Difference between Cheque and Bill of Exchange

difference between cheque and bill of exchange

The bank indicates this fact by making a notation on the face of the cheque (technically called an acceptance). It is thought that the Commercial Bank of Scotland was the first bank to personalize its customers’ cheques, in 1811, by printing the name of the difference between cheque and bill of exchange account holder vertically along the left-hand edge. In 1830 the Bank of England introduced books of 50, 100, and 200 forms and counterparts, bound or stitched. These cheque books became a common format for the distribution of cheques to bank customers.

As a result, many businesses no longer accept traveller’s cheques. Warrants look like cheques and clear through the banking system like cheques, but are not drawn against cleared funds in a deposit account. A cheque differs from a warrant in that the warrant is not necessarily payable on demand and may not be negotiable.[32] They are often issued by government entities such as the military to pay wages or suppliers.

Features of a bill of exchange and promissory note

But a bill of exchange particularly a foreign bill is issued in sets. When the cheque is presented for payment, the banker is bound to make payment if other requirements are fulfilled. No grace days are allowing in case of cheques; on the other hand, there are three days of grace days, allowing in case of a bill of exchange. However, where the drawer is so discharged, the payee may rank as creditor of the bank for the amount of the cheque. It is, therefore, a paper instrument used to transfer money from one party to another rather than transferring the actual money itself.

difference between cheque and bill of exchange

This provides a guarantee, save for a failure of the bank, that it will be honoured. Cashier’s cheques are perceived to be as good as cash but they are still a cheque, a misconception sometimes exploited by scam artists. A lost or stolen cheque can still be stopped like any other cheque, so payment is not completely guaranteed. A bill of exchange is a written order used primarily in international trade that binds one party to pay a fixed sum of money to another party on demand or at a predetermined date. Bills of exchange are similar to checks and promissory notes—they can be drawn by individuals or banks and are generally transferable by endorsements. There are basically 3 types of negotiable instruments, such as a cheque, bill of exchange, and promissory note.

A bill of exchange must be duly presented for payment otherwise the drawer will be discharged. The drawer of a cheque is not discharged by failure of the holder to present it in due time unless the drawer has sustained damage by the delay. A bill of exchange must be stamped, whereas a cheque does not require any stamp. A cheque is payable to the holder on demand; conversely, a bill of exchange is not payable to the holder on demand. In cheques, the stamp is not essential; on the other hand, in the bill of exchange, the stamp is a must. A cheque does not require any stamp, whereas a bill of exchange must be properly stamped.


In 1999, banks adopted a system to allow faster clearance of cheques by electronically transmitting information about cheques; this brought clearance times down from five to three days. Previously, cheques were required to be physically transported to the paying bank before processing began, and dishonoured cheques were physically returned. In Australia, following global trends, the use of cheques continues to decline. A cheque used to pay wages may be referred to as a payroll cheque.

difference between cheque and bill of exchange

These negotiable instruments are signed documents containing a promise to pay a specific amount of money to the assignee or bearer at a specified date or on being demanded. Such financial instruments are transferrable in nature and allow the person or entity to use them most appropriately. A payee that accepts a cheque will typically deposit it in an account at the payee’s bank, and have the bank process the cheque. In some cases, the payee will take the cheque to a branch of the drawee bank, and cash the cheque there. If a cheque is refused at the drawee bank (or the drawee bank returns the cheque to the bank that it was deposited at) because there are insufficient funds for the cheque to clear, it is said that the cheque has been dishonoured. Once a cheque is approved and all appropriate accounts involved have been credited, the cheque is stamped with some kind of cancellation mark, such as a “paid” stamp.

Certified cheque

Until about 1770, an informal exchange of cheques took place between London banks. Clerks of each bank visited all the other banks to exchange cheques while keeping a tally of balances between them until they settled with each other. Daily cheque clearing began around 1770 when the bank clerks met at the Five Bells, a tavern in Lombard Street in the City of London, to exchange all their cheques in one place and settle the balances in cash. This instrument ensures the payment by the debtor to the creditor according to the agreed conditions on the due date. In order to complete the contract under a Bill of Exchange or Promissory note, delivery must take place.

