Money order

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Postal money order, Duchy of Brunswick, 1867. PostanwBaunschw1867.jpg
Postal money order, Duchy of Brunswick, 1867.
A specimen money order of Italy c. 1879. Specimen money order of Italy c. 1879.jpg
A specimen money order of Italy c. 1879.

A money order is a payment order for a pre-specified amount of money. As it is required that the funds be prepaid for the amount shown on it, it is a more trusted method of payment than a cheque.

Contents

The money order system was established by a private firm in Great Britain in 1792 and was expensive and not very successful. Around 1836 it was sold to another private firm which lowered the fees, significantly increasing the popularity and usage of the system. The Post Office noted the success and profitability, and it took over the system in 1838. Fees were further reduced and usage increased further, making the money order system reasonably profitable. The only draw-back was the need to send an advance to the paying post office before payment could be tendered to the recipient of the order. This drawback was likely the primary incentive for establishment of the Postal Order System on 1 January 1881. [1]

Usage

A money order is purchased for the amount desired. In this way it is similar to a certified cheque. The main difference is that money orders are usually limited in maximum face value to some specified figure (for example, the United States Postal Service limits domestic postal money orders to US $1,000.00 as of August 2017) while certified cheques are not. Money orders typically consist of two portions: the negotiable cheque for remittance to the payee, and a receipt or stub that the customer retains for his/her records. The amount is printed by machine or checkwriter on both portions, and similar documentation, either as a third hard copy or in electronic form and retained at the issuer and agent locations.

Drawbacks

Money orders have limited acceptance in the insurance and brokerage industry because of concerns over money laundering. Because of provisions within the USA PATRIOT Act and the Bank Secrecy Act, money orders have far more regulatory processing requirements than personal cheques, cashier's cheques, or certified cheques.

National

India

In India, a money order is a service provided by the Indian Postal Service. A payer who wants to send money to a payee pays the amount and a small commission at a post office and receives a receipt for the same. The amount is then delivered as cash to the payee after a few days by a postal employee, at the address specified by the payer. A receipt from the payee is collected and delivered back to the payer at his address. This is more reliable and safer than sending cash in the mail.

It is commonly used for transferring funds to a payee who is in a remote, rural area, where banks may not be conveniently accessible or where many people may not use a bank account at all. Money orders are the most economical way of sending money in India for small amounts.

United States

An international money order issued in Chicago for encashment in Germany. Money-Order.jpg
An international money order issued in Chicago for encashment in Germany.

In the United States, money orders are typically sold by third parties such as the United States Postal Service, grocery stores, and convenience stores. Some financial service companies such as banks and credit unions may not charge for money orders to their clients. Money orders remain a trusted financial instrument. However, just because a particular business can issue a money order does not necessarily mean that they will cash them. The U.S. Postal Service issues money orders for a small charge at any location.

The United States Postal Service began selling money orders as an alternative to sending currency through the postal system in order to reduce post office robberies, an idea instituted by Montgomery Blair who was Postmaster-General 1861-1864. [2] Money orders were later offered by many more vendors than just the postal service as a means to pay bills and send money internationally where there were not reliable banking or postal systems. Companies that now offer money orders include 7-11, QuikTrip, Cumberland Farms, Safeway, Western Union, MoneyGram, CVS, Wal-Mart, and 3T Solutions. [3]

Obtaining a money order in the United States is simple, as they can be purchased at any post office, and are sold at many other locations. The US Postal Service's international money orders are accepted in 29 countries. [4] [5]

International

An international money order is very similar in many aspects to a regular money order except that it can be used to make payments abroad. With it, a buyer can easily pay a seller for goods or services if he or she resides in another country. International money orders are often issued by a buyer's bank and bought in the currency that the seller accepts. International money orders are thought to be safer than sending currency through the post because there are various forms of identification required to cash an international money order, often including a signature and a form of photo identification.

When purchasing an international money order, it is important to ensure that the specific type of money order is acceptable in the destination country. Several countries are very strict that the money order be on pink and yellow paper and bear the words "international postal money order." In particular, Japan Post (one of the largest banking institutions in the world) requires these features. Most other countries have taken this as a standard when there is any doubt of a document's authenticity.

Alternatives

In the last decade, a number of electronic alternatives to money orders have emerged and have, in some cases, supplanted money orders as the preferred cash transmission method. Many of these alternatives use the ubiquitous Visa/MasterCard payment systems to settle transactions. In Japan, the konbini system enables cash to cash transfers and is available at many of the thousands of convenience stores located in the country. In Italy, the PostePay system is offered through the Italian post office. In Ireland, 3V is offered through mobile top-up locations. In the United States, PaidByCash is offered at 60,000 grocery and convenience stores. In Bangladesh, mobile banking services [6] [7] enable electronic transfer of money as well as retail transactions. In the United Kingdom, a number of credit card providers have started to provide pre-paid credit cards. These cards can be "topped-up" at any location that uses the Pay-Point system and also at the Post Office for the Post Office card. PayPal has their own branded pre-paid card which can be "topped-up" using a PayPal account or Pay-Points.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Cheque clearing

Cheque clearing or bank clearance is the process of moving cash from the bank on which a cheque is drawn to the bank in which it was deposited, usually accompanied by the movement of the cheque to the paying bank, either in the traditional physical paper form or digitally under a cheque truncation system. This process is called the clearing cycle and normally results in a credit to the account at the bank of deposit, and an equivalent debit to the account at the bank on which it was drawn, with a corresponding adjustment of accounts of the banks themselves. If there are not enough funds in the account when the cheque arrived at the issuing bank, the cheque would be returned as a dishonoured cheque marked as non-sufficient funds.

