Pay By Group purchases can be created multiple ways:
- Via your merchant cart API
- Via Pay By Group’s API
- Using a Pay By Group-created widget for your internal agent system
- Via your Pay By Group business portal
The first four methods are described in our developer’s guide; the latter method is described in detail in this article. We’ll start with a description of the basic purchase creation process in the first section, and explore additional details in the next.
Quick Purchase Creation
To get started, click the Create new group link in the left-hand sidebar in your business portal, under the Quick Actions header. This takes you to the web form for creating Pay By Groups, with fields for entering information about the customer & purchase with helpful tips listed on the right side of the page.
Please note that only fields marked with an asterisk are required; the others are optional but can be useful depending on your preferences and existing business practices.
To create a basic purchase you’ll only need to fill in:
- The customer’s email address (where the invitation to claim the purchase will be sent) in the Customer email field
- The name of the good or service being purchased by the group (which will be seen by the organizer and all participants in the purchase) in the Name field
- The purchase price (inclusive of all taxes, fees, optional add-ons, etc.) in the Cost field
We also strongly recommend you include a message to the customer in the Message to customer field, which is included in the invitation email sent to the customer and personalizes the invitation with specific information about the purchase, the Pay By Group process, your previous interactions with the customer, and so on. This type of personalization can increase the probability and speed of customer response.
Once you’ve filled out the above fields, click the Send Pay By Group to Customer button at the bottom of the page to generate the group and send the invitation email to the customer.
Detailed Purchase Creation
In this section we’ll look at the additional fields and capabilities of the group creation page in greater detail.
At the top of the page is the Customer Information section, which includes the following fields:
- Customer full name: the full name of the primary customer, or group organizer, for this purchase. This is an optional field. Note that when the organizer creates the group, they can update the name to be what they want
- Customer email: the email address of the organizer, where the invitation to claim this group will be sent when you create it. This is a required field. Note that when the organizer creates the group, they can update the email to be what they want. The address you enter here is only used to send the invitation at this stage
- Customer phone number: this is solely for your easy reference in case you need to contact the customer in a follow-up, and is an optional field
- Message to customer: copy that is included in the invitation email to the organizer to claim the group, providing context if you just had a conversation or email exchange with them and recapping any details you want to be sure they see up-front are good uses of this field. This is an optional field, but we strongly recommend using it
The next section of the creation page is the Purchase Information section, which includes the following fields:
- Name: the name of the good or service being purchased by the group, which will be seen by the organizer and all participants in the purchase. This is a required field
- Cost: the total amount of money you want to collect for this purchase, inclusive of all taxes, fees, optional add-ons, etc. This is a required field
- If you receive Pay By Group payments via a payment gateway that supports multiple currencies, you can select which of those currencies you’d like to use in the dropdown next to the field and the transaction will occur in the currency you select
- You can also select multiple currencies if you receive Pay By Group payments via your bank account. The currency you choose will be used to present the cost to the customer, and the actual transaction will occur in the currency of your bank account. For more information about advanced Pay By Group cost features, like installments and cost ranges, please see this article
- Must Complete By: an optional field, this sets the due deadline by which you must receive payment (if you wish to include one). You can read more about deadlines in this article
- TZ: the time zone for your deadline. Only use this if you include a payment deadline and want the time zone to be something other than the one pre-selected based on your current location. The time zone selected will apply globally regardless of each user’s location
The next section is the Purchase Details section, which is entirely optional. It is useful to both provide additional details about the purchase to your customers, which builds trust, and cross-reference this purchase with your business’s internal system of record. It includes the following fields:
- Start: the beginning date of the event associated with the purchase, if any (e.g. check-in date for a hotel or vacation rental stay, start of recreational sports season, departure time for a flight, start time of a movie, etc.). Note that both this and the next field have their own TZ dropdown selectors
- End: The ending counterpart of the above field if one exists and would be useful to users (e.g. check-out date and time for lodging, arrival time for a flight, etc.)
- Inventory ID: the reference to this inventory from your internal system (e.g. SKU, property ID, etc.)
- Purchase ID: the reference to this purchase from your internal system (e.g. purchase order number)
- Upload a picture: add a product image for this purchase here, which will be displayed on the Pay By Group dashboard for all participating customers
- The optimal size for such an image is 585px by 446px
- Other sizes at a dimensional ratio of 1.3 to 1 are acceptable
- This image should represent the item/s or service/s being purchased as clearly and attractively as possible
- If you do not upload an image, Pay By Group will use the default image for your merchant account
- Link to inventory on your website: the full URL to the page on your website for the inventory being purchased, which will be displayed to the customers on their Pay By Group dashboard. Be sure to include “http://” at the beginning, or it won’t be valid
- Description: any and all pertinent details about this purchase that you’d like to include for the customers, such as trip itineraries, product descriptions, or registration instructions, which will be displayed on their Pay By Group dashboard
As described in the Quick Purchase Creation section, once you’ve filled out the required fields and added any additional information you’d like to include, click the Send Pay By Group to Customer button at the bottom of the page to generate the group and send the invitation email to the primary customer.
If you’ve filled in all fields correctly, the page will refresh to show your Purchases table. The group you’ve just created will be the new top entry with the status Sent to org. If there are any required fields left empty, or formatting errors, you’ll be notified with an error message and directed to fix the specific issues; click Send Pay By Group to Customer again when you’re done resolving the issue or issues to complete the process.