I will pay


A promissory note is a document that promises to pay someone. This commitment includes the conditions that the debtor promises with regard to the counterparty (creditor), that is, the fixed amount of money as payment and the time period for making it.

The promissory note is a credit instrument that establishes a formal commitment. This formal commitment indicates three details. The first, who pays whom. The second, what amount of money. And, the third, when this payment should be made.

That is, if we say it all often, we will say that the promissory note establishes a formal commitment that one person (subscriber or signer) will pay another (beneficiary or holder), an amount of money on a certain date.

This payment established when drafting the document, will be made by money of currencies whose conversion is legally admitted. That is, legal tender coins. As is logical, the most common thing in our country is the exchange of signed promissory notes with the euro as the standard payment currency.

It is also worth noting that the origin of the promissory note dates back to the Middle Ages, with Italian bankers as protagonists, although the formal regulation of these documents only appeared in the 19th century.

Characteristics of a promissory note

The characteristics of a promissory note depend on the legal regulation of each country (such as the Exchange and Check Law in Spain) that establishes a series of necessary requirements for a document to be considered as promissory note. The requirements can be the following:

  • It must be stated in writing in the title of the document that it is a promissory note. In addition, it must be expressed in the same language as the rest of the writing.
  • The unconditional commitment to make the payment noted in a fixed amount of euros or another equivalent international currency.
  • The expiration must be indicated, that is to say, the deadline for the validity of the document.
  • The place chosen for the payment to be made.
  • Indication of the name of the holder or recipient who benefits from the promissory note, who can be a natural person or also a legal entity (companies or companies).
  • The date and place where the commitment is signed.
  • Signature of the subscriber who agrees to pay.

However, there are some exceptions in which documents without any of these requirements are also admitted. This is the case of demand promissory notes in which the due date is not indicated, or those where the place of payment does not appear and the place of origin is considered as the same, or a document in which the payment is not written place of issue. In the latter case, the place that appears next to the name of the signatory will also be the place of origin.

Types of promissory note

The types of promissory note, depending on whether it can be endorsed, are:

  • I will pay to order.
  • I will pay not to order.

Also, according to the time of payment, it can be:

  • I will pay at sight.
  • I will pay on a fixed day.
  • I will pay a variable term on the day of issuance.
  • I will pay without maturity.

Similarly, depending on the issuer, it can be classified as:

  • Bank note.
  • Non-bank or company promissory note.

Finally, taking into account the payment method, they can be:

  • I will pay to pay into account.
  • I will cross pay.

Transferability of a promissory note

Another important feature of promissory notes is transferability. The promissory note is a document with the possibility of circulating from hand to hand without losing its validity. That is, the creditor or person who should receive the payment money will be the person who owns the promissory note, regardless of whether or not it is his name that appears on the paper as the subscriber.

In other words, if Mateo signs a promissory note for Julián and after a while the latter uses the document to pay Rosa, it will be the latter who has the right to finally collect the money established in the promissory note, even if it was not originally addressed to her. .

Regarding the transferability of promissory notes, it is very important to make special mention of two types of promissory note:

  • I will pay to order: It is one that can be transferred by endorsement. See promissory note to order
  • I will pay not to the order: It is one that can only be transferred by transfer of credit. See promissory note not to order

To find out more, you can see the difference between promissory note and not to order.

Difference between promissory note and bill of exchange

A peculiarity of promissory notes is their similarity to bills of exchange. To the point that both documents have a fairly similar legal regulation.

However, while the promissory note is issued by the debtor himself, the bill of exchange is drawn up by the creditor of the payment. That is, in the promissory note, it is the same person who creates and issues the document while taking over the debt when contracting the loan.

Promissory note


Maturity: August 31, 2021 Capital: Є 20,000.00

Interest: Є 600

For this promissory note, I, Esteban Martínez Rojas, agree to pay to the order of Mrs. María del Carmen Villegas Solís the amount of Є 20,000.00 (twenty thousand euros) on August 31, 2021. The committed amount will generate interest at a rate of 3% quarterly and at a rate of 2% monthly in case of default.

Madrid, June 1, 2021

(Subscriber's name and signature)

Tags:  bag derivatives Spain 

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