What is a Transaction Identifier

A transaction identifier identifies every transaction made with a debit or credit card. Unique transaction identifiers (UTI), as they are called in the European Union, and unique swap identifiers (USI) as they are called in the United States, are used to help businesses identify all of the components of a transaction, from the moment a card is swiped.

BREAKING DOWN Transaction Identifier

The transaction identifier is similar to the reference number assigned to transactions by banks, and which appear on bank statements. Transaction identifiers make it easier for companies and customers to track individual transactions, and provide refunds for a transaction. Stores can even link transaction identifiers to a particular card terminal at a specific store.

USIs were introduced in late 2012 to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which made it mandatory to report transactions to trade repositories. The EU followed suit and introduced trade repositories and UTIs under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation in Feb 2014. In practice, both terms are used interchangeably, in particular within firms reporting under both regimes.