When a customer receives traveler's checks, his signature is printed on the traveler's check. When cashing the traveler's check, the customer must sign the check in front of the recipient, and the two signatures must match.
The individual using a traveler's check must pay a fee to the provider of the traveler's check in addition to the value of the check. According to the website BankingQuestions.com, this money is used by the issuer to pay for processing the traveler's check when it is cashed.
Traveler's checks are the same size as standard, bank-issued checks. The amount for which the check can be cashed is printed on the front of the check, on the same side as the pre-printed signature of the individual cashing the check.
The first traveler's check was issued in 1891, according to The Great Idea Finder. The first person to cash a traveler's check was William Fargo in Leipzig, Germany, that same year. In that first year, American Express sold $9,120 in traveler's checks.
Traveler's checks can be purchased in five different currencies in addition to the U.S. dollar as of 2010, according to American Express. Available currencies include the Euro, Australian and Canadian dollars, pound sterling and Japanese yen.