Crossed vs Uncrossed Postal Order | Royal Mail, UK
The most important difference between crossed and uncrossed postal order is the security of the money that you are sending. Postal order is a promissory note that though not legal, is similar to a cheque. People make heavy use of postal orders in UK to send and receive money through the mail. One can get these postal orders in pre-designated denominations from Royal Mail, the official postal service in UK. Anyone can purchase these postal orders from any post office in his or her locality after paying a fee. Despite electronic funds transfer having gained ascendancy, people still make use of postal orders. There are two types of postal orders namely crossed and uncrossed, which are a source of confusion. This article highlights the features and differences of crossed and uncrossed postal orders.
What is an Uncrossed Postal Order?
An uncrossed postal order is a normal postal order that you buy from a post office. The maximum amount for which these postal orders are available is 250 pounds. The minimal value for a postal order is 0.50 pounds. There are different categories of prices under which you can buy a postal order. They charge different fees for different price ranges. From 0.50 to 4.99 pounds they charge a fee of 50 pence. Then, from 5.00 to 9.99 pounds they charge a fee of 1 pound. From 10 to 99.99 pounds they charge 12.50% of the face value of the postal order as a fee. Then finally, from 100 pounds to the maximum value 250 pounds they charge 12.50 pounds as the fee is capped at that amount. If you receive an uncrossed postal order, know that uncrossed postal orders are as good as cash.
If you need a postal order (uncrossed), just make the required payment including the fee and the officer at the post office hands you over the postal order of the amount asked. Make sure you tell in advance not to make it crossed as they are habitual of crossing postal orders. However, there is the problem of anyone cashing an uncrossed postal order, and you cannot make a claim if you sent an uncrossed one to someone and it got lost in transit.
What is a Crossed Postal Order?
If you know the difference between bearer and account payee cheques, you know the difference between crossed and uncrossed postal orders. What do you do if you get an account payee cheque? You need to deposit it in your account after which the amount gets deposited in your account. Crossed postal order is also similar to that. A crossed postal order has two straight lines that pass through the postal order vertically just off the center. If you get a crossed postal order, you need to deposit it in your savings account. However, if you have crossed a postal order and forgot to enter the name of the recipient, it can be cashed by anyone who gets his hand over it. When the name of the recipient is printed on the crossed postal order, only he can get the money order deposited in his account.
Though a crossed postal order is much more secure as it can be deposited in the recipient’s account only, it takes 5-7 days for the account to show up the money of the postal order. If you have sent a crossed postal order in exchange for some items, there will be a delay of 5-7 days while it takes for the money to show up in the account of the recipient.
What is the difference between Crossed and Uncrossed Postal Order?
• You can easily tell the difference between an uncrossed and a crossed postal order by the two vertical lines going up in the center of the postal order. If a postal order has these lines, then it is a crossed postal order. If it does not, it is an uncrossed postal order.
• Though you include the name of the recipient on an uncrossed postal order, if it gets lost, anyone can claim that money.
• Only the person whose name is given as the recipient can cash the money of a crossed postal order. However, if you have not included that name it is just as bad as an uncrossed postal order as anyone can cash it.
• Uncrossed postal order is as good as cash as you can turn it to cash straight.
• You have to put the crossed postal order into an account with the recipient’s name to get it cashed.
• Realization Period:
• Uncrossed postal order can be turned into money quite quickly.
• Crossed postal order takes 5-7 days to turn into money in your account.
- British Old Age Pension Book Postal Order, 1909 via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- Axminster Post office, Axminster, Devon June 2011 by Felix O (CC BY-SA 2.0)