Who gets a cheque anymore?

Unless you are receiving a birthday gift from your 90-year-old grandmother, many modern-day consumers rarely utilize cheques. It’s all about direct deposits, PayPal transfers, or even bitcoin.

This is why you should cut people some slack if they don’t know how to properly cash a cheque. For some, it’s a generational thing. For others, it’s because they have never received this piece of paper.

Think of this way: When was the last time you used a deposit slip at a bank? Yeah, we thought so!

Here are five things to know if you have never cashed a cheque before:

1. Always Sign the Cheque in the Back

When you want to access the cash almost immediately, then you need to do something called “endorse.”

To endorse a cheque, you simply sign the cheque on the top of the back under the part where it states “recipient’s signature.” Without signing it, you might not receive the cash as quickly as you want.

A quick signature and you get your money right away.

2. Cash a Cheque a Financial Institution

If you maintain a bank account anywhere – surprisingly, five to 10 percent of Canadians don’t – then you would be better suited to cash a cheque at your financial institution. Once you head to the teller, or your ATM, you can cash the cheque without having to pay any fees, which is common if you don’t use a bank or credit union, something that eats away at your earnings.

3. No Bank Account? Use Branch on Cheque

Again, a considerable number of Canadian consumers do not have a bank account, typically immigrants, young people, or the perpetually unemployed.

So, if you do not maintain one, then that is OK.

Take a look on the cheque and find out where the cheque originated from. Does the sender use TD Bank? Royal Bank of Canada? Bank of Montreal?

Once you find out, then head over to that branch and cash the cheque.

It makes a whole lot easier.

4. You Might Need Identification

When you cash a cheque not at your financial institution, then you might need to provide identification, like an Ontario Photo ID card, a driver’s license, or passport (not a health card). This is standard protocol.

As long as your identification contains your name, your address, and your photo, then you’re good to go.

5. Fees or No Fees – It Depends

Should you use a bank – yours or the sender’s – then you will not pay any fees, unless it is an NSF (non-sufficient funds). However, if you’re using a payday loan store, a cheque cashing service, a supermarket, or any other unconventional financial service, then you will pay a fee.

The amount of the fee does vary place to place – some governments have instituted limits and regulations.

Whatever the case might be, you need to be prepared that a portion of the funds will be eaten away.

Let’s face it: A lot of today’s generation of consumers rarely deposit cheques. And, if they do, then they’re using mobile depositing (snapping a picture and sending it through a mobile application). For the most part, young people are using direct deposit to receive money, either from their employer or from the government.

Should you have the unfortunate circumstance of getting a cheque, and you’re unaware as to how to cash it in, then you are now properly prepared to handle the menial task, whether you have a bank account or you need to use a cheque cashing service.

Be warned: You may need to travel to a brick-and-mortar branch and stand in line. A wild concept, we know!

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