Invoices and payment intents

Learn how to accept crypto payments by using invoices and payment intents.

What is a payment intent?

Using cryptocurrencies like ETH and SOL for payments is fundamentally different from fiat currencies. With fiat payments, merchants can charge customers automatically — e.g. when your card is charged monthly for a membership.

On the other hand, crypto cannot be automatically transferred from a customer’s wallet; the customer needs to manually approve the transaction. Because all crypto payments begin as an intent to pay, they are referred to as a PaymentIntent, as opposed to a Charge or a Transaction.

Invoices and payment intents

Invoices and payment intents serve different use cases. Payment intents are designed to be paid directly after creation, while invoices represent a request for a payment that may not necessarily take place in the near future.

To pay an invoice, you must also create a payment intent for that invoice at the time of purchase. This detail is important for use cases such as fiat-based pricing, since the exact crypto amount of a payment intent is set at the time it is created.