Everything you need to know about cheques.

Cheque Writing 101

A cheque is a negotiable instrument issued to an account holder by a bank. This document can be used to pay someone a specific amount of money on a certain date. You can write a cheque to any business or person as a way to transfer money from your bank account to them. Below are some basic tips to help you write a cheque and a breakdown of the cheque form to help you write your cheques.

Basic Cheque Writing Tips

  • Always write legibly or type your checks in ink to prevent anything from being altered or changed.
  • You should complete each cheque section carefully to ensure accuracy. Errors in the body of the cheque could cause it to be rejected or delay the processing of your cheque by your bank.
  • For personal cheques – the signature line must be signed by you. Your cheque is not legal until you sign it.
  • Always be sure to write your cheque amount at the very beginning of the blank line. This minimizes the chance for anyone to make unauthorized changes to your cheque.
  • Do not leave any blank areas on your cheque. Draw a line through any open spaces.
  • Be sure that amount written out in words is an exact match to the number amount written in the small box that starts with a dollar sign (i.e. $123.45).
  • In order to protect your account, never sign a blank cheque!
  • Destroy any voided checks.
  • Record all cheques in your Cheque Register.

Parts of a Cheque

1. The Date

The date line appears in the upper right corner. Write out the current date or a future date on which you want the cheque to be cashed. All common date formats are acceptable in this line (i.e. June 1, 2019, 6/1/19). If you put in a future date, this is known as a post-dated cheque. The party that receives the cheque will not be able to cash or deposit the cheque until the date indicated. Many businesses will not accept post-dated cheques, but other payees may find it appropriate.

2. Maker/Payor

The maker/payor is the person or entity who owns the account and who signs the cheque to the payee.

3. Payee

A payee is the party that receives the cheque. In the "Pay to the Order Of" line, you should write out the full name of the business, individual or organization that you are making payment to.

4. Dollar Amount

Within the rectangle box, right after the $ sign, use numbers to indicate the amount of the cheque in dollars and cents (e.g. $10.50).

5. Written Amount

Start at the beginning of the blank line and spell out the amount of the cheque in words. Amounts that are less than one dollar should be represented by a fractional amount of xx /100 at the end of the line (e.g. Ten and 50/100 dollars).

6. Memo

This line can be used to write short notes regarding payment details (e.g. March Rent).

7. Signature

The maker/payor is the party that writes the cheque. The cheque is not considered legal until it bears a signature. Sign your full, legal name onto each cheque.

8. Cheque Register

Record the cheque number and amount of the cheque in your Cheque Register. To avoid any "bounced" cheque charges, make sure that you keep a record of each cheque that you write. Deduct the amount of each cheque you write from the previous balance in your account.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheque Cashing

What is required to cash a cheque at Money Mart?
  • A customer account at Money Mart – proper identification is preferred to open the account.
  • A minimum of (1) personal reference
What happens when my cheque is scanned through the machine?

The machine reads the micro encoding that is stamped at the bottom of the cheque and captures the account reference information from the cheque.

Who is responsible for bad cheques cashed at Money Mart?

The person who wrote the cheque and the person who cashed the cheque can both be held responsible to pay back the cheque amount if the cheque is not approved by your bank. A bank may not approve the cashing of the cheque if there are not sufficient funds in the cheque account or if there are other discrepancies with the cheque or cheque account.

What types of cheques can I cash at Money Mart?

Government, insurance, money orders, payroll, personal, post-dated, small business, U.S. dollar and more! Call your local Money Mart for more information.

The above information is provided to help you in basic cheque writing and may not include all the information that you need. Please consult with your bank or financial institution regarding any questions or concerns you may have regarding your cheques and your chequing account.

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