Checks are a secure way to pay or get paid, and that hasn’t changed for ages. Getting a check for your services is still a good way to go. However, before you can start getting paid this way, it’s important that you are familiar with different types of checks, otherwise, you might get scammed or simply won’t be able to receive money for your product or service.
The most common types of checks are certified checks and cashier’s checks. If you don’t have a clue what the difference is, now is the time to find out. Here’s a crash course on the most common types of checks.
What Is a Certified Check?
So what does a certified check look like, and what is it essentially? This type of check is signed by the account holder and verified, or certified by the bank. The check itself is filled like any other check. However, to verify it, you’ll need to go to the bank and do it on the spot. You can’t do it over the phone. Instead, you have to visit a bank, talk to a bank clerk, and get it certified. Once the bank confirms that you have an account and that the amount written on the check is available on your account, they’ll make it valid and certify it. In most cases, they’ll freeze the amount. This way, you can spend the remaining money from your balance freely. The money from your account will go to the recipient’s account once they draw it. Certain fees may apply when verifying the check, so it’s best to call the bank first and make sure you have all the info, before actually going to the bank.
How to Get a Certified Check?
Now that you know what is a certified check, it’s time to find out how to get one. The only way to get a certified check is to visit a bank. So you actually need to be physically present in the bank and sign it on the spot. You can’t do it over the phone or by any other service (app, website, etc.)
Although you can go directly to your bank and ask to certify a check, it’s best to call them first. You can’t get the check over the phone. You can, however, find out what the requirements are for filling one.
In most cases, you’ll only need an ID, but every bank has a different policy, so it’s best to call them first to prepare the necessary documentation. Once you’ve found out the requirements for getting a certified check, go to a bank, and talk to a clerk.
You’ll need to provide your account number, the amount you want on the check, the name of the recipient, and note that you want to include (if any.) From there on, the bank will fill out the rest. They’ll make sure that you actually have an account, and of course, that the amount you mentioned is available on your balance.
The clerk will ask for you to sign it before he can add the bank’s stamp to certify it officially. Once this is done, your certified check will be ready for sending to whoever the recipient is.
What Is a Cashier’s Check?
Instead of being signed by the account holder and stamped by the bank, the cashier’s check is signed by the bank as well. Another huge difference between a cashier’s check and a certified check is that the money will be sent from the bank’s account instead of yours.
The procedure is more or less the same as with a certified check. You go to a bank, ask for a cashier’s check, then pay the amount you want the check to hold. The bank holds the money, and when the recipient wants to draw it, they’ll transfer it. So from the moment you sign it, the money will be in the bank.
You can send the check to the recipient, and that’s that. Your account isn’t associated with it, and no additional fees will be charged.
How to Get a Cashier’s Check
To get one, you can go to a bank, or buy it on another verified location. You’ll need to provide your ID, the recipient’s name, and specify the amount you want the check to hold. Once you pay the amount, the money will be safely stored on the bank’s account. They will sign it, put their official stamp on it and return it to you. From there on, you can send it to the recipient.
Cashier’s Check vs. Certified Check
You’re probably wondering what’s better. Well, both types of checks are considered a secure way to pay someone for rendered services. They provide peace of mind to both parties as the money is stored in the bank. Whether frozen, separated from your account, or on the bank’s account, the recipient will be able to draw the money safely.
One drawback that comes with certified checks is that you will pay a small fee. The amount varies but is usually between $5 and $15. Another drawback is that you can’t stop the payment. Once the bank certifies the check, the amount won’t be available on your balance anymore.
Be Mindful of Frauds
If you’re the one writing the check, you have nothing to fear. However, if you receive a check from a person you don’t entirely trust, you might want to take precautions. In today’s world, technology allows us so many things. Unfortunately, one of them is forging money and checks.
Although it’s not an easy process, creating a fake check is possible. The amount of time and energy forgers invest in making fraudulent checks is surreal. They’ll need to copy the official stamp from the bank, logo, as well as other details that these checks feature. Then there’s the watermark, the check number, the bank’s fractional ABA number, bank’s information, etc.
So if you’re the one receiving the check, you’ll need to make sure it’s real. You can feel the paper, the texture, check the print, logo, stamp, and other details to get a sense if it’s real or fake. However, the best way to find out if the check is valid is to contact the bank. Also, it’s preferable that you actually go to the bank, instead of calling them and explaining the issue. It’s always better to do these things in person than over the phone. Once you talk to a clerk and present them the check, they’ll make sure that the account exists, and that the amount is stored on account holder’s or bank’s account.
If you want more info on how to get a check, fill it, and what is the requirement for each type, be sure to visit our website. You will find a variety of useful information pertaining to every aspect of issuing checks and check issuing services in our blog section.