Money Order Machine: All You Need to Know

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A money order is a certificate, usually issued by a government or banking institution, that allows a payee to receive cash on demand. It functions as a check, hence the person who purchased the money order may stop payment.

A money order machine is a computerized device used to print money orders. You can cash out and pay with money orders in various locations across the United States.

In this article, you’ll learn more about money order machines, how they work, and where to purchase and cash-out money orders.

Also Read: The International Money Market: Scope, Crisis and Opportunities

What is a money order machine?

A money order machine is an automated device used to print money orders issued to customers. Each money order machine has a digital processor that controls the overall operation. It includes a keyboard for entering transaction data.

Each data generates a request to print a money order. Money order machines also have display units that show transaction data, as well as printers for printing, requested money orders.

A money order is a paper document, used in place of a check. It is an alternative to a check so you can cash it out or deposit it in a bank.

According to, the “issuance and cashing of money order has the potential for a large volume of currency exchange. The customer charge for such transactions on average is $1.85 of the value of the money order.”

How do money orders work?

You can use a money order to send money by mail.

The US Postal Service, Western Union, Walmart, and some credit unions offer widely acceptable money orders.

Most money order transactions do not exceed $1,000. When you pay for a money order, you will be issued a receipt to help track your payment.

It is also required that both the payer and the receiver sign the money order for it to be valid.

You purchase a money order by giving cash to a cashier, plus a fee for the fund. In addition, you specify who will receive the money order.

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How Can I Buy a Money Order?

First, you have to locate a money order issuer. Afterward, visit with cash or a debit card, the receiver’s name, and the amount of money.

Next is to fill out the money order. You will be required to write your name, the amount, and the receiver’s name, and then sign the money order.

After that, do not dispose of the receipt. keep it safe. It makes tracking the payment easier. The receipts usually have tracking numbers. You can use it to confirm that the payee has received the money.

Where Can I Get the Money Order and What is the Cost?

Domestic money orders usually cost less than $5 depending on the seller. You can get a money order at the following places:

  • Western Union
  • MoneyGram: less than $1.00
  • Walmart stores: no more than $1.00
  • US Postal service: $0.01 to $500.00 costs $1.45; $500.00 – $1,000.00 costs $1.95
  • Credit Unions

Banks appear to charge higher. For instance, Regions Bank charges $2.00 while Santander Bank charges $5.000

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What is a Western Union Money Order?

Western Union money orders offer a reliable, convenient alternative to cash or checks. Hence, you can use it to give a gift, make a purchase, or pay a bill.

Where can you get a Western Union money order?

You can get a Western Union money order from any participating Western Union-approved agent across the United States. Visit a nearby Western Union location.

How to load Western Union money order machine

If you are a Western Union money order agent, you assist customers with transaction processes. It is your duty to load a money order machine when it runs out of money. However, in the event, a machine runs out of money and you can’t figure out what to do, these are the steps you should take;

  • First, press the ‘Function’ button on the money order machine.
  • Next, press the ‘9’ button.
  • After that, press the ‘Enter button.
  • Now, the machine displays a message that asks you to add the paper and enter a code.
  • Then enter your designated PIN code for that money order machine.
  • At this point, you will see a message saying to check the ribbon. So you have to remove the paper module under the desk. Then press the enter button. After this, you will see a message saying ‘unlocked’ on the screen.
  • Now, you will be able to remove the paper module and load more money orders.
  • Finally, put the paper module back. Now you can print new money orders.

Moneygram money order

You can buy MoneyGram money orders at many supermarkets, financial institutions, check cashers, or other independent retailers. Some military bases outside of the United States also sell MoneyGram money orders.

You might be required to pay a processing fee. On the other hand, if you want to get a MoneyGram money order fast, follow these steps;

  • Find a convenient MoneyGram location that offers money orders.
  • Pay for the money order and fill out the field. Don’t forget to include the payee and purchaser information.
  • Deliver your money order either through mail or in person.
  • Keep your receipt safe until you have confirmed that the payment has been received by the payee.

To find a location near you, simply install the MoneyGram App and use the ‘find a location feature. The money order costs less than $1.

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Walmart Money Order

Walmart cashes money orders that were issued at Walmart for a fee. You will need to go with an ID to the Walmart location. This will prove that you are the lawful recipient of the money order. Walmart offers money order services such as payment and cashes out. It also gives you the option to send or buy gifts equivalent to the monetary value of your money order.

