Definition of Checks: History, Structure, Types, and Their Uses

Definition of Checks – In this digital era, we find lots of different types of new payments that can be said to no longer be difficult for us. Dozens of types of e-wallet applications and mobile banking applications have helped make our lives easier to do this.

It is enough to use our respective cellphones, we can make various types of payments to anyone, anytime and anywhere. Not only paying or transferring money, but someone can also make other transactions such as paying bills, buying goods, or ordering food.

Sinaumeds can conclude that today’s payment methods are much simpler and faster to do when compared to conventional payment methods. However, that doesn’t mean we have completely switched and left conventional payment methods.

We still often see people making transactions conventionally in a number of locations and at specific times. However, what is clear, whatever the method, as long as it can be a means of financial transactions, any payment method can be used and will definitely be accepted.

Meaning of Check

One of the conventional payment methods that although rarely seen, is still widely used by a number of special circles is check. It is possible that there are a handful of Sinaumeds who have heard the term check and understand the meaning of the check itself.

However, it is possible that there are Sinaumeds who do not fully understand the meaning of a check, so you do not know for sure the details of a check, starting from the history of the check, the structure of the check, to the use of the check. This article will help you to understand all that.

We will start with the notion of a check. If we refer to the definition from the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), a check can be interpreted as a written order from the account holder to a bank or other agency with the aim of paying a certain amount of money.

We can also read the definition of check from the Cambridge English Dictionary, which, when translated into Indonesian, has a definition as a printed form that can be used as a substitute for money, to make payments from someone’s bank account.

So, Sinaumeds can conclude that the notion of a check is a kind of document that is used to request the bank to pay a certain amount of money from the account of the person making the check to another person whose name is written on the check.

The person writing this check has a bank account where the money is kept. The dancer writes various details including the amount of money, date, and payee in the check, and signs it, then asks the bank to pay the stated amount of money to the payee.

History of Checks

The history of checks has reportedly started to be discovered since the use of precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze were used as transaction methods. The ancient Romans are believed to have used an early form of checks known as “praescriptiones”. This object is believed to be the forerunner of the modern check.

Then, entering the third century, various banks in the Persian region began to issue forms of credit payments, one of which was named “cak”, which means “document” or “contract”. “Cak” or “sakk” which is then used by traders in a number of areas in the Middle East, because it is considered safer.

Please note, at that time, when a merchant or merchant wanted to make a transaction, they needed to bring a certain amount of gold or silver as a payment method. This could have made them a target for robbers who wanted to seize gold or silver.

For this reason, cak has become a payment method that has been used by people around the Middle East. The existence of checks was finally discovered to have entered European territory, starting from the area of ​​Venice, Italy, which allowed people to use checks with the aim that they could pay without having to carry gold or silver.

The modern check is known to have been first promulgated by the British in the 17th century. Checks were a type of money order which later began to develop into a payment method that was widely used by local people at that time.

Back then, checks were still referred to as a type of paper money because their existence allowed customers to withdraw funds, back then in the form of banknotes, which they had in their bank account when they needed money to make a payment quickly.

In 1717, the Bank of England pioneered the first use of preprinted documents. These forms are printed on “check paper” to prevent fraud, and customers must appear in person to get these forms from the bank’s cashier. Once written, the check is taken back to the bank for processing.

After that, slowly the existence of this check spread throughout the world. In the United States, for example, the Bank of New York began issuing checks at the request of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father of the United States, in 1784. Checks at that time were fairly similar to modern checks, in that there were blank areas for other information as needed.

Ultimately, the popularity of checks expanded into the middle of the 20th century. Checks are one of the payment methods that are widely used by the general public in various parts of the world, and can be issued for making payments between countries.

Check structure

As Sinaumeds already knows from previous readings, checks contain sections that need to be filled in by the check applicant. They can’t fill it out carelessly and need to pay close attention to what they write on the check.

For this reason, someone who needs to write a check because there is a special need must understand the structure of the check. Basically, the structure of this check is the same in every region or region. The following is a general check structure that Sinaumeds needs to know, especially in Indonesia:

  • Check number: Write down the edition number of the check issued by the bank.
  • Issuing bank: Filled with the name of the bank issuing the check for the user.
  • Check-written date: Lists the date the user wrote the check.
  • Submission of checks: This section functions to find out to whom this check was submitted.
  • Check amount: Writing the number of the check submission, either in letters or in numbers.
  • Signature, company seal, and stamp duty: As proof that the check is legal and usable.

Use of Checks

Actually, the check itself can be used for various kinds of transactions with the bank, other people, or an agency. However, if that’s the case, wouldn’t we actually be able to transfer money through banks instead of using checks? Why bother using a check to make this transaction?

