If I ask you how to write a cheque? the answer would probably be Writing a cheque is the easiest thing to do, right? For many people, it’s a routine task. But there are many who shy away from asking questions like, how to write a cheque? where to sign on the cheque?
This is a comprehensive study of do’s and don’ts from tearing a cheque leaf from a book to the final cheque signature and everything in between.
But many times people end up writing cheques loosely, which leads to major fraud and cheating. Many such events are recorded by the banks on a routine basis!
This article will help you keep the necessary precautions and avoid making all the major mistakes while writing a cheque. Let’s learn how to write a cheque in India!
Table of Contents
1. Writing the name properly in a cheque.
2. Filling the monetary amount properly.
3. Correct way to sign the cheque.
4. Filling the date in the right way.
5. No overwriting, scribbling or erasing/cutting anything to rewrite.
I.Let’s understand the Anatomy of a Cheque
Have you wondered HOW the cheques actually get processed? What all information does a cheque consists of, to make it process faster to the beneficiary?
Apart from the obvious information such as the name of the person you would like to make a payment, cheque signature, the amount of money in words and in numbers, and the date you wish to issue the cheque. Below is the information a typical cheque usually consists of:
- MICR Code: It is a 9 digit Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Code, it consists of unique characters printed on the cheque and enables faster processing.
- IFSC Code: It is an 11 digit alphanumeric code, used for the online transaction.
- Cheque number: It is a 6-digit number useful in identifying a cheque.
- Account number: It consists of the account number of the issuer of cheque.
A dummy cheque shown below gives the description of everything you see on a cheque.
II.The 5-Steps checklist while writing your Cheque
1. Writing the name properly in a Cheque
Below are the guidelines to write a name in the cheque in a proper way:
- If the cheque is written for an individual it is essential to include their full name with correct spelling and without long spaces. Long spaces may lead to major frauds.For example, Let’s say you are issuing a cheque to “HARI M.” , but by putting a long space between “HARI” and “M.”, the name becomes: “HARI M” . One can add an additional “S” or “SH” after “HARI” and the name will become “HARIS M.”, or “HARISH M.” respectively and cheque can easily be misused.Therefore, it’s a good practice to leave a smallest space between the names, so that, it become impossible to add any further alphabets.
Can we write Mr. on a cheque? Yes we can, but it is not necessary to do so, but when you do, please ensure to not leave many gaps between Mr. and name, as it will leave room for mal practice.
- If the beneficiary is a company, then you must get the correct information regarding the name to which the cheque is to be issued, it may not be similar to its displayed name!!
Also, it is advisable to mention their full name and not use its acronym, unless clearly given instruction from the beneficiary.
- After writing a name add a RUNNING LINE, as a security to prevent any type of malpractice or exploitation with the cheque.
- You must ensure that the cheque you are writing to somebody should go to the same person’s Bank Account. You can do this by putting a double cross line on the top left corner and mentioning “A/C Payee”, and not by simply putting a double-cross line, without mentioning “A/C Payee”, as discussed in detail in the next section.
The correct way to cross the Cheque: Account Payee Cheque vs. simply Crossed Cheque
A simply crossed cheque, as shown above, can be encashed by the payee only by depositing it in his/her bank account. BUT, the problem with a crossed cheque is given below:
- a payee is free to make further endorsements.
- → For example, if the cheque is written in the name of Mr. A. He can endorse it to Mr. B, by writing and signing at the back of the cheque leaf. And, Mr. B can further endorse it to Mr. C, by writing and signing at the back of the cheque leaf.
- If the cheque is dishonoured in the above example, then Mr. C can sue Mr. B and Mr. B can sue Mr. A. And, Mr. A can further sue the drawer of the cheque. So, it is very risky.
Therefore, merely by crossing the cheque, payment is not made to PAYEE ONLY! The payee can further endorse or cash it according to his wish.
Account payee cheques:
In the Cheque shown above, “A/C Payee” is written between 2 crossed lines. It ensures that the cheque will be encashed by depositing to payee account. This way, the cheque cannot be endorsed to anybody by a payee. And, it is the right way to cross the cheque.
The practice of writing “A/C Payee” cheques significantly protects the misuse of the cheque. And, it provides an added layer of security in the cheque transaction.
In case the cheque is not a crossing cheque, cancel Bearer.
