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How to Write a Cheque?

A cheque is an important bank document which is used to make payments and exchange funds between people and two different accounts. A cheque book is issued by a bank to a valid account holder along with the welcome kit, when a new account is opened.

A cheque is a popular mode of banking transaction. A cheque book usually contains 5, 10 or 20 leaves. Cheque books these days already have the important details, such as the name of the Bank, branch address, IFSC code, Account holder’s name and Account Number printed on each leaf. This has made filling out a cheque, even more convenient.

Click here to read more on basic elements of a cheque

Follow these steps to correctly fill up a cheque.

1. Fill in the date. This is called the date of issue.

  • Mention the correct date in the top right column. It is day, month and year in figures.
  • A cheque once issued is valid for the next 3 months.
  • Sometimes, a cheque may require a future date to be written on it. Such a cheque is called a postdated cheque (PDC). This means that the cheque cannot be cashed until that day. People tend to write a postdated cheque because when they do not want it to be encashed or deposited before a particular date.  This is often used when one has to pay out a loan or a Monthly Instalment which will be paid out at a future date.

2. Write the name of the person/ company (Payee) you want to address the cheque to.

  • Make sure you spell the name in the same way as it appears on the beneficiary’s account.
  • If the name does not match, the cheque will not be valid for payment.

3.  It is advisable to strike out ‘or bearer’ at the end of the ‘payee’ line.

  • This will ensure that the cheque is encashed only to the person it is addressed to and not to just anyone who holds it.

4. Write the amount to be paid in words along the ‘Rupees’ column. Strike a line after you fill in the amount in order to prevent any alteration.

5. Rewrite the exact same amount in figures within the adjacent box.

  • Say to pay a sum of 1000 Rupees, write One Thousand only (in words); 1000/- (in figures) in the box.

6. Put your signature above your name to authorize the transaction. This should be the same or closest likeness of the signature specimen you have submitted to your bank while opening your account.

  • The name and account number of the holder is usually already printed on the cheque leaf. If it is not, carefully write your name in BLOCK letters and enter your Account Number in the designated box.

7. Sometimes, in order to secure a cheque, you may mark out two parallel lines with ‘Account Payee only’ written in the middle, on the top left corner of the cheque. This is called ‘Crossing out a Cheque’. This means your cheque will be paid into the account of the person being paid and not to the person holding the cheque for payment at the counter.

  • Follow this carefully to direct the amount transfer into the account of the right Payee. It is an important step to safeguard your money.

8. To cancel a cheque mark ‘CANCEL’ in bold across the face of the cheque and if possible, inform the bank officials or make a note of the cheque number and record it as cancelled. You should also mutilate the MICR code of your cancelled cheque or shred the whole cheque. You should additionally scratch out your signature on the cheque.

A correctly filled out cheque would look like the image below.

Step by Step Procedure to Fill Out A Cheque

Do remember that you cannot make any changes / corrections to a cheque that you have filled in. Any overwriting will render the cheque invalid.

Every chequebook has a record sheet where you can note down the details of each cheque you have issued. It is a good practice to keep a record by duly noting down the transaction details such as the payee name and his/her contact number, cheque number, date and amount. Such information are crucial should you require to stop a payment or to check if there is an unauthorized withdrawal.

A cheque is valid only when filled in with correct details including the date, name of the payee, amount specified in words and figures and duly signed by the account holder. A cheque is a sensitive and an important document for your banking purposes, hence should be kept safe. You should sign a cheque only when you are ready to issue it. This is to prevent the unauthorized use of your cheques in the unfortunate event of losing your chequebook in which case, pre-signing your cheques would ease unauthorized usage of your cheques and would amount to carelessness on your part as a customer.

Click here to read more on how you can protect yourself from cheque frauds.

Watch video to learn how to fill out a cheque.

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