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Chapter

Cover Principles of Banking Law

13. Domestic Payment Systems  

Ross Cranston, Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zweiten, Theodor van Sante, and Christoper Hare

Payment involves the transfer of monetary value from payer to payee. This chapter deals with ‘payment systems’, which are the instruments, procedures, and institutions that enable persons to effect payment. Traditionally, payment systems have been classified in different ways. One distinction is between credit and debit transfers. Other distinctions include whether the payment system is paper-based, electronic, or both; whether the payment system is limited to small-value or large-value transfers or; or whether the payment system is operated by an emanation of the state or some private commercial entity. The consideration of payment systems will be illustrative, rather than exhaustive, and the discussion will focus on UK-based and domestic payment systems, covering money, cheques, payment cards, and electronic funds transfers in that order.

Chapter

Cover Sealy and Hooley's Commercial Law

20. Cheques and miscellaneous payment instruments  

D Fox, RJC Munday, B Soyer, AM Tettenborn, and PG Turner

This chapter focuses on the use of cheques and similar instruments as a mode of payment in commercial transactions, and discusses the relation between them and bills of exchange (of which they are a specialised type). Cheques are intended as instruments which will immediately be paid, whereas bills of exchange are typically drawn payable at a future date and used as a credit instrument. Unlike bills of exchange, cheques are not, and are not intended to be, accepted by the bank on which they are drawn. This chapter first explains what a cheque is, and discusses the likely future of the institution, before discussing promissory notes, banker’s drafts, and travellers’ cheques.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

24. Documentary payments  

This chapter is divided into two main parts. First, it aims to provide an introduction to the concept of an important piece of property called an instrument, principally by focusing on one specific example: the bill of exchange. Second, the chapter considers a bank payment mechanism called the letter of credit, especially in conjunction with bills of exchange. Bills of exchange, of which cheques are a particular type, although declining in importance in domestic sales, remain important in international sales. While bills of exchange are not the only instruments, and letters of credit are not the only mechanism supporting the financing of international trade, focusing on these two important commercial documents makes it possible to obtain a good understanding of the types of legal issues involved in documentary payments.

Chapter

Cover Banking Law and Regulation

3. Payment methods  

Iris Chiu and Joanna Wilson

This chapter examines payment methods, which refer to the mechanisms, procedures, and organisations that are used to enable parties to discharge their payment obligations. While there are a vast range of different payment mechanisms, the most common methods are cheques, payment cards, and the electronic transfer of funds. A cheque is a written order from an account holder instructing their bank to pay a specified sum of money to one or more named beneficiaries. Meanwhile, payment cards—small pieces of plastic that are used in financial transactions—have revolutionised the way that people pay for goods or services. Lastly, the transfer of funds refers to the movement of a credit balance from one account to another, which occurs by adjusting the balances of the respective party’s accounts. The chapter then looks at recent innovations in the payment services industry relating to open banking and third-party providers.