You can also buy a money order at your local Walmart store. The fee is about $1, depending on the amount of the money order.

US Postal Service money order

Presently, US postal service offers money orders as a safe alternative to cash and personal checks. You can buy or cash postal money at any post office location.

How to Send Domestic Money Orders

  • Choose the money order amount. You can send up to $1,000 at once anywhere in the United States.
  • Visit any post office location.
  • You cannot pay with a credit card, cash, a debit card, or a traveler’s check.
  • Fill out the money order form with a retail associate.
  • Pay the dollar value of the money order and the issuing fee.
  • keep your receipts to track the money order.

How to Cash Domestic Money Order

  • Visit the post office, financial institution, or credit union that offers money orders.
  • Take a primary photo ID and the money order with you.
  • Sign the money order at the counter in front of a retail associate.
  • Wait out the processing minutes, and conclude your transaction.

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How to cash international money order

  • Before accepting an international money order, confirm that a local bank, post office or retail store will be able to cash it.
  • Next, take it to the location and sign before a cashier.
  • Provide a means of identification.
  • pay the processing fee.
  • Count your money and confirm it is complete before leaving the counter.

How to Send an International Money Order

International money order operates the same way domestic money order does. Money order does not require bank accounts. It is paid for in advance hence, it cannot bounce.

Credit Unions

Credit Unions also offer money orders to members. The following is a list of credit unions that offer money orders.

  • First Reliance Federal Credit Union
  • Federal Credit Union
  • Delta Community Credit Union
  • UMe Federal Credit Union
  • Vision Financial Federal Credit Union

Other Places to Get a Money Order

The following is a list of convenience stores and places that offer money orders in the United States.

7-Eleven, CVS, Meijer, K-Mart, Publix, Kroger, your Local Check Cashing Company, and your Local Bank.

These places offer different price ranges.

For instance, buying a money order at 7-Eleven will cost you 1-3% of the total amount of the money order. However, their fees also depend on the location. There’s a minimum fee of $0.65. The maximum money order amount to withdraw is $500.

CVS issues money orders for $1.25 with a maximum amount per money order of $500.

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How to Fill Out a Money Order

There are important things to note while filling out a money order. First, it is necessary to write the receiver’s name immediately after you purchase the money order. This is because, if someone else picked up a lost money order, they’ll be able to fill and cash it. The recipient’s name should be written on the ‘pay to’ or ‘ pay to the order of field.

Your name should be written on the ‘from’, ‘purchaser’, or ‘sender’ fields.

Remember to fill in your address in the purchaser’s section. There may also be a second address section where you fill in the payee’s address.

You’ll also be required to fill in the order or account number in the memo section.

This section can also be titled ‘payment for’ or ‘account number’. You can fill in the order number or payee’s account number in this section.

Another vital aspect is signing the front of the money order. This section may be titled ‘purchaser’s signature’, ‘purchaser’, ‘signer’, or ‘from’.

Do not sign the back of the money order. It is where the payee endorses the money in order to be able to withdraw the money.

Finally, keep your receipt until you confirm the payee has received the money.

Can I Buy a Money Order With a Credit Card?

You would usually need cash or a debit card to purchase a money order. The only place that lets you buy a money order with a credit card is Western Union.

Western Union accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards. However, card issuer cash advance fee and associated interest charges may apply.

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When You Should Use a Money Order

A money order can be used when it’s unsafe for you to use cash or personal checks. The following are specific instances when you can go for a money order for monetary transactions.

When you need to send money securely: Money orders do not include your bank account number. This makes them better than checks. Moreso, only the payee can use it.

You don’t have a checking account: you don’t need a bank account since you are required to pay in advance. With a money order, there’s no need for a bank account.

When worried about bouncing checks: since money orders are prepaid, questions about bouncing checks are ruled out. They cannot be rejected for insufficient funds.

If you’re sending money internationally: US Postal Service money orders can be sent to about 25 countries. However, not all money orders work abroad. Be sure to confirm before sending one.

Where can I cash money order?

You can cash money orders at the US Postal Office, Banks, Western Union, Walmart, and other convenience stores. However, it is best to cash out your money order at the same entity that issued it.

Wherever you decide to use it, remember that prices differ. You can deposit the money order into your bank account if you are not ready to cash it.

What do I do if I lost a money order?

As long as the money order has not been cashed, you may be able to cancel it, get a replacement, or a refund.

