Generating and sending invoices
You can send your customers an invoice that includes a convenient payment link using the invoice generating capabilities of Amazon Payment Services. We call this service Collect.
Collect shortens the delay between issuing invoices and receiving payment because invoices sent via Collect includes a direct payment link that makes it easy for your customers to pay.
Whether you need to send a single invoice, or many invoices, the Amazon Payment Services back office makes it easy to automate the process of invoicing -- and collecting payment.
How does Collect work?
Sending invoices via the Amazon Payment Services Collect services allows you to combine billing and payment into one single message. With Collect, you use a single step to generate an email with a customized message that contains the amount owed, and a payment link.
When your customer clicks on the payment link they can conveniently pay for the invoiced amount using the currency and payment method that they prefer.
The payment link included in the invoice is directly connected to your merchant account so that your customer's payment is simply and efficiently processed by Amazon Payment Services.
You can choose to send a single invoice using the Amazon Payment Services back office, but you can also use the back office to send multiple invoices using a batch process. Or, use our API to connect to our Collect service and automatically generate invoices from your server.
What does the customer see?
When you send an invoice to your customer using the Collect service your customer receives an email message or SMS that contains your customized message, typically including an invoice amount, alongside a clear payment link.
You can choose how you send the invoice. First, you can configure the process so that Amazon Payment Services automatically sends a payment link directly to your customer. Alternatively, you can use your email server or SMS provider to send a customized message that contains the payment link.
When your customer clicks on the payment link they are directed to an Amazon Payment Service webpage where they can complete their payment.
Figure 1 - Sample of invoice sent to your customer
Once your customer's payment details are verified Amazon Payment Services sends a confirmation to your customer including a transaction reference number. We also send a confirmation to you stating that the invoice that you sent has been paid.
You can view a summary of the invoices that are paid and that are outstanding via the Amazon Payment Services back office. Finally, where relevant, your developers can custom code a push notification service that informs your application server whenever a payment link has successfully triggered a payment.
Sending a single invoice
If you need to only occasionally send invoices to your customers or have a low volume of invoices to send you could opt to simply send invoices one by one by accessing the Generate New Invoice area under Invoicing in your Amazon Payment Services back office.
Figure 2 - Generating a one-off new invoice in the back office
On this page you specify key details including the invoice currency, amount, as well as an order description and a merchant reference number. When you confirm the details Amazon Payment Services will send to your customer an email containing the invoice and a payment link.
Once your customer has paid, the successful payment will be visible in the invoices section of the Amazon Payment Services back office.
Alternatively, you can create custom code on your server which uses our API to generate and send invoices. Refer to our API reference.
Automatically sending invoices
To bulk generate invoices and collect payment using our Collect service you simply need to upload a batch file for automated invoice generation. You have two options when automatically sending invoices:
Upload a batch file to the Amazon Payment Services back office and trigger the invoicing process from the back office.
Alternatively, you can upload a file containing the invoice data by writing code that uses our batch invoice API. Our API will generate and send the invoices for you.
You can download the batch invoice template file from the Amazon Payment Services back office -- it is located under the Batch Invoicing tab.
Once you have uploaded the invoicing batch file the Amazon Payment Services server will send a response confirming receipt. This receipt is sent to the administrator registered with Amazon Payment Services.
As a next step, you can choose to request a response that details the outcomes of the invoices you generated, including full details of payment outcomes. You do so by sending a request to the Amazon Payment Services batch invoicing API.
Our Collect service makes it easy to keep track of the invoices you sent, and which invoices have been paid thanks to the comprehensive back office invoicing reporting tool.
Figure 3 - Use the back office to download reports of the invoices you sent and the payment status
In the back office you can search for individual invoices or create a custom report by specifying a date range -- you also have the ability to export invoice data in CSV format to analyze using the tool of your choice.
Go to the full API reference
If you choose to send invoices by using our batch invoicing API we suggest that you read our API reference for complete details on how to send invoices one by one, on demand -- and in bulk. View the API reference here.
Get in touch
Generating invoices via Amazon Payment Services can greatly speed up how quickly you collect payments on outstanding invoices. Feel free to get in touch to better understand how Collect can help your business. Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.