In financial transactions, a warrant is a written order by one person that instructs or authorises another person to pay a specified recipient a specific amount of money or supply goods at a specific date.A warrant may or may not be negotiable and may be a bearer instrument that authorises payment to the warrant holder on demand or after a specific date. Governments and businesses may pay wages and other accounts by issuing warrants instead of cheques.
Warrants were used in the 18th century by the military to authorize payments to soldiers and suppliers. George Washington, for example, signed warrants that ordered quartermasters to deliver money or acquire supplies.These warrants were used by quartermasters to issue vouchers to acquire food, supplies, munitions, clothing, transportation, etc., for the use of the American military and to maintain Washington's headquarters. Warrants could be redeemed by the army paymasters, but most often they were used like cash by the recipient. Warrants, like bills of exchange and vouchers, were often heavily discounted and depreciated in value. The fortunes of war could be traced through the discount rates on warrants, vouchers, and Continental dollars.
In the early days of the colony at Sydney Cove in Australia, the merchant Robert Campbell was one of the first merchants to attempt to trade, but lacked sufficient currency. When he first sailed into Sydney aboard his company's ship the Hunter in 1798,Campbell was forced to sell his first consignment of goods to a syndicate of military officers in return for Paymaster's Bills drawn on London, which were like warrants.
The term warrant may continue to be used broadly as an order to pay or an order to deliver goods.[ citation needed ]
In government finance, a warrant is a written order to pay that instructs a federal, state, or county government treasurer to pay the warrant holder on demand or after a specific date. Such warrants look like checks and clear through the banking system like checks, but are not drawn against cleared funds in a checking account (demand deposit account). Instead, they may be drawn against "available funds" or "out of fund 0027" so that the issuer can collect interest on the float or delay redemption. If the warrant is conditional on funds being available, the warrant is not a negotiable debt instrument.In the United States, warrants are issued by government entities such as the military and state and county governments. They are issued for payroll to individual employees, accounts payable to vendors, to local governments, to taxpayers receiving tax refunds, to recipients of unemployment benefits, and to owners of unclaimed money.
Warrants deposited in a bank are routed (based on the MICR routing number) to a collecting bank which processes them as collection items like maturing treasury bills and presents the warrants to the government entity's treasury department for payment to the bank each business day.
Regular warrants are redeemable by the government treasurer after they are issued. "Registered warrants" bear interest and need not be redeemed by the treasurer until the warrant maturity date.If warrants cannot be immediately redeemed by the issuing entity, the collecting bank may accept the warrants as short term debt instruments and collect interest when redeemed in accordance with a prior agreement with the issuing entity. The collecting bank may refuse to accept a warrant issue, in which case other banks may also refuse to accept them.
"The warrants of a municipal corporation are not negotiable instruments. They do not constitute a new debt, or evidence of a new debt, but are only the prescribed means devised by law for drawing money from the treasury."
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on July 9, 2009, that California's registered warrants are "securities" under federal securities law and will be regulated as municipal securities by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.Under these regulations, anybody who profits by buying and reselling warrants must be registered as a municipal securities broker-dealer.
Although registered warrants are evidence of a municipality's obligation to pay, because they demonstrate an intent to disburse funds when those funds become available, the US Supreme Court has ruled that a holder of a valid warrant cannot obtain a writ of mandamus for specific performance of the obligation to pay, enforced against a treasurer or other employee of the municipality.
Warrants can be replaced with substitute checks under the Check 21 Act.Such substitute checks show the MICR routing numbers that identify them as warrants.
In the UK, warrants are issued as payment by the NS&I when a Premium Bond is chosen.
The difference between a warrant and a cheque is that a cheque usually places no explicit time frame on when the amount is to be paid.
A security is a tradable financial asset. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal definition varies by jurisdiction. In some countries and languages the term "security" is commonly used in day-to-day parlance to mean any form of financial instrument, even though the underlying legal and regulatory regime may not have such a broad definition. In some jurisdictions the term specifically excludes financial instruments other than equities and fixed income instruments. In some jurisdictions it includes some instruments that are close to equities and fixed income, e.g., equity warrants.
In finance, a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. The most common types of bonds include municipal bonds and corporate bonds.
