If you are someone who is looking to quickly learn how to write checks, this article is for you. To get started you need to order personal checks online or get it from the bank.
It’s best to have a checkbook open in front of you while reading this article. We promise it will not take more than 5 minutes to learn everything you need to know about writing checks in a way that you will never forget.
Let’s just jump right into it.
Parts of a Bank Check
- Check Number
- Microprint – Security Feature
- Account Number with the Bank
- Routing Number
- Name and Address of the Account Holder
- Name and Branch Address of the Bank
- Padlock Sign – Security Feature
- Name of the Payee
- Amount of Money in Numbers
Different countries have different date formats. In the United States, it’s (MM/DD/YYYY), which means the month goes first followed by date and year. Most checks, if not all, have the format written underneath the boxes to avoid confusion.
The date of the check should ideally be the day the check is written. Banks honor checks that have previous dates but they can never clear check that has a date that’s yet to come.
Writing a check with a future date is called postdating and the checks themselves are called postdated checks.
Check number helps identify the individual check pages written by a particular account holder. For example, if you want to enquire about a particular check payment you can give the bank executives the check number and they will know exactly what payment you are talking about.
Every single check leaf has check number written twice (top-right corner and bottom-left corner) and it’s usually a 3-digit number. The check numbers are written in the bottom and the top should be identical.
“MP” stands for Micro Print. This is a simple security technology that involves printing a line of text in a very small font. The font size of the text line is so small that it cannot be duplicated by regular printer-scanner setup.
Account Number with the Bank
Printed at the bottom of the check is your account number with the bank. This is usually printed using magnetic ink and has special characters next to it. This provides an essential piece of information as it tells the bank from which account they need to take the money out. If you are confused between routing number and account number, know that account numbers always end with the “⑈” symbol.
Routing numbers are assigned to individual banks so that they can be identified by other banks when processing checks. Also known as ABA numbers these numbers are bordered by the “⑆” symbol.
Name and Address of the Account Holder
Name and address of the account holder are printed on the top-left corner of the check. This address is linked to the account number.
Name and Branch Address of the Bank
The name of the bank and the address of the branch is usually printed below the amounts space.
The padlock sign is not a security feature in itself. Instead, it denotes that the check utilizes 3 or more security measures to keep it safe from check fraud. The padlock sign is printed according to the guidelines by CPSA (Check Payment Systems Association) and it indicates that the check is protected against counterfeiting and alterations.
The memo is a small space for writing a note. For example, if you are writing a check to pay for a shipment of gloves. You can write “shipment of gloves” in the memo. You can even write an invoice number or an order number to suit your business needs. This helps in tracking your payments and it’s totally up to you what you want to write in the memo section.
Name of the Payee
The payee is the person or business receiving the payment. Spelling matters when writing the payee details. Banks can and they usually do void checks with spelling errors.
Amount of Money in Numbers
This one is pretty self-explanatory. In the box, just write the amount you want to transfer to the payee in numerics. You also need to write the amount in words in the section just below the payee space.
That’s it. Now you know pretty much everything about writing checks.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.