An ideally written cheque is shown below:
2. How to Fill the monetary amount properly
There are 4 points to keep in mind while filling up the amount details in a cheque:
- After writing amount in words, always write the word ‘ONLY’.
- In case there are paisa to be paid along with rupees, put a ‘slash’ as a separation.
- Do not leave any space while writing the amounts in words as well as in numbers.
- After writing the amount in numbers, put a slash with a hyphen (/-), and do not forget to strike out the empty space, as shown in the image below:
3.Rules to follow before signing a cheque.
Signature plays a crucial role in Cheque transactions. Though nowadays Cheques come with our printed details such as name, address and so on.
Cheque Signatures are still counted useful to verify the identity of an issuer.
Keep your cheque signature clear and place it properly in a blank space as above “Authorized Signatory” as shown:
4. Filling the Date in the right way
There are 3 points to consider while writing a date in your cheque:
- A cheque without a date will not be processed by the bank and it will get bounced.
- A wrongly written date such as a wrong month or year and especially if the date is past 3 months, may lead the cheque to get Dishonoured.
- If you do not have sufficient balance in your account while your cheque is under the process of getting cleared, it will get bounced.
Keeping the above factors in mind, the date is supposed to be mentioned in your cheque.
5. No overwriting, scribbling or erasing/cutting anything to rewrite
If any kind of overwriting, scribbling or cutting happens in a cheque preparation process. It is always a good practice to cancel the existing cheque and write a fresh cheque carefully.
III.General safety measures to be taken in your Cheque
- Important printed information such as MICR code & band, A/C number, IFSC code, and cheque number must be without any distortion.
- Never submit or drop a cheque without ensuring the correct details of Date, Payee name,cheque signature, Amount of Cheque in words and Numbers with precaution.
- It is a good practice to stick a transparent strip of cello tape on the name and amount written on the cheque, in order to keep them safe for any illegal changes.
- Keep the record of all the cheques used for payment purpose by noting down Cheque numbers or keeping a snapshot of a cheque before submitting it.
- In case, payments to be made towards bills for utilities, give the information such as Credit Card number, Mobile number, connection number at the reverse side of the cheque.
- As a safety measure, many of you would have wondered is it compulsory to sign at the back of a cheque? The answer is, it is called ENDORSEMENT and not necessary unless a third party is involved.
- Destroy all overwritten, folded or disfigured cheques.
IV.Frequently asked questions on Cheques.
1. How long does it takes for a cheque to get cleared?
In India, it normally takes 2-3 working days. But clearance time may exceed in few cases.
Nowadays we have Cheque Truncation System (CTS), it makes the cheque clearance process digital and faster.
2. How to Stop Payment on a Cheque?
You should write a letter to the bank clearly mentioning all necessary details regarding your cheque, so that your cheque can be spotted and clearing process may stop.
3. How to write a cheque that prevents forgery?
Keep all the safety measures described in this post, such as writing the name and amount (in words and in digits) properly. Give smallest possible spaces while writing name and amount in words.
And, always write the word ‘only’ after mentioning the amount in words.
4. When can a bank dishonuor or not process your cheque?
- If there is insufficient balance in your account, while your cheque is getting cleared!
- If the date mentioned in your cheque is more than 3 months old, it will be treated as an outdated cheque.
- If your signature doesn’t match.
- If your cheque is overwritten and information provided by you is unclear and cluttered.
- If the details in your cheque are not filled properly!
Always cross –check your cheque before submitting it to the bank.
5. Can I write a cheque in 2 different handwritings or 2 different inks?
As long as information provided by you is clearly defined and your signature is accurate, there won’t be any problem related to different inks or handwritings.
6. While writing a cheque amount in words, can I write ‘Nine Zero Zero Zero’ instead of Nine Thousand?
7. If I’m writing a cheque to any firm, is it mandatory to write M/S along with the name of the firm?
Not required. It is not mandatory. It is optional.
8.How to write paisa in cheque?
As we write ‘RS’ for rupees, paisa is denoted as P. Rs.50.25 is represented as 50.25p, also don’t forget to mention paisa in writing as fifty rupees and twenty-five paisa.
Hope you have found better clarity in the rules and guidelines to be followed before writing cheques. After taking the above safety measures your cheque will work well.
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