Terms to Know


A document that records when a transaction took place at the point of sale (POS). The receipt contains a description of the transaction, which usually includes the date, the merchant name/location, the primary account number, the amount and the reference number. Receipts can be hardcopy (paper) or softcopy (digital/electronic), intended specifically for merchants, for customers, or for both.

Reference Number

Also known as Retrieval Reference Number or RRN. The unique number assigned to each monetary transaction in a descriptive billing system. Each reference number is printed on the monthly statement to aid in retrieval of the document, should it be questioned by the cardholder.


The creation of a credit to a cardholder account, usually as a result of a product return or to correct an error.

Regulation Z (Reg Z)

Under Reg Z, credit card issuers are required to disclose the terms and conditions to potential and existing cardholders at the point of account opening and at regular intervals. Upon soliciting and opening new credit card accounts, credit card issuers must generally disclose key information relevant to the costs of using the card, including the applicable interest rate that will be assessed on any outstanding balances and several key fees or other charges that may apply, such as the fee for making a late payment. In addition, issuers must provide consumers with an initial disclosure statement, which is usually a component of the issuer’s card member agreement, before the first transaction is made with a card. The card member agreement is the governing document for the account and provides more comprehensive information about a card’s terms and conditions than would be provided as part of the application or a solicitation letter.

Retail Merchant

A merchant that provides goods and/or services in the retail industry, but that is not a mail/phone merchant, a recurring services merchant or a travel and entertainment (T&E) merchant.


The process of a merchant reversing (canceling) a pre-authorized transaction. Similar to a chargeback, with the difference that merchant’s initiate a reversal, while customers initiate chargebacks.


Retrieval reference number. See Reference Number also.