Means of Payment
The work of bank centres around money or advice about financial services. The immediate service offered by banks is the receipt for deposit of coins, notes and cheques. Coins and notes have the status of “legal tender” so they must be taken in payment of a debt although it’s not so convenient.
The most common means of payment, particularly for significant sums of money, is the cheque. However, it is not legal tender and creditors can refuse to accept it if they wish. Normally cheques are readily negotiable if the bearer has some means of proving its identity and the creditor can be sure that the cheque will be “honoured”. To assist the use of cheques banks now provide their customers with banker’s cards which, when used in association with a cheque, will guarantee it up to a stated maximum. If a customer wishes to make payments of large amounts of money by cheque and is not known to the creditor, then he may obtain a “certified cheque” from his bank.
Those trading overseas, or in conditions where there may be a significant time lapse between sending out goods and their receipt by the customer, may use a Bill of Exchange as a means of payment. This is really a post dated cheque which assures the creditor payment but also gives the buyer opportunity to inspect the goods before the transaction is completed. Those whose credit standing is unknown may have to get the Bill “accepted” before a creditor will take it.