What Are the Different Forms of Payment in the US?

Even though most of the world’s currency is exchanged by either barter exchange, the United States is unique in using its preferred method of payment. We have the following methods:

Currency listed for you: You can see an explanation of the currency that is used by each country on the United States International Money Guide. The main differences are, for example, the amount of foreign currency needed to complete a transaction in the US and the amount of foreign currency needed to complete a transaction in Australia. The money that is required in order to complete a transaction in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom is different from the money that is required in order to complete a transaction in the United Arab Emirates.

Bank Notes: The US Treasury has always been the source of US currency, and it is still the sole type of currency used today. The US government provides Treasury notes to the public free of charge, along with printed copies of the same. US paper currency is the only form of paper currency available.

Bonds: While bonds are a bearer form of legal tender, they can only be transferred between accounts at banks or other financial institutions. They are often referred to as “bond certificates”.

Bills: There are several electronic forms of currency such as, Eurodenominated bills and the Eurodenominated currency forward (debt). In these forms, currency changes hands at a predetermined rate, and no documents are exchanged.

Postal Money: The Postal Service of the United States collects “Postage Stamps” and sends them out by mail, sometimes in denominations as high as $100. You can find the rate for this service on the “US Postal Money Guide”

Unregistered Postal Money: This is the most common type of “Postage Stamp” found on the street. It is often given to commemorate a special event or great achievement. The name comes from the fact that these stamps are not always collected as cash.

Monetary Instruments: All countries utilize this method, but some are more popular than others. When shopping online, you may find that certain countries allow you to purchase only through their Internet sites, while others may charge a fee for purchases.

Electronic Currencies: Using this method is just like exchanging cash – except that you don’t need to open a bank account or carry around thousands of dollars in your wallet. If you choose a trusted source for purchasing goods and services, such as eBay, the only currency you will need is your digital form of currency. All transactions are accomplished online.

Instant: As opposed to the wired and insured method of transferring funds, sending money over the Internet with the aid of an instant messaging program such as Skype is considered an instant. It’s called “instant” because it is complete and final and is reported as complete and final by everyone, including the recipient. This is sometimes known as a “snapshot.”

Money Orders: While there are many traditional methods of transferring money, a lot of the companies that provide these services offer this service only to their clientele. It’s called a “money order” because it is only a paper check.

Another way to see if the country you wish to travel to prefer one method of payment over another is to look at the benefits they offer, as well as the fees associated with those advantages. Just because a country may use a particular method does not mean it does not use another. Doing some research to find out the preferred payment method of a specific country can be advantageous, but remember to also compare the costs of the method and to look at the range of payment options available in a given country.