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What Is an Online Receipt?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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An online receipt is essentially a receipt issued to someone through the Internet, as a generated webpage and/or as an email. While only one of those formats may be used, it is quite common for both to be used to provide customers with the best service possible. The information contained on this type of receipt is usually quite similar to that of any other type of receipt, though the format is usually designed to be printed easily. An online receipt can also be used as part of a ticket issued online, such as a theater ticket.

Sometimes called an electronic receipt or “e-receipt,” an online receipt is usually generated by the seller of a product or service, much like any other type of receipt. Receipts, in general, act as a proof of purchase for a person who buys a product or service, documenting that the purchase was made and providing proof of payment. This allows the seller of that item to prove that a transaction was entered into by the buyer, and the buyer of the item can use a receipt to prove that he or she paid for the item.

An online receipt is typically generated in one of two ways, though both methods are commonly used together. When a purchase is made through an online store or service provider, the website can redirect the customer to a unique webpage generated to display an online receipt for that customer. This can allow the customer to print a physical copy of the receipt, to save the receipt as a document on his or her computer, to document an order number from the receipt, and interact in other ways determined by the seller. The online receipt can also be sent as a file or in the body of an email to the customer, allowing him or her to save that email and print a copy of the receipt as the buyer sees fit.

In this way, an online receipt can be used much like any other type of receipt, though the online format also provides other opportunities. A person who orders tickets to a movie or theatrical performance, for example, might receive an online receipt through email that can be printed and act as his or her ticket to the event. This allows a company to quickly and easily provide receipts and tickets to customers, without the additional expense of sending physical tickets or sending out electronic tickets at a later time.

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