Non-sufficient funds (NSF) is a term used in the banking industry to indicate that a cheque is not being honoured because insufficient cleared funds are in the account on which the cheque was drawn. An NSF check is often referred to as a bad check, dishonored check, bounced check, cold check, rubber check, returned item, or hot check. In England and Wales and Australia, such cheques are typically returned endorsed "Refer to drawer", an instruction to contact the person issuing the cheque for an explanation as to why it was not paid. If there are funds in an account, but insufficient cleared funds, the cheque is normally endorsed “Present again”.
Magnetic ink character recognition code, known in short as MICR code, is a character recognition technology used mainly by the banking industry to streamline the processing and clearance of cheques and other documents. MICR encoding, called the MICR line, is at the bottom of cheques and other vouchers and typically includes the document-type indicator, bank code, bank account number, cheque number, cheque amount, and a control indicator. The format for the bank code and bank account number is country-specific.
A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequing account, current account, demand deposit account, or share draft account at credit unions, is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution. It is available to the account owner "on demand" and is available for frequent and immediate access by the account owner or to others as the account owner may direct. Access may be in a variety of ways, such as cash withdrawals, use of debit cards, cheques (checks) and electronic transfer. In economic terms, the funds held in a transaction account are regarded as liquid funds. In accounting terms they are considered as cash.
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.
Bank fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or other financial institution. In many instances, bank fraud is a criminal offence. While the specific elements of particular banking fraud laws vary depending on jurisdictions, the term bank fraud applies to actions that employ a scheme or artifice, as opposed to bank robbery or theft. For this reason, bank fraud is sometimes considered a white-collar crime.
A promissory note, sometimes referred to as a note payable, is a legal instrument, in which one party promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of money to the other, either at a fixed or determinable future time or on demand of the payee, under specific terms.
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.
The Australian financial system consists of the arrangements covering the borrowing and lending of funds and the transfer of ownership of financial claims in Australia, comprising:
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.
A paycheck, also spelled pay check or pay cheque, is traditionally a paper document issued by an employer to pay an employee for services rendered. In recent times, the physical paycheck has been increasingly replaced by electronic direct deposits to the employee's designated bank account or loaded onto a payroll card. Employees may still receive a pay slip to detail the calculations of the final payment amount.
An overdraft occurs when money is withdrawn from a bank account and the available balance goes below zero. In this situation the account is said to be "overdrawn". If there is a prior agreement with the account provider for an overdraft, and the amount overdrawn is within the authorized overdraft limit, then interest is normally charged at the agreed rate. If the negative balance exceeds the agreed terms, then additional fees may be charged and higher interest rates may apply.
The substitute check is a negotiable instrument that represents the digital reproduction of an original paper check. As a negotiable payment instrument in the United States, a substitute check maintains the status of a "legal check" in lieu of the original paper check as authorized by the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act. Instead of presenting the original paper checks, financial institutions and payment processing centers transmit data from a substitute check electronically through either the settlement process, the United States Federal Reserve System, or by clearing the deposit based on a private agreement between member financial institutions of a clearinghouse that operates under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
A demand draft is a negotiable instrument similar to a bill of exchange. A bank issues a demand draft to a client (drawer), directing another bank (drawee) or one of its own branches to pay a certain sum to the specified party (payee).
A crossed cheque is a cheque that has been marked specifying an instruction on the way it is to be redeemed. A common instruction is for the cheque to be deposited directly to an account with a bank and not to be immediately cashed by the holder over the bank counter. The format and wording varies between countries, but generally, two parallel lines may be placed either vertically across the cheque or on the top left hand corner of the cheque. By using crossed cheques, cheque writers can effectively protect the instrument from being stolen or cashed by unauthorized persons.
A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates Demand Deposit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.
An IOU is usually an informal document acknowledging debt. An IOU differs from a promissory note in that an IOU is not a negotiable instrument and does not specify repayment terms such as the time of repayment. IOUs usually specify the debtor, the amount owed, and sometimes the creditor. IOUs may be signed or carry distinguishing marks or designs to ensure authenticity. In some cases, IOUs may be redeemable for a specific product or service rather than a quantity of currency, constituting a form of scrip.
Alternative payments refers to payment methods that are used as an alternative to credit card payments. Most alternative payment methods address a domestic economy or have been specifically developed for electronic commerce and the payment systems are generally supported and operated by local banks. Each alternative payment method has its own unique application and settlement process, language and currency support, and is subject to domestic rules and regulations.
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is an act in India dating from the British colonial rule, that is still in force largely unchanged.