You probably don’t even think about money orders anymore, right? What are they even good for? As an alternative to a physical check, they can be used to send a set amount of money to someone. But with apps like Venmo and Zelle making financial transactions so much easier, who uses those old-school money orders anymore? You know what we think: Nobody! Who would use antiquated technology like this in this day and age? But you might be surprised to learn that there are still plenty of people using them. In fact, over $11 billion worth of money orders are purchased every year. That’s more than double the number of check transactions that were conducted in 2017. So regardless of whether or not you personally think the use of money orders is antiquated, it’s clear that A LOT of people don’t feel that way.
Do People Use Money Orders Anymore?
Yes, people use money orders all the time. They are a safe and affordable way to send money to family members or friends. Money orders can be used to pay bills, rent, and other expenses. They can also be used as a form of payment for goods and services.
Why Are Money Orders Still So Popular?
1. They’re Safe
Money orders can be sent to any bank or post office in the country. This makes them more secure than cash.
2. They’re Cheap
Money orders can be bought at a wide variety of stores, including big box retailers like Walmart, Target, and Kmart. They also can be found at local grocery stores and drugstores.
3. They’re Easy to Send
You don’t have to worry about finding someone or tracking down an address with a money order; you just send it off and it’s done!
4. They’re Available 24/7
No need to wait until payday or get up early on Saturday morning to send money orders…the mail always works!
5. You Can Use Them Anywhere
You don’t need a printer to use money orders because they can easily be printed out at any store that sells them!
6. They’re Useful for Sending Money to Family and Friends
Money orders can be used to send money to your relatives and friends. You can use them at any store that sells them.
Money orders can be used to send money to family members and friends. You can also use them to send money to relatives in other countries.
7. They’re Useful for Sending Cash Overseas
Money orders are great for sending money overseas because they’re not subject to currency conversion charges like international wire transfers or credit card payments.
8. They Can Be Used for Small Payments
Money orders are perfect for sending small payments, such as $5 or $10, to friends and family members who are far away from you.
How To Use Money Orders
Give yourself time to track and recover your money
You may have a valid complaint if you lose money because of a fraudster, but if you lose money because you didn’t give yourself enough time to track the money, you don’t have a leg to stand on. The Postal Service doesn’t guarantee money order delivery, and the scammer could cash the money order before you can even inform the Postal Service that it was lost. You’ll need to give yourself enough time to track the money order and get it back. That’s why it’s important to include tracking numbers when you send money orders. If you send a money order and include tracking, you’ll be able to track it and know when it was delivered. This helps give you more time to get your money back.
Only use trusted issuers
The first tip on how to use money orders the smart way is to only use trusted issuers. This can help keep you safe from fraud in two ways: it will restrict your options to legitimate operators, and it will make it easier to track down your money in the case of a mistake. Be careful about using money orders from places like Walmart, grocery stores, and other retailers. These businesses typically have lower standards for who can become a money order issuer. This makes it more difficult to track down your money if something goes wrong. You can also use the Better Business Bureau’s website to check the financial health of an issuing location. If you want to use a money order, make sure you’re only getting it from a trusted issuer.
Only use currently printed money orders
Most fraudsters will accept any money order, but if you only use currently printed money orders, you can cut down on the likelihood of being scammed. You might be asking how you can tell if a money order is currently printed. You’ll need to check with the issuer to make sure you’re getting a currently printed money order. When you go to purchase a money order, you’ll likely be given two choices: a money order that’s already filled out, or a paper you can fill out yourself. If you’re using a currently printed money order, it’ll be filled out but blank on the back. Otherwise, it’s an old money order.
Ask for identification when cashing a money order
If you get a money order and are cashing it, make sure you ask for identification from the person cashing it. If you don’t ask for identification, you might be opening yourself up to fraud. If you don’t ask for identification, you don’t know if the person completing your transaction is actually the person listed on the money order. If you don’t ask for identification, you could end up cashing a money order that’s been stolen. You should always make sure the name on the money order matches the name of the person completing the transaction.
Deliver the cash in person
If you’re sending the money order to a person and you want the money, make sure you deliver it in person. You don’t want to send cash through the mail. It’s just not safe. If you deliver the cash in person, you can make sure it gets into the right hands. Just make sure you don’t go to the person’s home and meet them in a public place instead. There are safer ways to get paid, but you’ll have to arrange that with the person you’re sending the money order to.
Double-check the payment amount before mailing
One of the easiest ways for scammers to steal your money is to cut a money order in half and fill in the missing information with their own information. If you’re mailing the money order and want to make sure it’s valid, make sure the payment amount matches the amount written on the money order. If the numbers don’t match, it’s likely a fraudster has cut the money order in half and filled in a different amount. If you’re mailing a money order, make sure to check the payment amount.
Don’t rely on Track ‘n’ Trace alone
Some money orders come with a Track ‘n’ Trace identifier on the back. This helps you track the money order. Many people assume this will keep them safe in the event of fraud, but it won’t. If you get a money order that has a Track ‘n’ Trace identifier, you’ll be able to track it until it gets to the person cashing it. Once it’s cashed and deposited in a bank account, you won’t be able to track it anymore. If you’re worried about fraud, don’t rely on the Track ‘n’ Trace identifier to keep you safe.
These days, very few people use money orders, but there are still plenty of people who use them. Money orders are a cheap way to send someone money, but they’re also not very secure. If you have to use one, make sure you’re extra careful to verify that it’s real and from the correct person. And make sure you look for watermarks, holograms, and security strips to make sure it’s not a fake. With all of that in mind, there’s really only one question that remains.