Possible scenarios for promotions with purchase receipt validation

Miquel Bonfill
Miquel Bonfill
In the world of marketing and promotions, it's common to find campaigns that require validating purchase receipts to participate. Easypromos offers an innovative ticket validation service, utilizing OCR technology, ensuring that your tickets are automatically validated in real-time, strictly following the predefined rules you've established. Depending on whether the receipts have the same or different formats, challenges arise when it comes to effectively and automatically validating them. Discover how to solve them.

In this article, we will explore the most common scenarios when planning a promotion that requires purchase receipt validation. Additionally, we will present the functional and technical solutions that can be implemented using Easypromos’ tools.


Scenario 1: The campaign involves many stores with different receipt formats

Problem: It’s not possible to create a common set of validation rules for all stores. Either because there are many stores involved or because some stores have limited digital capabilities. This is a typical case for merchant associations where, for example, the candy store issues manual receipts.

promotion with purchase receipt validation

Solution: We propose an action where direct prizes are not given. Rather, valid receipts enter a final draw. After selecting the winners, the winning receipt is manually checked for validity; if not valid, the prize moves on to the first alternate, and so on.

Implementation: Although it may not be possible to create an automatic validation process, we do recommend implementing certain rules to prevent the uploading of duplicate or blatantly invalid receipts.

  1. The system validates generic receipt information, such as a minimum number of characters or the location if the action is geographically localized.
  2. The system automatically applies the two standard non-duplicate receipt conditions, meaning that the same file cannot be uploaded twice, and a different photo of the same receipt cannot be uploaded.
  3. Optionally, we can include validation of the total amount in the receipt. For example, to limit participation to receipts above a predefined amount.

Note: This also applies to cases where a brand wants to reward the purchase of one of their products, but these are sold in many different stores. In this case, we would include a validation rule to check if the product description in question appears on the receipt.


Scenario 2: The campaign involves a few stores with different receipt formats

Problem: In this case, there are different types of receipts, but since the number of stores is limited, it’s feasible to apply a common set of validation rules. The paradigmatic example is a promotion in a shopping mall.

Solution: In this scenario, we have two possible solutions:

  1. A final draw among all participants who have uploaded a valid receipt, with manual validation afterward.
  2. Direct prizes are awarded immediately after automatically validating the receipt.

Implementation: The key is to establish rules to verify that the receipt belongs to one of the establishments participating in the action. Therefore, the validation rules should include the names of all establishments and, if possible, all their tax identifiers. This system works if we manage a relatively small list of stores (up to 50), otherwise, the parameterization may be too complex.

1. Create a rule that checks that the receipts contain the name of any of the establishments that are part of the action. If, for example, there are 34 stores, we should write the name of the 34 stores as they appear on the receipts. The receipt text validation will be performed with the following regular expression: ^(Store 1|Store 2|Store 3)$

This regular expression uses the ^ symbol to indicate the beginning of the string and the $ symbol to indicate the end of the string. Between these two symbols, there is a group of options separated by the | operator, which acts as a logical “OR.” In this case, the options are “Store 1,” “Store 2,” and “Store 3.”

promotion with purchase receipt validation

2. We recommend also adding a condition to check if the establishment’s tax identifier (e.g., VAT number) appears on the receipt because it makes the validation more stringent.

3. We do not recommend adding a unique receipt number condition because, as each store uses independent numbering, it could be that a receipt from store 1 has the same number as a receipt from store 2.

Scenario 3: All receipts have the same format

Description: If all receipts have the same format, we can apply a very restrictive set of validation rules. In this scenario, the promotion can run on ‘autopilot’ as the user can complete the entire participation process without external intervention.

promotion with purchase receipt validation

Problem: Since there will be many similar receipts if we activate the fraud control system by receipt similarity, we should lower the system sensitivity to the minimum. Otherwise, the system might consider different receipts as duplicates.

Implementation: Since we know for sure the format of all the receipts uploaded to the system, we can be very restrictive. Our recommendation is to implement conditions for the existence of character strings like the establishment name, tax identifier, postal code, and most of the data appearing in the header or footer of the receipt.

If possible, we also recommend adding a custom header or footer to the receipt, including a hashtag or keyword that explicitly identifies the promotion’s receipts, for example, #ValentinesPromotion.

If the intention is to automate the user flow as much as possible, we suggest the following rules:

  1. Contains “establishment name”
  2. Contains “tax identifier”
  3. Contains “establishment postal code”
  4. Contains “keyword defined for the campaign”
  5. Date validation. Only accepts receipts from date X onwards
  6. Amount validation. Only accepts receipts greater than a predefined amount Y
  7. Receipt number validation to reinforce duplicate control and prevent uploading two receipts with the same number

By establishing this restrictive set of rules, we can ensure that the receipts that pass validation are correct and belong to the campaign. From there, we can offer direct prizes to the user or involve them in actions that generate more interaction, such as scratch-and-win or a prize wheel.

Scenario 4: The client wants to validate the receipt based on the number of specific products purchased

Description: Some brands may be interested in rewarding customers who purchase a certain quantity of one of their products.

Problem: Easypromos’ receipt validation system cannot determine the total per product line; however, it can evaluate the presence of that product on the receipt.

Solution: Actions can be created in a way that all receipts containing at least one unit of product X enter a draw. Or simply detecting the presence of product X on the receipt is enough to participate in a scratch-and-win.


Scenario 5: Other cases

Sometimes, the receipt validation system can be extended to cover situations where we do not manage receipts. For example, imagine a contest where participants are those who have consumed a tapa at a local bar. The way to prove participation is by taking a selfie while eating a tapa; participants can enter as many times as they have consumed tapas. In this case, the system would validate that there are no duplicates, and from there, a manual validation draw for the winner can be done.


Receipt validation is a crucial aspect of many promotions and marketing campaigns. Through various scenarios and solutions, it’s possible to address the challenges presented by the diversity of receipt formats and the stores involved. By using the right strategies and tools, validation processes can be optimized, ensuring a satisfactory experience for both organizers and promotion participants.

If you’d like to delve deeper into this topic and explore how Easypromos solutions can be tailored to your specific needs, we invite you to request a personalized demo. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and discover how the Easypromos technology can make a difference in your promotions and marketing campaigns.

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