactions between two parties will find payment links invaluable. They are not only easy to implement but also ensure that transactions are completed swiftly and efficiently.

Suitable Business Examples for Payment Links:

  • Freelancers and small enterprises without integrated online payment systems.
  • Brokers and intermediaries facilitating quick, simple transactions.
  • Payment links thus serve as a flexible and user-friendly option for those looking to streamline payments without overhauling their existing systems.

Payment APIs

The 'API' in 'payment API' stands for Application Programming Interface. Simplified, it acts as the intermediary that allows different software applications to communicate by sending and retrieving data to and from a server. If the software shares a data library, the API can link these systems together, displaying the necessary results to end-users.

APIs generally come in two different variants: hosted and native. An API that is mainly integrated into the website is generally deemed to be ‘native’ whereas one that mostly directs customers to third party services is ‘hosted’.

  • Hosted Payment APIs: These direct the user to third-party services and handle most of the payment processing externally, simplifying the integration process.
  • Native Payment APIs: These are integrated directly into your site, allowing for a more seamless and controlled user experience but require more effort to set up.

Much like their counterpart, both forms of Payment APIs possess their pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Hosted Payment APIs:


  • Hassle-free setup: Having most of the necessary services being handled by third party providers takes the burden of integration away from the business owner. This is as opposed to a native API which requires significantly more effort in integrating.
  • Seamless experience: For the most part, the nature of a hosted API also means that it can help bridge the gap between payment links and checkout.


  • Non-universal: Not all hosted experiences are fully customizable since there’s a high chance that the UX provided will remain as-is. Moreover, they have potential redirects that can complicate the checkout process. 

Pros and Cons of Native Payment APIs:


  • Full control: By having the API be fully integrated into the website, it allows you free reign to design the checkout experience. This allows for bespoke adjustments down the line like milestone payments or specific fee structures.


  • Time consuming: Full integration usually translates into hours undertaken to complete the setup process on your end. It is time-consuming and may require significant technical support to optimise.

A robust payment API offers diverse configurations to accommodate different levels of integration based on your website’s design, ensuring that whether your online B2B business is small or large, you can tailor the checkout experience to fit your needs.

Which Businesses Benefit Most from Payment APIs?

Payment APIs are particularly beneficial for platforms that require integrated online checkout systems, as these APIs are designed to work seamlessly with such setups. Marketplaces that need flexibility in adjusting fees, such as processing commission deductions in transactions, also find great value in payment APIs. These include:

  • Marketplaces: For dynamically managing transaction fees.
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms: Ideal for handling large volumes of recurring payments.

While setting up payment APIs can seem daunting, understanding how to leverage their capabilities can significantly enhance your operations. The best fit for your online B2B business depends on your unique needs and the complexity of your payment processes.

It's evident that payment links are well-suited for businesses still transitioning to digital platforms or those requiring simple, reliable transaction processes. On the other hand, payment APIs are recommended for businesses with established online checkout systems, marketplaces needing flexible fee adjustments, and SaaS platforms managing recurring payments. These APIs simplify the payment process, ensuring a smooth transactional experience.

Considering an upgrade to your B2B payment solutions? Tazapay offers both hosted and native API solutions tailored to meet your escrow needs. Our APIs are designed for easy integration and transparency in transactions.

Contact us today to explore how our payment solutions can benefit your business