A giro transfer, often shortened to giro ,, is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and initiated by the payer, not the payee. The debit card has a similar model. Giros are primarily used in Europe; although electronic payment systems such as the Automated Clearing House exist in the United States and Canada, it is not possible to perform third party transfers with them. In the European Union, there is the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) which allows electronic giro or debit card payments in euros to be executed to any euro bank account in the area.

Travellers cheque medium of exchange that can be used in place of hard currency

A traveller's cheque is a medium of exchange that can be used in place of hard currency. They can be denominated in one of a number of major world currencies and are preprinted, fixed-amount cheques designed to allow the person signing it to make an unconditional payment to someone else as a result of having paid the issuer for that privilege.

Negotiable instrument Contract document exchangeable for money

A negotiable instrument is a document guaranteeing the payment of a specific amount of money, either on demand, or at a set time, whose payer is usually named on the document. More specifically, it is a document contemplated by or consisting of a contract, which promises the payment of money without condition, which may be paid either on demand or at a future date. The term has different meanings depending on the use of the term as it is used in the application of different laws, and depending in which country and context it is used.

Cheque Method of payment

A cheque, or check, is a document that orders a bank to pay a specific amount of money from a person's account to the person in whose name the cheque has been issued. The person writing the cheque, known as the drawer, has a transaction banking account where their money is held. The drawer writes the various details including the monetary amount, date, and a payee on the cheque, and signs it, ordering their bank, known as the drawee, to pay that person or company the amount of money stated.

In economics, float is duplicate money present in the banking system during the time between a deposit being made in the recipient's account and the money being deducted from the sender's account. It can be used as investable asset, but makes up the smallest part of the money supply. Float affects the amount of currency available to trade and countries can manipulate the worth of their currency by restricting or expanding the amount of float available to trade.

Postal order

A postal order, postal note or money order is a financial instrument usually intended for sending money through the mail. It is purchased at a post office and is payable at another post office to the named recipient. A small fee for the service, known as poundage, is paid by the purchaser. In the United States, this is known as a postal money order. Postal orders are not legal tender, but a type of promissory note, similar to a cheque.

National Girobank was a British public sector financial institution run by the General Post Office that opened for business in October 1968. It started life as Post Office Giro  but went through several name changes, becoming National Giro  then National Girobank and finally Girobank plc before being absorbed into Alliance & Leicester plc in 2003.

A Direct Debit or direct withdrawal is a financial transaction in which one person withdraws funds from another person's bank account. Formally, the person who directly draws the funds instructs his or her bank to collect an amount directly from another's bank account designated by the payer and pay those funds into a bank account designated by the payee. Before the payer's banker will allow the transaction to take place, the payer must have advised the bank that he or she has authorized the payee to directly draw the funds. It is also called pre-authorized debit (PAD) or pre-authorized payment (PAP). After the authorities are set up, the direct debit transactions are usually processed electronically.

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A payment is the voluntary tender of money or its equivalent or of things of value by one party to another in exchange for goods, or services provided by them, or to fulfill a legal obligation. The party making a payment is commonly called the payer, while the payee is the party receiving the payment.

A standing order is an instruction a bank account holder gives to their bank to pay a set amount at regular intervals to another's account. The instruction is sometimes known as a banker's order.

In banking, a post-dated cheque is a cheque written by the drawer (payer) for a date in the future.

Electronic billing or electronic bill payment and presentment, is when a seller such as company, organization, or group sends its bills or invoices over the internet, and customers pay the bills electronically. This replaces the traditional method where invoices were sent in paper form and payments were done by manual means such as sending cheques.

Money transfer generally refers to one of the following cashless modes of payment or payment systems:

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Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is an act in India dating from the British colonial rule, that is still in force largely unchanged.

Mobile payments is a mode of payment using mobile phones. Instead of using methods like cash, cheque, and credit card, a customer can use a mobile phone to transfer money or to pay for goods and services. A customer can transfer money or pay for goods and services by sending an SMS, using a Java application over GPRS, a WAP service, over IVR or other mobile communication technologies. In India, this service is bank-led. Customers wishing to avail themselves of this service will have to register with banks which provide this service. Currently, this service is being offered by several major banks and is expected to grow further. Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI) is the umbrella organisation which is responsible for deploying mobile payments in India.

WeRe Bank is a scheme created by Alan Peter Smith, trading as "Peter of England," based on his concept of "Universal Energy Transfer" and closely linked with his "Re Movement." The Movement is described as providing an alternative to the present banking system that Smith describes as "fraudulent." Smith claims to have support "both on planet and off planet" for his project. The concept has gained publicity mainly via websites promoting alternative lifestyles, conspiracy theories and fringe theories.

References

  1. "Post Office Money Order: A. Scott of Bootle to Peter Hodgson Esq, Whitehaven, 1841". www.victorianweb.org.
  2. "Montgomery Blair: A Prominent Figure in Political History Passes Away". The Washington Post. July 28, 1883. p. 1. ProQuest   137873011.
  3. "Money orders, secure documents for convenience stores and financial institutions". 3T Solutions. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  4. "Money Orders - USPS". www.usps.com.
  5. "370 International Money Transfer Services - Postal Explorer". pe.usps.com.
  6. "bKash".
  7. "DBBL Mobile Banking". Archived from the original on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2012-11-02.