A voucher is a bond which is worth a certain monetary value
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on specific goods. Examples include (but are not limited to) housing
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

, travel
Travel is the movement of people or objects between relatively distant geographical locations. 'Travel' can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.-Etymology:...

, and food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 vouchers. The term voucher is also a synonym for receipt
A receipt is a written acknowledgment that a specified article or sum of money has been received as an exchange for goods or services. The receipt is evidence of purchase of the property or service obtained in the exchange.-Printed:...

 and is often used to refer to receipts used as evidence
Evidence (law)
The law of evidence encompasses the rules and legal principles that govern the proof of facts in a legal proceeding. These rules determine what evidence can be considered by the trier of fact in reaching its decision and, sometimes, the weight that may be given to that 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
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 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, the 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 not necessary, 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.

Accounts payable

A voucher is an accounting document representing an internal intent to make a payment to an external entity, such as a vendor or service provider. A voucher is produced usually after receiving a vendor invoice
An invoice or bill is a commercial document issued by a seller to the buyer, indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller has provided the buyer. An invoice indicates the buyer must pay the seller, according to the payment terms...

, after the invoice is successfully matched to a purchase order
Purchase order
A purchase order is a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating types, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller will provide to the buyer. Sending a purchase order to a supplier constitutes a legal offer to buy products or services...

. A voucher will contain detailed information regarding the payee, the monetary amount of the payment, a description of the transaction, and more. 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.
The term can also be used with reference to accounts receivable, where it is also a document representing intent to make an adjustment to an account, and for the general ledger where there is need to adjust accounts within that ledger; in that case it is referred to as a journal voucher....

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. Vouchers are typically sold at retail outlets, such as phone stores run by the mobile operator or by distributors, grocery stores, and gas stations. Vouchers can also be purchased online at distributor sites such as PandaPhone http://www.pandaphone.com in China, or PrepaidWirelesshttp://www.prepaidwireless.com in the US. These services email a voucher to the purchaser, typically in the form of a 16-digit PIN that is then entered into the phone. Online recharge sites may charge fees and require registration or a payment approval process before accepting Customer Not Present online payments. After payment acceptance, the purchaser is then sent a confirmation letter including the PIN code and recharge instructions.

Other options for online recharge of prepaid mobile phones Prepaid mobile phone do not require a voucher and may or may not charge fees. paytm.com http://www.paytm.com ezRecharge.in http://www.ezrecharge.in providing instant online recharge services without vouchers. Whereas fastrecharge.com http://www.fastrecharge.com is another online recharge services based on vouchers. The problem with vouchers is validity period and the possibility of thefting/generating the recharge code. Freecharge.in http://www.freecharge.in has brought a unique model to this business and gives free discount vouchers of Indian retail stores along with every online recharge. Another online recharge service that does not require vouchers and does not charge fees is Prepaid.comhttp://www.prepaid.com. Www.prepaid.com is based in the US and accepts payments such as Visa or MasterCard
Mastercard Incorporated or MasterCard Worldwide is an American multinational financial services corporation with its headquarters in the MasterCard International Global Headquarters, Purchase, Harrison, New York, United States...

 credit or debit cards to recharge mobile phones in Mexico. Prepaid.com does not require registration and recharges the recipients phone immediately.

Vouchers are the prevalent form of recharge for prepaid mobile phones in many countries such as Italy and Spain where well over 90% of consumers use vouchers, and the UK where over 60% buy vouchers at retail. In other countries such as the United States, Ireland, and many Nordic countries, there is a growing trend of customers using Card Not Present recharge options such as online payments, or by using their mobile handsets to call the operator and recharge with a representative (CSR) or through their IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system. A growing number of prepaid mobile operators such as Meteor in Ireland and T-Mobile USA are offering the option to send an SMS (text to pay), or use handset applications such as WAP or BREW technology. in the notrthwren times


A voucher can also be used online in the form of an e-voucher. These types of vouchers can be entered when shopping online and the relevant vouchers value added to your order. It can take the form of any code. Many companies have opted to use voucher codes for the last few years but with a massive incline in use towards the end of 2008/early 2009. There are many internet websites devoted to promoting these deals and vouchers online, as well as Facebook groups offering items such as student discounts and 2-for-1 restaurant voucher deals.

There is a small number of sites that use a disreputable method of click to reveal method for dropping cookies on the consumer's computer, which has led to the introduction of guidelines for voucher use in Internet Marketing.

Most video game special editions come with a voucher for exclusive content in-game. For example, the Gran Turismo 5 Collector's Edition comes with a voucher for 5 exclusive DLC "Chrome Line" cars for the full game. Also, pre-ordering games at certain shops may get you vouchers to content only available if you pre-order at that store.

See also

  • Coupon
    In marketing, a coupon is a ticket or document that can be exchanged for a financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product. Customarily, coupons are issued by manufacturers of consumer packaged goods or by retailers, to be used in retail stores as a part of sales promotions...

  • Food Stamp Program
    Food Stamp Program
    The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , historically and commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal-assistance program that provides assistance to low- and no-income people and families living in the U.S. Though the program is administered by the U.S. Department of...

  • Gift card
    Gift card
    A gift card is a restricted monetary equivalent or scrip that is issued byretailers or banks to be used as an alternative to a non-monetary gift....

  • Labour voucher
    Labour voucher
    Labour vouchers are a device proposed to govern demand for goods in some models of socialism, much as money does under capitalism.-Outline:...

  • Luncheon Voucher
    Luncheon Voucher
    A Luncheon Voucher is a paper ticket used by some employees in the United Kingdom to pay for meals in private restaurants. It allows companies to subsidise mid-day meals for their employees without having to run their own canteens.The scheme dates back to 1946, when food rationing was still in...

  • ROC consumer voucher
    ROC consumer voucher
    Issuing the Republic of China Consumer Voucher was part of an economic stimulus package held by the Republic of China government. The distribution of the vouchers to every ROC citizen born before March 31, 2009 and some foreign residents began on January 18 2009...

  • School voucher
  • Token
    Token coin
    In the study of numismatics, tokens are coin-like objects used instead of coins. The field of tokens is part of exonumia. Tokens are used in place of coins and either have a denomination shown or implied by size, color or shape...

    — a similar concept, but in the form of a coin
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