Cheque it Out

The Romans are believed to have used an early form of cheque in the first century BC. In the 3rd century CE, banks in Persia also issued letters of credit known as sakks.
The word cheque comes from the Arabic sakk, which is a written document or letter or note of credit Muslim merchants adopted to carry out their trading. The concept of sakk appeared in European documents around 1220, mostly in areas neighbouring Muslim Spain and North Africa.
Between 1118 and 1307, the Knights Templar introduced a cheque system for pilgrims travelling to Palestine or across Europe. They adopted it from the Muslims who are known to have used the cheque or sakk system since the times of Harun al-Rashid (9th century). In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash an early form of the cheque in China drawn on sources in Baghdad, a tradition that was strengthened in the 13th and 14th centuries, under the Mongol Empire, many leaders of which became Muslim.
Fragments of cheques found in Cairo indicate that in the 12th century cheques remarkably similar to our own were in use. They contain a sum to be paid and then the order ‘May so and so pay the bearer such and such an amount’. The date and name of the issuer are also apparent.