A voucher is a bond which is worth a certain monetary value and which may only be spent for specific reasons or on specific goods. Examples include — but are not limited to — housing and food vouchers. The term voucher is also a synonym for receipt, and is often used to refer to receipts used as evidence of, for example, the declaration that a service has been performed or that an expenditure has been made.

The term is also commonly used for education vouchers which are somewhat different.

In tourism

Vouchers are used in the tourism sector primarily as proof of a named customer's right to take a service at a specific time and place. Service providers collect them to return to the tour operator or travel agent that has sent that customer, to prove they have given the service. So, life of a voucher is as below:

  1. Customer receives vouchers from tour operator or travel agent for the services bought
  2. Customer goes to vacation site and forwards the voucher to related provider and asks for the service to be given
  3. Provider collects the vouchers
  4. Provider sends collected vouchers to the agent or operator that sends customers from time to time, and asks for payment for those services
  5. Uncollected vouchers do not deserve payment

This approach is most suitable for Free Individual Tourist activities where pre-allocation for services are neither necessary, nor feasible or applicable. It was customary before the information era when communication was limited and expensive, but now has been given quite a different role by B2C applications. When a reservation is made through the internet, customers are often provided a voucher through email or a web site that can be printed. Providers customarily require this voucher be presented prior to providing the service.

In Accounts Payable

A voucher is an accounting document usually produced after receiving a vendor invoice, after the invoice is successfully matched to a Purchase Order. It represents an internal intent to make a payment to the vendor in the amount of the voucher. In Accounts Payable systems, a process called a payment run is executed to generate payments corresponding to the unpaid vouchers. These payments can then be released or held at the discretion of an Accounts Payable supervisor or the company Controller.

In Mobile Phones

A voucher is a recharge number sold to a customer to recharge their SIM card with money and to extend the card's availability period.

See also

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