Example of a Canadian cheque.
Example of a U.S. dollar cheque issued by a
Canadian bank. If the bank account was in
CAD, USD would have to be added to the
cheque to make it be valued in USD.
Sample for a fictional cheque in the United
Kingdom. The cheque is crossed (with
ACCOUNT PAYEE written vertically in the
middle of the cheque), which means that it
can only be paid into a bank account, not to
cash. Cheques issued in other Common-
wealth countries are similar.
A cheque or check is a negotiable instru-
ment instructing a financial institution to
pay a specific amount of a specific currency
from a specified demand account held in the
maker/depositor’s name with that institution.
Both the maker and payee may be natural
persons or legal entities.
Example of a South Korean cheque, where
the payee and signature are on the reverse
Etymology and spelling
The most common spellings of the word (in
its senses) were check, checque, and
cheque from the 1600s until the 1900s.
Since the 1800s, the spelling cheque (from
the French word chèque) is standard for the
financial sense of the word in the UK, Ire-
land, and the Commonwealth, while only
check is retained in its other senses, thus dis-
tinguishing the two definitions in writing.
The English word cheque comes from the Ar-
abic ṣakk (???), itself the Arabicized of ’chak’
in Persian, which is a written document or
letter or note of credit Muslim merchants ad-
opted to carry out their trading. The concept
of ṣakk appeared in European documents
around 1220, mostly in areas neighbouring
Muslim Spain and North Africa; south France
On the other hand, check is used for the
financial sense in the U.S.
The cheque had its origins in the ancient
banking system, in which bankers would is-
sue orders at the request of their customers,
to pay money to identified payees. Such an
order was referred to as a bill of exchange.
The use of bills of exchange facilitated trade
by eliminating the need for merchants to
carry large quantities of curr