A bill of exchange must clearly detail the amount of money, the date, and the parties involved including the drawer and drawee. All bills of exchange must contain a definite date on which they become due. Because the transfer was not made with the intention to pass the title.

Negotiable Instruments Act’ 1881 NotesBusiness Laws Notes B.Com 1st & 2nd Sem CBCS Pattern

A future time that can easily be determinable (e.g., 90 days after the date of drawing the bill). While both a cheque and a bill of exchange can be used for payments, it is important to consider the circumstances of the payment before deciding which is more suitable. A cheque is usually more suitable for immediate payments, while a bill of exchange is more useful for payments involving pre-determined terms or installment payments. In case of cheque, the drawer can order the bank not to make payment of the cheque, prior to its presentation for payment but the drawer of the bill cannot stop the payment. A cheque is a more common and usable instrument than a bill of exchange. Are you up for looking the difference between cheque and bill of exchange?

  • ‘Cheque‘ is an instrument which contains an unconditional order, drawn on a banker, directing to pay a certain sum of money to the person whose name is specified in the instrument.
  • The bill of exchange stipulates that Company ABC will pay Car Supply XYZ $25,000 in 90 days.
  • In the US and Canada,[25][26] a cheque is typically valid for six months after the date of issue, after which it is a stale-dated cheque, but this depends on where the cheque is drawn.
  • The holder of a bill of exchange is the person who is entitled in their own name to the possession of the instrument and to receive the amount due thereon.
  • A payee that accepts a cheque will typically deposit it in an account at the payee’s bank, and have the bank process the cheque.

Bills of exchange generally do not pay interest, making them in essence post-dated checks. Unlike a check, a bill of exchange is a written document outlining a debtor’s indebtedness to a creditor. The main difference between a bill and a cheque is that a Bill Of Exchange is not payable on demand, whereas a cheque is. A bill becomes payable at some future date which is fixed when the bill is drawn, whilst a cheque is payable at once.

However, if the funds are to be paid at a set date in the future, it is known as a time draft. A time draft gives the importer a short amount of time to pay the exporter for the goods after receiving them. A bill of exchange is a form of negotiable instrument which carries the buyer’s statement to the seller regarding the amount of money to be paid. The payee, the drawee, and the drawer are three parties who play a pivotal role in the process. A promissory note is a written promise from one person to pay a specified sum of money to another person on a selected date or demand.

  • They may accrue interest if not paid by a certain date, but that rate must be specified on the instrument.
  • The main advantage of a cheque is that it is payable on demand, making it a quick and easy way to transfer money.
  • Firstly, remember that businesspeople always seek to promote sales and, alongside this, to secure money and customers.
  • The bill is made and signed by the drawer and accepted by the drawee.

The document of the Bill of Exchange must be signed by the drawer and it must contain a specified date on which the payment should be made to the payee by the drawer. TRUNCATED CHEQUE – The cheque which is the paper form is called a ‘Truncated cheque’. It has a physical structure and can be moved from one person to another by hand. ELECTRONIC CHEQUE – The electronic image form of the cheque is called ‘Electronic Cheque’.

As cheque usage increased during the 19th and 20th centuries, additional items were added to increase security or to make processing easier for the financial institution. A signature of the drawer was required to authorize the cheque, and this is the main way to authenticate the cheque. Second, it became customary to write the amount in words as well as in numbers to avoid mistakes and make it harder to fraudulently alter the amount after the cheque had been written. It is not a legal requirement to write the amount in words, although some banks will refuse to accept cheques that do not have the amount in both numbers and words.

These range from things like writing a cheque so it is difficult to alter after it is drawn, to mechanisms like crossing a cheque so that it can only be paid into another bank’s account providing some traceability. For additional protection, a cheque can be crossed, which restricts the use of the cheque so that the funds must be paid into a bank account. The format and wording varies from country to country, but generally two parallel lines may be placed either vertically across the cheque or in the top left hand corner. In addition the words ‘or bearer’ must not be used, or if pre-printed on the cheque must be crossed out on the payee line. If the cheque is crossed with the words ‘Account Payee’ or similar then the cheque can only be paid into the bank account of the person initially named as the payee, thus it cannot be endorsed to a different payee. In the US, the bottom 5⁄8-inch (16 mm)[28] of the cheque is reserved for MICR characters only.