You can't send a cashier's check or money order across the internet, but you can order a cashier's check online from some banks to be physically mailed to someone. There are also a number of options for paying people and institutions online if you prefer to go that route, and you can often wire money directly to someone's bank account for a fee. You can also often deposit checks and money orders online by taking pictures of them with your phone.
Cashier's Checks and Money Orders
Cashier's checks are checks that are drawn against a bank's funds rather than the money in your account. You can get one from many banks by transferring money from your own account to the bank. Most banks will let you get one in person, and many banks will let you order one online and send to a recipient of your choice.
A money order is a similar financial product, but they're usually purchased from money transmitting companies like Western Union and MoneyGram rather than from banks. Many businesses, including supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores and check cashing stores, have arrangements with one of these companies to sell and cash their money orders. You can also deposit money orders into a bank account. The United States Postal Service also sells money orders, as do postal agencies in some other countries.
You usually need cash to buy a money order, although some businesses will let you charge a debit card. Most institutions will charge you a fee to get either a money order or a cashier's check. Check with financial institutions and other businesses near you if you need a cashier's check or money order to see how much it will cost and how you can get it. If you already do business with a bank, you may be able to order a cashier's check online or in person at a branch.
Wiring Money to Bank Accounts
You can have a bank wire money to someone else's bank account. You will need to know the recipient's name, bank, account number and routing number. You may need different information if the recipient banks overseas, since different countries have different systems of identifying banks and accounts.
There is generally a fee to wire money. Check with your bank to see what your options are and how much they will cost.
Sending Online Money Orders
There are numerous ways to send money online. You can use online money transfer services, such as PayPal, Venmo or Square's Cash App. These types of services enable you to take money from a credit card, debit card or linked bank account and send it to another user, who can then spend it or transfer it to a bank account. Some of these services charge fees under certain circumstances, such as for speedy withdrawals or for making purchases from merchants, so make sure you understand how the services you use work.
You can also send money from many bank accounts using a service called Zelle, which is owned by a consortium of banks. Check to see if your bank participates and how it works with your account. Some messaging services, including Google's Gmail email system and Facebook's Messenger platform, also enable you to send money. Read the documentation for messaging apps you use to see how to send money.
MoneyGram and Western Union also let you send money online using a bank account, debit card or credit card. Fees vary based on how you're paying, whether the recipient wants to receive money in a bank account or in person and how quickly the money needs to arrive. They don't technically allow you to send money orders, a term that refers to the paper documents similar to checks, but they do allow you to send funds that someone can pick up as cash, which may work just as well for some circumstances.
Stay Aware of Scams
Some scammers may try to get you to send them money and then not deliver promised goods or services. They may also impersonate people you know, like your relatives or coworkers, to try to get you to send money under false pretenses. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true and unexpected, urgent requests from money.
- Western Union: Money Orders
- Walmart: Money Orders
- PayPal: Homepage
- Venmo: Sending and Requesting Money
- Nerdwallet: Cashier’s Check: When You Need One, How to Get It
- Capital One: How Do I Order a Cashier's Check?
- FTC: Money Wiring Scams
- Nerdwallet: How to Wire Money
- Facebook: Facebook Pay
- Google: Send & Receive Money with Gmail