Quickly visit your issuer with the receipt, your ID, and the money order amount. Note that you will likely pay a fee. Western Union, for instance, charges $15 to replace a money order. In addition, it can take up to 30 days to process your claim.

Walmart charges a minimum money order face value of $6.00 to process the replacement request.

It takes 30 days to confirm lost or stolen money orders at the US Postal Office. In addition, investigating lost or stolen money orders may take up to 60 days.

You will pay %6.96 to process a lost money order. The US Postal Services also replaces damaged or defective money orders.

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How to Track a Money Order

Tracking the location of your money order requires your receipt. The US Postal office, Walmart, and MoneyGram have online platforms where you can track your money order with the serial number found in the receipt and the purchase amount.

Remember to track the money order with the actual provider. Some convenience stores issue Western Union and MoneyGram money orders hence the latter are the actual providers.

Visit the  Money Orders Application to keep track of your money application if you purchased a money order from the US Postal Service. You must have the serial number, post office number, and dollar amount to track your application.

Are Money Orders Safe?

Money orders are basically safe payment methods. However, they can be used for fraud. It is therefore important to protect yourself.

Avoid exchanging money orders with strangers both locally and internationally. If you’re an online seller, for instance, use a safe electronic payment system. You can also gain more knowledge of how the international money market functions.

In addition, scrutinize the money order for visual inconsistencies such as missing watermarks or amounts that exceed $1,000.

Pros and cons of money order


  • A money order is safer than mailing cash in an international transaction.
  • It does not require a bank account.
  • A money order can be tracked internationally.
  • It is paid in advance hence, it cannot bounce.


  • There is a fee charged for both sender and the receiver.
  • You pay high fees for cancellation and processing lost money orders.
  • It has a low sending limit of $1,000 per transaction hence it cannot be used in international consignment trade where a large amount of money is involved.

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Alternatives to Money Order and Money Order Machines

There are various alternatives to a money order. These are technology-driven means of payment. Examples are MasterCard and Visa Credit payment systems.

Alternatives to money order machines are the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) machines. They enable customers to transfer money, withdraw cash, and pay bills.

What is an Automated Money Order Machine?

The idea of an automated money order machine is to give customers that have money orders the experience of an Automated Teller Machine. Customers transact with the automated machine with their money orders.

The North American Money Order claims to provide an automated money order machine. The features of this money machine are:

  • Fast money order printing.
  • Printing of shifts and close-out reports for clients.
  • Communication with the manufacturer through the client’s store’s existing internet or phone connection.
  • Automatic uploading of all transactions to the manufacturer.
  • Viewing of current and previous reports on the company’s website.

Digital Currency System (DCS) is another company that claims to offer unconventional money order services. Its MOPS money order software allows customers to produce their own professional, legible money order.

The key features are as follows:

  • It works with MoneyGram, Western Union, and other money order companies.
  • The printing system reduces errors, eliminates theft, and streamlines operations.
  • You can produce your own professional, legible money order.
  • It gives you money transfer capabilities.
  • There’s a reduction in errors over manual systems.


What is money order?

A money order is a certificate, usually issued by a government or banking institution, that allows a payee to receive cash on demand. It functions as a check, in that the person who purchased the money order may stop payment.

How does a money order work?

Visit a post office, Western Union, or MoneyGram to cash out from or pay with a money order.

What printer is used for money orders?

Laser check printers.

What is the maximum amount for a money order?

The maximum amount for a money order is usually $1,000

How do you use a money order machine?

  • Locate the function buttons on the right-hand side of the screen. They’re labeled f1, f2, f3, and f4.
  • Next, press the function button next to a money order. Notice the screen will change. Press F2 next to MO Sale.
  • key in your ID and press the green key to enter.
  • Then key in the dollar amount that your customer wishes to purchase and press enter.
  • The terminal will bring the amount and add the service charge to it on the total line.
  • Press enter a second time and collect your cash from your customer.
  • Don’t forget to count them and put them safely away.
  • Next, the screen will give you a yes or no prompt. Select ‘yes’ to print the money order. Select ‘No’ to cancel the transaction.
  • When you select yes, the machine receives the information and begins to print the money order at the end of the transaction.
  • After printing, tear the money order off and hand it over to the customer.


A money order machine is an automated device that can be used to print a money order. With money orders, you can safely send and cash-out money without a bank account.

Visit Western Union, Walmart, the US Post Office, or major Convenience stores to cash or buy money orders.



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