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You will see "Pay To The Order Of _________ " on a regular check.

1. Does "pay to the order of someone" simply mean "pay to someone"?

2. What does 'the order of' mean? Why do we need the phrase here?

Thanks,
Hi,

You will see "Pay To The Order Of _________ " on a regular check.

1. Does "pay to the order of someone" simply mean "pay to someone"?

2. What does 'the order of' mean? Why do we need the phrase here?

It's a traditional kind of phrase. It means 'pay to Tom when he requests it, whether his request is in person or in writing'.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments 
Actually the term "Pay to the Order of" is a legal term used when referring to the presentment of a check in a payor/payee relationship also referred to as "Payable to the Order" or "Payable to the Payee" where the "order" is the payee or the person the check is being made out to. The end result is that the money is paid out and deposited with the individual to which the check states for who, the amount is payable.

Checks have a deep and rich history spanning for centruries, therefore some of the arcane language has survived these many years. Therefore, since the languge survives, it is displayed on this method of payment.

The contemporary language (if revised through the Uniform Commerical Code) would read Payable To (which is easier to understand that attempting to understand the concepts of "orders" and "payees".

Hope that clears it up,

Source: Attorney