What is an international bank draft?

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What is an international bank draft?
International bank drafts are used to send money abroad. (check in macro image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

An international bank draft (also called a "cashier's check") is a secure way to send money to someone in another country. The draft is usually in the currency of the recipient's country, and the check must be deposited into a bank account for the funds to be transferred.

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Most banks can make an international bank draft in lieu of cash or a direct withdrawal from your bank account. Some banks accept draft requests over the phone or the Internet, but require that drafts be physically picked up at a local branch.


Your bank might charge a service fee for making the draft. The recipient also might have to pay processing charges when he deposits the draft.


The draft will display the name and branch of the issuing bank, the payee's name, the amount, and the sender's information. Drafts usually have security features such as a watermark, a security thread, and special inks and paper.


An international bank draft is guaranteed by the originating bank and is, therefore, one of the safest ways to send money abroad.


Drafts need to be physically sent, by mail or courier, so they can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks to reach the recipient. The recipient cannot cash the draft directly; he must have a bank account into which it can be deposited.

Usage Examples

International bank drafts are used, for example, by businesses to pay international suppliers, by parents sending money to students abroad, or by people working overseas sending money home to their families.

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