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  • Money order

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    Postal money order, Duchy of Brunswick, 1867. 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 check. 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.

  • Cashier's check

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    A cashier's check (or cashier's cheque) is a check guaranteed by a bank, drawn on the bank's own funds and signed by a cashier. Cashier's checks are treated as guaranteed funds because the bank, rather than the purchaser, is responsible for paying the amount. They are commonly required for real estate and brokerage transactions. Cashier's checks deposited into a bank account are usually cleared the next day. The customer can request "next-day availability" when depositing a cashier's check in person. When cashier’s checks took weeks to clear the banks, they were often forged in fraud schemes. The recipient of the check would deposit it in their account and withdraw funds under next-day availability, assuming it was legitimate. The bank might not be informed the check was fraudulent until, perhaps, weeks after the customer had withdrawn funds made available by the fraudulent deposit, by which time the customer would be legally liable for the cash already withdrawn. A customer asks a bank for a cashier's check, and the bank debits the amount from the customer's account immediately, and assumes the responsibility for covering the cashier's check.

  • Wire transfer

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    Wire transfer, bank transfer or credit transfer is a method of electronic funds transfer from one person or entity to another. A wire transfer can be made from one bank account to another bank account or through a transfer of cash at a cash office. Different wire transfer systems and operators provide a variety of options relative to the immediacy and finality of settlement and the cost, value, and volume of transactions. Central bank wire transfer systems, such as the Federal Reserve's FedWire system in the United States, are more likely to be real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems. RTGS systems provide the quickest availability of funds because they provide immediate "real-time" and final "irrevocable" settlement by posting the gross (complete) entry against electronic accounts of the wire transfer system operator. Other systems such as Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) provide net settlement on a periodic basis. More immediate settlement systems tend to process higher monetary value time-critical transactions, have higher transaction costs, and have a smaller volume of payments.

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