Learn about the standards for the reference field in the /payments endpoint.


The reference field is a dynamic billing descriptor that includes detail about the product or service purchased. This is an optional field that is only set when it is supported by the acquiring bank. The issuing bank and card scheme mandate that this reference clearly demonstrates the company responsible for the transaction that has been processed. Having a clear reference that appears on your customers account explaining the transaction can help towards your Dispute Management.



For Pay by Bank, the reference field is required.

As a merchant you have two choices:

  • Static descriptor: set a static descriptor (a fixed name or code) that appears on customer's card statements for every transaction. This is configured when you set-up the account with your acquiring partners.
  • Dynamic descriptor: set a dynamic descriptor that is variable and changes with each transaction. This usually includes a static value, followed by a dynamic value. This method allows you to add a unique reference to the descriptor that appears on your customers' statements.

In most cases, the issuing bank will display the reference consistently, but please be aware that on occasion, the issuer will not display it correctly.

Reference requirements

Your reference must meet the following requirements:

  • Contain between 1-18 alphanumeric characters (including spaces).