Postal Order

Postal Order

In the United Kingdom (UK), a Postal Order is used for sending money through the mail. In the United States, this is known as a Postal money order. Postal Orders are not, strictly speaking, legal tender, in the way that banknotes are, but are a type of promissory note, similar to a cheque. Postal Orders can be bought and redeemed at post offices in the UK, although a crossed postal order must be paid into a bank account. [cite web | title =Frequently Asked Questions | work = | publisher = Post Office Ltd. | year = 2008 | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-12 ] Until April 2006 they came in fixed denominations but due to increased popularity they were redesigned to make them more flexible and secure. They now have the payee and value added at the time of purchase, making them more like a cheque. The fee for using this form of payment tends to be around 8.7% percent. It was a safe method in times past, but nowadays offers very little advantage over cheques or electronic funds transfer. However, postal orders have regained popularity, especially as a form of payment for shopping on the Internet, as they are drawn on the Post Office's accounts so a vendor can be certain that they will not bounce. Postal orders were declared legal tender during both World War I and World War II as a way of saving on both paper and labour. The use of postal orders (or postal notes in some countries) was extended to most countries that are now part of the Commonwealth of Nations, plus to a few foreign countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Thailand. Postal orders are also gaining in popularity as collectors items, especially among numismatists who are actively collecting banknotes.

There is an active numismatic organisation called the Postal Order Society that was established in 1985. There are members from both Great Britain and overseas. They hold twice-yearly postal auctions of postal orders and related material from across the British Commonwealth.

History of the postal order

The Postal Order was a direct descendent of the money order which had been established by a private company in 1792.

Postal Orders of Christmas Island

Postal Orders of Christmas Island (Pacific Ocean), also officially known as Kiritimati, were issued at the British Forces Post Office, but information is currently sketchy. However a 1/- (2d.) British postal order is known to have been issued on the 23 June, 1962 at F.P.O. Christmas Island. This postal order was cashed in at the Maldon, Essex post office in England. This postal order is in a private collection in New Zealand. British postal orders issued at this British Field Post Office are very sought after by collectors of the Postal Orders of the Commonwealth of Nations. Paid postal orders are extremely difficult to find.


ee also

*George Archer-Shee, whose alleged cashing of a postal order to a fellow naval cadet led to a long-running court case and inspired Terence Rattigan's play "The Winslow Boy".
*Postal Orders of Great Britain
*Postal Orders of Ireland
*The Postal Order Society (Great Britain)
*Money order - the American name for a postal order

External links

* [ Malaysian Postal Order images - RM1 to RM100.]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • postal order — ˈpostal ˌorder written abbreviation PO noun [countable] a document bought at a post office which can be sent through the post and exchanged for money: • Send a cheque or postal order for £13.99 to the address below. compare money order * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • postal order — postal orders N COUNT A postal order is a piece of paper representing a sum of money which you can buy at a post office and send to someone as a way of sending them money by post. [BRIT] (in AM, usually use money,der) …   English dictionary

  • postal order — postal .order n BrE an official document that you buy in a post office and send to someone so that they can then exchange it for money American Equivalent: money order …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • postal order — postal ,order noun count BRITISH a MONEY ORDER …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • postal order — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ an order for payment of a specified sum to a named person, issued by the Post Office …   English terms dictionary

  • postal order — noun a written order for the payment of a sum to a named individual; obtainable and payable at a post office • Syn: ↑money order • Hypernyms: ↑draft, ↑bill of exchange, ↑order of payment * * * noun Britain …   Useful english dictionary

  • postal order — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms postal order : singular postal order plural postal orders British an official document that you buy in a post office as a safe way of sending money to someone …   English dictionary

  • postal order — noun (C) BrE an official paper that you buy at a post office as a safe way of sending money through the post: a 2.00 postal order compare money order …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • postal order — noun Date: 1883 British money order …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • postal order — Chiefly Brit. See money order. [1895 1900] * * * …   Universalium

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