A receipt is a written acknowledgement that a specified article or sum of money has been received as an exchange for goods or services. The receipt acts as the title to the property obtained in the exchange.


In English speaking countries the term most frequently applies to the printed record given to a customer at checkout that lists the purchases made, the total amount of the transaction including taxes, discounts and other adjustments, the amount paid and the method of payment. Increasingly, these receipts may also include messages from the retailer, warranty or return details, special offers, advertisements or coupons. Receipts may also be provided for non-retail operations such as banking transactions.

Printed receipts are usually produced by thermal printing on rolls of narrow paper tape, although dot-matrix technology is also used. Recent innovations have led to multi-colored thermal printing technology and the ability to print double-sided receipts.

Gift receipts

Receipts may be presented as proof of a transaction for the purpose of exchanging or returning merchandise. Some retailers provide special "gift receipts" specifically for this purpose. Unlike a standard purchase receipt, the gift receipt omits certain information, most notably the price that was paid for an item. The receipt usually has a barcode along the bottom so that the retailer can call up the transaction information from a database of previous purchases, thus authenticating a return.


Hand-written or hand-completed receipts are more often used for infrequent or irregular transactions, or for transactions conducted in the absence of a terminal, cash register or point of sale (for example, as provided by a landlord to a tenant for receipt of rent money.)


Electronic receipts (sometimes abbreviated e-receipts) are frequently rendered for transactions made online or through other electronic media. They may take the form of emails or of dynamically-generated web pages that users can save or print. In addition to the normal transactional data, electronic receipts often contain hyperlinks to the seller's website or to pages describing the items purchased.

Some "brick and mortar" retailers provide customers with digital receipts via email, or through service providers such as Shoeboxed or allEtronic.

Related industries

Organizing receipts and similar financial documents is a multi-million dollar industry in the United States. Companies like and ReceiptWallet produce desktop and online software to organize electronic receipts; others like allEtronic organize receipts sent digitally from point of sale devices to consumers.

See also

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