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Cheque

Method of payment / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A cheque or check (American English; see spelling differences) is a document that orders a bank (or credit union) 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 (often called a current, cheque, chequing, checking, or share draft account) where the money is held. The drawer writes 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 the amount of money stated to the payee.

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Cheque signed by US President Gerald Ford from 1975
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A cheque with Thomas Jefferson as payee and payor from 1809
Whitney_Bank_New_Orleans_Check_1905.jpg
A cheque from 1905
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A cheque from 1933

Although forms of cheques have been in use since ancient times and at least since the 9th century, they became a highly popular non-cash method for making payments during the 20th century and usage of cheques peaked. By the second half of the 20th century, as cheque processing became automated, billions of cheques were issued annually; these volumes peaked in or around the early 1990s.[1] Since then cheque usage has fallen, being replaced by electronic payment systems, such as debit cards and credit cards. In an increasing number of countries cheques have either become a marginal payment system or have been completely phased out.[2][3]

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