Usually, transactions using checks can be found if large amounts of money are involved. Whoever the beneficiary, be it another person or a party from an agency, will later submit the check to the bank holding the account of the check drawer after the check is given.

Even so, the fact is that checks themselves can be used to withdraw any amount of money desired. Sinaumeds does not need to submit large amounts of money when it wants to use a check as a payment amount. As long as you have sufficient deposits in your account, the check will be valid.

The reason checks are still used today is because their authenticity can be clearly proven. Unlike several other payment methods that can be manipulated by changing the data in it, it is rather difficult to manipulate check payment methods.

From the above structure, a genuine and valid check has a number of components and contains things that cannot be easily manipulated. If someone is determined to manipulate checks, of course they will immediately be charged with counterfeiting and receive legal sanctions, either from the bank or law enforcement officials.

Check Type

It doesn’t stop there, check itself has several variations that can be used for its users. Each of these check variations has its own use and can be used on a number of special occasions. The following are the types of check variations that Sinaumeds needs to know:

1. Check On Behalf

Checks on behalf of, as the name implies is a type of check issued by a person or an agency to be paid to the name listed on this check. So, the bank will issue money to pay for the name written on the check.

2. Check on Performance

As opposed to a name check, a bear check is a check that is used for the person making the check himself. So, instead of making transactions with other people or other agencies, a person can issue a check for himself and get money from the bank after submitting the check.

3. Backward Check

Late checks can be found either from checks on behalf of or checks on show. The purpose of a post-dated check is a check that is paid on a different date from the date it was filed. So, the party that will cash this check will only be able to get the money on that date.

4. Blank Check

Finally, a blank check can be described in the same way as the name of the check itself. Blank checks are basically checks in which the owner of the bank account does not have sufficient funds or balance to withdraw money from there. This check is usually signed, but the money can only be taken after funds are available or an agreement has been reached.

Other Conventional Payment Methods

Apart from the check above, of course there are other conventional payment methods which are still used quite frequently. However, it cannot be denied that many of these payment methods are starting to be forgotten, given how easy it is for us to make transactions from our gadgets.

Below, there are at least 3 alternatives for making conventional payments or transactions. It is very likely that Sinaumeds will not use this method. However, at least you can learn the methods that used to be often used for transactions.

1. Money order

Money orders are basically similar to checks, which are documents used to pay for something and sent by mail or post office. These money orders are very rarely heard of now, considering that this type of payment was used in the past when there were no methods of sending money such as transfers like now.

Usually, notes are used to pay someone’s debt to a debt collector. The person who sends this note is a sign that he is ready to pay his debt to the debt collector. The debt collector can later withdraw the money by bringing the note to the location listed on the note.

2. Remittance through the Post Office

Sending money to other people is not only done using money orders. There are also people who send money directly to the post office. This method can still be found, usually among elderly people who generally do not understand technology.

By sending this money, someone can later come to the post office to get the money sent by stating their identity and shipping number. Apart from the post office, there are also several other companies such as Western Union that allow people to send money even abroad according to the value of the currency in that country.

3. Credit

The last conventional payment system that is still often used by many people is credit. Credit is basically lending money to the person who applied for it, and that person will later be obliged to reimburse the money from this lender.

The loan repayment period varies depending on who is giving the loan. Not only that, they also have to replace their loan with interest, which is basically an additional bill as a form of “service” after lending their money to their customers.


After reading the article above in its entirety, there are several conclusions that Sinaumeds can draw. These conclusions will be written in the form of points in the hope that it will make it easier for Sinaumeds to understand the contents of the article above more deeply. Here’s the presentation:

  • A check is a document that is used to pay a sum of money either to another person, agency or to oneself, provided that a person has sufficient balance in his own account.
  • The history of checks dates back to the Ancient Roman Era, which then continued until the third century AD, in the Persian region. Meanwhile, the history of modern checks can be traced back to the 16th century in England.
  • A check must contain several components or structures, starting from the check number, issuing bank, date of writing of the check, delivery of the check, nominal of the check, as well as signature, company seal and stamp duty.
  • There are a number of variations of checks that a person can use depending on the situation and conditions, ranging from checks on behalf of, checks on show, backwards checks and blank checks.
  • Apart from checks, people still use several other conventional transaction methods. These methods include money orders, sending money directly by post, and using credit. All have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The conclusion above is also the closing of this article regarding the meaning of checks. Hopefully Sinaumeds can learn something new from this article, and get useful knowledge from it. Apart from that, the hope is that you can appreciate technology in this digital era more and more because it has helped make your daily activities easier, one of which is making transactions.