Canadian Cheques

How to Write a Cheque in Canada: A Step-by-Step Guide

Did you know that Canadian banks still process about a billion checks each year? If you're a beginner and just filling out a check for the first time, here is some helpful information about the use of checks and how to write a cheque in Canada.

What is a cheque?

Cheque is spelled "check" in the United States. A cheque is a signed and dated agreement between two persons or organizations to pay each other. The person who creates the cheque is called the payor or drawer. When you write a cheque, you agree to pay another person or organization the money you owe them. A cheque can be cashed or directly deposited into a bank account.

You must first order cheques by contacting your bank before you can make a cheque payment. It comes with a booklet that will almost certainly cost you money, but some banks may give you the first one for free.

How to write a cheque?

Step 1: Write the date at the top right, including the year, month, and day. YYYY-MM-DD is the most common format in writing a check date. However, in a Canadian cheque, the format can also be DD-MM-YYYY.

Step 2: On the following line the cheque, "Pay to the order of," you put the name of the person, company, school, charitable trust, or any other entity with a bank account. If you don't know the person's actual name or organization, you can just put "cash." However, it's risky to write "cash" on the line because anyone can withdraw it.

Step 3: You can write the amount you're paying in two places on a check. First, write the dollar amount, including the cents, numerically beside the dollar sign in the box on the right—for example, $200.50.

Step 4: Write the dollar amount corresponding to the numerical dollar amount you wrote in the box on the second line. You should not include the cents.

The "/100 Dollars" appears at the end of the line - here's where you'll place your cents. For example, if you're paying $200.50, you'll write "two hundred and 50/100."

Step 5: Write a memo. This is optional but, on the third line on the left, you can include a brief explanation of why you made the cheque payment.

Step 6: On the final line to the bottom right, sign the cheque. You must use the same signature you used when you opened the checking account. If it is not signed or is not signed correctly, the cheque will be invalid.

What if you make an error when writing a check?

Cross out the error, correct, then put the initial beside the correction. This is the proper way to make changes to a legal document.

Even though you can correct a mistake on a check, the payee may encounter difficulties when depositing the check at the bank. Bank may suspect you, and they will refuse to process it. As a result, when you make a mistake, it's better to invalidate the check and write a new one.

How to void a cheque?

If you write the wrong amount on a check, be sure no one can cash the check and withdraw money from your account by voiding it.

You can put the word VOID across the check to void a check. Make sure you write in large, legible letters that cover all of the check's primary fields.

Pros and Cons of cheques

Cheques were the most widely used mode of payment before. Many people, however, have switched to more advanced payment methods such as online money transfers and the use of cards. Even if you don't write cheques daily, it's still a valuable skill to have in case you do need to pay by cheque.

Advantages

  • For large sums of money, it's ideal to use a cheque
  • No physical money. A check is safer because cash is easily stolen, miscounted, or misplaced.
  • Lots of uses. Even though cheques are no longer widely used, people still use them for a variety of purposes. Gifts, bill payments, business expenses, donations, and so on are just a few examples.
  • Payments can be terminated. There is a way to stop payment if a cheque is lost or stolen. It will not be accepted if someone tries to cash it. Because to do this, you'll need basic information about the cheque, such as the number, date, and amount.

Disadvantages

  • The payee has six months from the date on the cheque to deposit the funds. You may be charged additional costs if your account has insufficient money when a cheque is withdrawn.
  • Not free. There is also a fee for mailing or delivering the cheque to the receiver. In 2019, Canada's average cost per check, including secondary fees, was $15 to $25. There's a more cost-effective way to pay your bills!
  • Cheque fraud - the most common sort of monetary fraud. Cheque fraud accounts for 29% of all Canadian bank fraud.

Thinking about transferring money the faster and safer way instead? Try RemitBee - a much better alternative to sending cash than a Canadian cheque!

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