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Their use subsequently spread to other European countries.

A cheque or check (American English; see spelling differences) is a document that orders a bank 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, the drawer, has a transaction banking account (often called a current, cheque, chequing or checking account) where their money is held.

Paper money evolved from promissory notes, another form of negotiable instrument similar to cheques in that they were originally a written order to pay the given amount to whoever had it in their possession (the "bearer").

A cheque is a negotiable instrument instructing a financial institution to pay a specific amount of a specific currency from a specified transactional account held in the drawer's name with that institution.

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. In America, the Bank of New York, after its establishment by Alexander Hamilton in 1784, began issuing cheques.

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 account holder vertically along the left-hand edge.

Etymological dictionaries attribute the financial meaning to come from "a check against forgery," with the use of "check" to mean "control" stemming from a check in chess, a term which came into English through French, Latin, Arabic and ultimately from the Persian word "shah" or "king".

The cheque had its origins in the ancient banking system, in which bankers would issue orders at the request of their customers, to pay money to identified payees.

The drawer writes the 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 that person or company the amount of money stated.

Cheques are a type of bill of exchange and were developed as a way to make payments without the need to carry large amounts of money.

Once written, the cheque was brought back to the bank for settlement.