Travellers' Cheques
in Food and Drink Service
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These pages explain:

Set against a background of working in the Hospitality industry, these pages aim to help you accept payments by cheque.

Whilst different organisations have different policies and procedures, general rules are still useful to learn and apply.


  • What are travellers'cheques?

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A travellers' cheque are the equivalent to cash but are more secure in that the person using them will be refunded if they are stolen. The have a value in the currency they were issued.

Travellers' cheques are issued by financial institutions such as Banks, Building and Saving Societies, Post Offices etc. and by some travel agents.

People use travellers' cheques rather than carry around large quantities of cash because of the reduce security risk.



a normal crossed blank cheque


  • How to complete a Travellers' cheque

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The Diagram below shows what needs to filled in on a normal cheque:


These are the main features of a Travellers' cheque:


In some cases cheques are printed by the register and returned to the customer for signature.


  • How to accept a payment by Travellers' cheque

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In most cases to accept a Travellers' cheque the customer must produce a passport. This will show the identity and signature of the customer.

An authorised Travellers' cheque in local currency is treated as cash, if it is in a foreign currency then an exchange transaction must occur. Change is only given in local currency.

An unauthorised Travellers' cheque is one which has been sign only once at issue, in otherwise the space for countersignature is empty.

Suggested procedure for taking a travellers' cheque as payment in local currency :

  • Issue the bill.
  • Accept the unauthorised Travellers' cheque.
  • Accept the identification either a passport or an official ID card.
  • Ask the customer to countersign the cheque.
  • Check the signature and photograph matches that on the identification document!
  • It is advisable to write down the passport or ID number on the back of the travellers cheque.
  • Check the amount of the Travellers' cheque and treat it as cash
  • Give the customer change or accept additional cash to meet the bill.
  • Place the check in the till drawer.

If the travellers' Cheque is in a foreign Currency and the policy of the establishment is to accept these then you need to carry out a currency exchange transaction to the value of the check

Security and cheques

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There are risks involved in any form of payments: cheques are no exception.These can be minimised by:

Checking the identity of the drawer

Checking the cheques are genuine

Following the procedures for accepting travellers' cheques

If the Travellers' cheque is suspect or the customer identity is in doubt:

1. Retain the Travellers' cheque and ID document

2. Inform your supervisor

3. Tactfully inform the customer or if fraud is suspected contact the police attempting to detain the client without arousing suspicion.