What is Cashier’s Order in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide

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Did you know that despite Singapore’s reputation as one of the safest places in the world, you’re not immune to the cunning tactics of scammers looking for easy money?

It’s a sobering reminder that vigilance can prevent loss of funds in big transactions — and a cashier’s order is here to save the day. 

When it comes to large expenses such as the downpayment of a house or a car, a cashier’s order provides a more secure way to transfer money.

On the flip side, if you receive a hefty insurance disbursement, a sweet payment from your home sale, or a tidy sum from ditching your car, you might just find yourself holding something that looks a lot like a cheque but—it’s a cashier’s order. 

But what’s that, you ask? Let’s find out more. 

Cashier’s order: Everything you need to know

1. What is a cashier’s order?

Nope. A cashier’s order has nothing to do with cashiers at supermarkets and shops.

A cashier’s order or banker’s cheque is a payment instrument issued by a bank. It guarantees that the funds are available and will be released once you deposit them into your own bank account. The defining characteristic of a cashier’s order is that the bank pays the amount specified on the order because the payer has already parted with their money. 

This contrasts with a personal cheque, where the payment is drawn from the purchaser’s bank account and can bounce. The chief benefit of using a cash order is that it avoids this scenario. 

Cashier’s orders are available in different currencies at various banks. It gives you more flexibility because you can choose the currency that matches your transaction requirements. Plus, you avoid extra fees in currency exchange.  

How does a cashier’s order work?

Imagine you’re waiting for someone to pay you. Instead of giving you cash directly, they get a cashier’s check from the bank. 

That means the bank instantly takes the money from the payer’s account and holds onto it for you. 

It’s like the bank is promising, “We’ve got your money safe and sound!”

When the payer gets this special check, called a cashier’s check, and gives it to you, the bank says, “We promise to pay this amount to whoever has it.” It’s as good as cash because the bank, not the payer, is now holding the money and making sure you get paid.

When you’re ready, you take this check to your bank, give it to them, and that’s when the bank finally puts the money into your account. This way, you can be sure the payment is secure because the bank is looking after it until you deposit the cashier’s check.

Remember, once issued, cancelling a cashier’s order is cumbersome. If lost or stolen, the payer may need to go through a stop-payment process, which can be more complex and involve fees, depending on the bank’s requirements and process.  

What are the advantages of a cashier’s order—should I use one? 

When making big purchases, you want assurance — both as a buyer and seller. This is why a cashier’s order is a secure and reliable payment method or bank transfer instead of carrying a stack of cash. 

Here are the advantages that might convince all the more to use cashier’s order:

  • Security. Think of a cashier’s order as a secure way to pay someone without using cash or a personal cheque. When you use a cashier’s order, the bank immediately takes the money from your account and keeps it safe until the person you’re paying is ready to collect it. For instance, if you are selling your car, you could use a cashier’s order to ensure you won’t get cheated on with your money.
  • Reliability. A cash with order is more reliable than other forms of payment because it is backed by the issuing bank’s funds, not the individual’s account. The funds are guaranteed by the bank, so collecting payments is easy. Just make sure you have your NRIC/passport to show. 
  • Convenience.  While cashier’s orders require a visit to the bank, they are relatively easy to obtain if you have an account with the institution. Some banks, like DBS Bank, Maybank, and POSB, also let you purchase a cashier’s order online if you have digital login credentials and savings accounts. 
  • Speed. Compared to personal cheques, which can take several days to clear, cashier’s orders often clear upfront. Additionally, now that we’re talking about speed, purchasing a cashier’s order in the branch, like at DBS Bank, will take about 30 minutes. 

What’s the difference between a cashier’s order and a cheque?

Cashier’s orders ensure your money moves without a hitch, unlike regular cheques, which may bounce if funds are short.

This comparison takes into account the differences.

Aspect Cashier’s Order  Personal Cheque
Use Preferred for large transactions like down payments on a home, purchasing vehicles, real estate transactions, and insurance payouts. Commonly used for everyday or routine payments like bills and rent where a physical paper trail is needed for recordkeeping.
Security It is highly secured and guaranteed by immediate cashout. Due to stringent bank signatures and watermarks, it is hard to counterfeit. It has lower security compared to cashier’s checks. It is subject to fraud and can bounce if insufficient funds are in the account.
Fees Ranges from $3 to $15, depending on which bank you purchase it Usually provided for free when you open a chequing account, and re-ordering may incur minimal fees.
Processing Time needed to receive the money is almost the same as cheques. Processing can take several days. Once the cheque is cleared, the bank only debits (or credits) the amount from the customer’s account.

When you need to pay for something big, like a car or a down payment on your house, a cashier’s order is the way to go — the money is there, because the bank already holds the funds. On the other hand, a personal cheque is like your everyday sidekick for regular payments, like paying rent or bills.

How can you get a cashier’s order? 

