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Could You Cash this 300-Year Old Cheque?

Check out this cheque.

In many ways using cheques might be the safest

Image retrieved from http://www.computerweekly.com/

It’s one of the oldest, if not the oldest, paper cheques still in existence.

It’s not quite the cheque we know today. It was called a “drawn note.” This is a piece of paper that a bank customer would present to his own bank to draw out funds he had on deposit.

So, it’s more like what we would call a withdrawal slip than a cheque.

But it’s remarkable how similar it looks to today’s cheques. Even down to the rectangular shape.

True, there’s no magnetic ink numbers at the bottom with routing and transit and account number.

And there’s no bank name!

But there is a payee, a payor, a signature, a date, an amount, and a location.

And the bank would keep this on file as proof of the customer’s balance.

A record to make sure everybody was on the same page.

Just like today.

These days, many cheques are destroyed after they are scanned into the banking system.

Replaced by ones and zeros.

Uploaded into the Matrix just like debit and credit card payments, wire transfers, and ACH transactions.

But not everything about the Matrix is better.

In many ways using cheques might still be the safest, least expensive way for your business to do business.


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