Acquirer Reference Number (ARN)
An Acquirer Reference Number (ARN) is a unique identifier assigned to a financial transaction by the acquiring bank or payment processor. It serves as a reference or tracking number for the transaction throughout the payment process. For VISA ARN addresses, the second digit must be 4, and it’s important to note that an ARN always consists of 23 digits.
When a customer initiates a payment with a credit card or debit card, the transaction details are sent to the acquiring bank or payment processor for authorization and processing. At this stage, the acquiring bank generates an ARN to uniquely identify the transaction within their system.
The ARN is then used to track the transaction as it progresses through various stages, including authorization, settlement, and reconciliation. It helps in identifying and resolving any issues or discrepancies related to the transaction.
The ARN plays a vital role in customer support and dispute resolution processes. When a customer contacts their bank or card issuer with a query or dispute regarding a specific transaction, the ARN is often requested to locate and investigate the transaction details quickly.
Furthermore, the ARN is used for communication between different entities involved in the payment process, including the acquiring bank, card networks (such as Visa, Mastercard, etc.), and the issuing bank. It facilitates the flow of information, such as authorization approvals, chargeback requests, or refund confirmations.
Merchants, acquiring banks, and payment processors use the ARN for internal record-keeping, reconciliation, and financial reporting purposes. It helps them track and match transactions, reconcile accounts, and provide documentation in case of audits or compliance requirements.
Written by Andrii Vovk