What Is the Meaning of "bearer Cheque"?

The terms "bearer cheque," or "bearer check," refer to a check that is payable to whoever presents the check, rather than to a designated payee, according to the Bank of New Zealand. According to BusinessDictionary, such checks may also be referred to as "bearer drafts."

Other types of financial instruments that are paid directly to the bearer include bearer bonds, according to Investopedia. They are redeemable by whoever presents the physical coupons, rather than by a registered owner. These instruments may also be known as pay-to-bearer instruments. The opposite of pay-to-bearer is pay-to-order, where the check is made out to a specific party. When a pay-to-order check is endorsed, it becomes the functional equivalent of a bearer check, according to Laws.com.