One of the most common ways to pay money to someone is through cheque’s. Cheque’s give you the flexibility to make payments to someone at some later date (post dated cheque) by writing it now at this moment. Writing a cheque seems to be such a simple task, but do you know that there are many weak links in writing cheques which can create a big problem for you.
If you are not careful while writing a cheque, it can be misused by someone else and potential of monitory loss to you along with unwanted headache. Today’s generation is very causal when it comes to writing the cheques. In this article, I will cover 6 must know points which you should always practice writing the cheque’s . You can see these 6 points as a step by step recipe to write cheques. Lets see them one by one
1. Do not leave spaces between words or numbers
Its a no-brainier. When you write numbers and words in the cheque, be it Name or amount, never leave a space or gaps between them, because that gives a chance to add some alphabet or number and change the whole cheque.
Imagine you issue a cheque to “ANKIT SHARMA” , but put sufficient space between “ANKIT” and “SHARMA” and it looks like “ANKIT SHARMA” . One can add an additional “A” after “ANKIT” and the name can become “ANKITA SHARMA” . However if you just leave exact one small space between “ANKIT” and “SHARMA” , its going to be tough to add another alphabet in between.
2. Make sure you cross the cheque saying “A/C Payee”
If you are going to pay to some person and want to force that the payment should go to the same person bank account, in that case, you should be putting a double cross line on the left-top corner of cheque and write “A/C Payee” or “Account Payee“, which ensures that the money will get credited only to a bank account and not be handed over to someone as CASH over the counter.
A lot of people forget to do this, and if the cheque is misplaced or lost, someone can pose himself as the target person and take the money from bank, I hope you know how easy it is to steal someone’s identity and misuse the documents.
3. Add a line after the name and amount till the end
I recently learned this point, where you add a running line like —————————- after the name and the amount in the cheque, which ensures that one cant add anything after the name and amount and misuse it .
4. Cancel the word “Bearer”
If you look at your cheque closely, in the “Pay” section, there is space for the name and then on the right corner it ends with “Or Bearer” , which means that either the person whose name is written in the cheque or anyone else who is bearing the cheque can encash it , provided the “A/C Payee” is added to cheque as mentioned in 2nd point above. So you should always cancel the word “Bearer” from the cheque, unless you really want it. This ensures additional safety of the cheque.
5. Add a sign of “/-” after the amount”
Now this might sound so small, but this has lots of wisdom inside this simple trick . There is huge difference between Rs 37,000 and Rs 37,000/- . In first option of Rs 37,000 , you can add more numbers at the end and can make it Rs 37,00000 if there is enough space ahead of it, but in case of Rs 37,000/- , You cant do anything . Below is a simple example of how it can be misused.
6. Keep the details of Cheque’s issued, even if it sounds boring !
And finally, when you give a cheque to someone, write down the cheque number, account name, amount and the date when it was issued or dated, because you might need this information incase you want to cancel the cheque. A lot of times, it happens that you need to cancel the payment, but do not remember the details. Having recorded this information would be handy at times and will help you to act faster.
ICICI Bank also has a small tutorial on correct way of writing cheque’s, which I have added below, just have a look at it and you should understand most of the things.
Some more tips (From Readers Inputs in Comments section)
- Rishi Bhatia says – “Generally, while giving a cheque, i also make a point to use a cello tape on the name and amount, so that no one can change these”
- Jitendra says – “In the present era of mobile phones, when most of us have camera enabled cell phone, it is better idea to get a snapshot of Cheque before handing over. This way all your details will be maintained.”
Use these 6 things everytime you issue a cheque
Next time you write a cheque, just make sure you have done all these 6 things, and the chances of misuse of your cheque will be close to ZERO because each and every step add a security layer. Let me know if you have any tips on writing cheque in correct manner or any real life experience on this issue.