Payable to Bearer

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Payable to Bearer

Describing a check or security containing no ownership information, for which the physical holder is therefore presumed to be the owner. One may cash a payable to bearer check at the bank on which the check is drawn, and may receive dividends or coupons on a bearer security by presenting it to the issuer.
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References in periodicals archive ?
YOGI BERRA, when handed a check inscribed, "Pay to Bearer": "This ain't no way to spell my name."
Thus, the traditional inscription of banknotes in the era of commodity money read something like `I promise to pay to the bearer of this note the amount of X ounces of gold.'" But in the United States and Canada, at least, although the "promise to pay" inscription was fairly common, the more common inscription (exhibited by considerably more than half of the pre-1860 commercial banknotes for sale on eBay) was "will pay"--for example, "The Spearsport Bank will pay Five Dollars to bearer on demand" or "The Bank of Montreal will pay to bearer on demand Ten Dollars." (6) In Scotland, "promise to pay" was the most common inscription, but one leading bank's note read: "The Royal Bank of Scotland is hereby obliged to pay to--or the Bearer on demand Twenty shillings." (see Checkland 1975, 188).