How to deposit a cheque: Depositing a cheque is now easier than ever. When you receive a cheque, depositing the payment turns that piece of paper into money that you can actually spend.
The funds sit safely in your account, and you have several ways to use the money: Withdraw cash, pay bills online, shop with your debit card or chequebook, or transfer funds electronically. How to deposit a cheque
So, how do you deposit a cheque? It’s not hard, and you can choose a method that fits your lifestyle.
Where to make deposits
Depending on the bank or credit union you use, you should have several options for deposits, according to thebalance.com.
Deposit with your mobile device: The fastest and most convenient option is to use your mobile device.
- Download your bank’s app. Be sure to use a legitimate app so that you don’t give bank information to thieves.
- Find the option to deposit cheques and begin the process.
- Endorse the cheque
- Take a picture of both sides of the cheque.
- Provide details about the cheque. You might need to enter the amount of the payment and verify that the app reads the account and routing numbers on the cheque correctly.
Visit a branch: You can also deposit cheques in person at one of your bank’s branches. An advantage of depositing with a teller is that more of your money might be available quickly because deposits with bank employees can clear faster.
If you use a credit union, you can typically deposit cheques at any credit union that’s part of the shared branching network. You don’t have to visit your credit union—you can go to (almost) any branch that’s available and open when you need it.
- Endorse the cheque.
- Fill out a deposit slip, and hand the cheque to a teller.
- Verify your new account balance before leaving the bank.
How to deposit a cheque
Deposit at an ATM: Some banks and credit unions allow you to deposit checks at an Automated Teller Machine, which is convenient if you’re unable to get to a branch during banking hours. Different banks have different requirements (whether you need an envelope and a deposit slip, for example), so read the on-screen instructions carefully.
Use the mail: You can also mail cheques to your bank. You never want to send cash, but sending cheques by mail is quite safe. Ask your bank what the requirements are. In most cases, you need to include a deposit slip and endorse the cheque. This isn’t the fastest way to deposit cheques, but you can do everything on your own time.
What you need to deposit a cheque
Making a deposit is not as simple as handing the cheque to a teller or snapping a photo—but it’s close.
Endorsement: You typically need to endorse a cheque by signing your name on the back of the cheque. Technically, doing so gives your bank (or whoever has the endorsed cheque) the right to collect the funds—so don’t endorse until you’re confident that the cheque will get to the bank.
For added security, you can use a “restrictive” endorsement, which says the money can only be deposited to your account. That’s a smart move in case the cheque gets lost or stolen. To restrict the endorsement, sign your name and write “For deposit only to account ###” (use your account number instead of the number signs).
Deposit slips: You might need to fill out a deposit slip when you deposit a paper cheque. Deposit slips provide the information a bank employee needs to get the money into your account: your account number, the amount you’re depositing, and more.
Identification: If you’re making a deposit in person, bring valid identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued Identity Card. This is typically required even though you’re just adding money to the account—not taking cash. ID is especially important if you’re visiting another credit union’s branch to deposit a cheque.
If you plan to spend all of the money immediately (with cash), you can cheque instead of depositing it. You can usually get up to $200 immediately on personal cheques, and you might be able to get more for official cheques like cashier’s cheques.
However, it’s risky to take cash and spend it before you know that a cheque is good—if the cheque bounces, you’ll have to repay your bank for any money you take. The only way to know for sure that the cheque is good is to cash it at a branch of the same bank the cheque is written on. In other words, go to the cheque writer’s bank to cash the cheque —the bank name is shown on the cheque .
Of course, it’s risky to walk around with large amounts of cash because that money can be lost or stolen. It’s often just as easy to spend money from your current account with a debit card or withdraw cash from an ATM later when you actually need it.
Is the cheque any good?
Verify that cheques are legitimate, and make an effort to determine whether or not they’ll bounce before you make deposits. If the person or company that wrote you the cheque doesn’t have enough money to cover the payment, your bank might charge you fees—even though it wasn’t your fault.
If you make a habit of depositing bad cheques, your bank might even close your account. Whenever you’re concerned about a cheque, contact the bank the cheque is written against to verify funds in the account and find out if the cheque will bounce.
Where not to deposit cheque
Depositing the funds into your bank or credit union is the safest and least expensive option. You might be tempted to cash cheques at more “convenient” places such as payday loan shops or cheque-cashing stores. If you do so, you’ll pay dearly. Even supermarkets take fees, which can add up on small cheques.
If you don’t have an account at a bank or credit union, you really need one—it’ll save you time and money. However, some people can’t or won’t open a bank account. If you’re in that group, a prepaid card might be a good alternative: Some cards allow you to make mobile cheque deposits to add to your balance, which helps you store the money safely. Others have partnerships with retail locations, so you can bring cheques to certain stores to add to your account.
How to deposit a cheque