You can purchase a cashier’s order at any bank branches. To purchase it over the counter, all you need is your identification card (NRIC).

The typical fee is S$5, but it may be waived if you’re a wealth customer (i.e. DBS Treasures, OCBC Premier Banking, etc.). 

Here are links to the major banks’ cashier’s order instructions.

How do you bank in or deposit a cashier’s order?

To bank in or deposit a cashier’s order in Singapore, follow these steps. 

  1. ✅ Prepare the cashier’s order. Fill out the cashier’s order form correctly with your name as the payee. Some banks may require you to endorse the back of the cashier’s order, so check if it’s necessary. 
  2. ✅ Fill out a deposit slip. Get a deposit slip from your bank, which are usually available at branches. Complete the deposit slip with the required information, such as your account number, the date, and the amount of the cashier’s order.
  3. ✅ Choose your deposit method. Either visit a branch near you or use the quick cheque deposit box.
  4. ✅ Wait for the funds to clear. After depositing the cashier’s order, the funds will typically be available in your account the next business day after 2 pm if the deposit is made before the cut-off time (usually around 3:30 pm).

What is the maximum amount of money that can be transferred through a cashier’s order?

The maximum amount of money that can be transferred through a cashier’s order in Singapore varies by bank, but for DBS the minimum is S$5 to is S$100,000 per cashier’s order.

If the amount you need to transfer exceeds this limit, you can purchase additional cashier’s orders to cover the total amount needed, with each cashier’s order fee factored in as well. 

How do you protect yourself from fraud when using cashier’s order?

Scammers are always on the lookout for opportunities to get easy money. 

Although a cashier’s order is a safe and secure way to make payments and transfer funds, you need to be wary as well on how to detect fraud in your transactions. 

1. Verify the legitimacy of the cashier’s order

Before accepting a cashier’s order, especially in a transaction involving significant amounts, verify its authenticity with the issuing bank. Call the issuing bank and ask if they issued the cashier’s order and specify the amount. Check the bank’s routing number if it matches the cashier’s order. 

2. Be wary of overpayment scams

Be cautious if you receive a cashier’s order for an amount greater than the agreed price. Scammers may ask you to deposit the check and return the excess amount. 

Always confirm the agreed-upon price before accepting the check and insist on a new check for the correct amount if necessary.

3. Purchase directly from reputable banks

When purchasing a cashier’s order, choose reputable and financially stable banks. This minimizes the risk of issues arising from bank closures or bankruptcy.

4. Keep detailed transaction records

Maintain comprehensive records of the transaction, including the date, amount, and any communication with the buyer or seller. This documentation can be used in the event of a dispute or fraudulent activity investigation.

5. Report suspicious activity

If you suspect that a cashier’s order might be used for fraudulent purposes, report it to the authorities immediately. In Singapore, you can contact the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness..

Is it safe to leave a cashier’s order in a cheque box outside of bank’s branch?

This may be a question for someone who doesn’t want to queue at the counter. The process itself is secure and banks have systems in place to make sure they handle the deposited items with care. 

Exhibit A: What NOT to do when you want to deposit a cashier’s order.

In fact, one of our money experts actually shared a story on how it was possible to do this safely — here’s what she said:

Definitely. you can just drop your cashier’s order into the cheque box outside your neighbourhood bank outlet. 

Wah, such a big sum of money leh, you sure I can just drop it in the box outside? What if someone takes my cashier’s order? 

Exhibit A: What NOT to do when you want to deposit a cashier’s order.

Let’s clear this up once and for all with a suaku story of mine:: One time when I had to bank in a cashier’s order, I insisted on taking a queue number at my neighbourhood market’s DBS branch. I wanted to physically bank in my Cashier’s Order. I queued for almost an hour (COVID times!). Then, I went in to show the bank teller my cashier’s order. She told me…to just drop it in the cheque box outside. So, the security guard escorted me out (again, COVID times) and watched me drop the cashier’s order into the cheque box. I left feeling like a fool.”

Okay, so knowing it’s possible, you can also think of this added layer of security.

While it’s safe to deposit cashier’s orders in a quick cheque deposit for very large sums, you might consider depositing directly at the counter during banking hours for peace of mind. This way, you can obtain a deposit slip as proof of the transaction immediately.

It’s worth noting that while the process is designed to be secure, there is a very slim chance of mishandling or misplacement. Banks have procedures to address such rare instances, ensuring that your funds are protected.

How long will it take to receive your money from a cashier’s order?

When depositing a cashier’s order, the time needed to receive your money is typically the same as that for cheques. 

Here’s a rough idea based on the DBS cheque clearing timelines:

Cashier’s order deposited on Receive money on
Monday – Thursday before 3.30pm Next business day after 2pm
Thursday after 3.30pm Monday after 2pm
Friday before 3.30pm Monday after 2pm
Friday after 3.30pm Tuesday after 2pm
Saturday Tuesday after 2pm
Sunday Tuesday after 2pm

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