Postal orders provide a useful way to send money without the need for a cheque or even a bank account. They’re much safer than sending cash.

You can use them within the United Kingdom, or to send money to 45 countries across the world, including India, Sri Lanka and many countries in the Caribbean. Buy your postal order at any post office, complete it, and post it to the person you want to send the money to.

Write the name of the person you want to send the money to in the line marked “pay.” Some post offices can even print the details onto the postal order for you. The orders work in the same way as cheques, so marking them with the person’s name means only they can cash the order.

Complete the line underneath with the amount of money you’d like to send. Write the amount in words rather than numbers, and include the word “only” at the end. So, for example, instead of writing £250, you should write “two hundred and fifty pounds only.”

Write the sum of money into the small box marked with a “£” symbol, on the right-hand-side of the post order. This time you should use figures rather than words.

Date the postal order on the line directly above the box marked wit a “£” symbol. Normally you would write the date on which you buy the postal order.

Mark two vertical lines across the postal order if you want the recipient to pay it into a bank account. If you would prefer them to be able to cash it at a post office, don’t add the lines.