Everything you need to know about checks

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Checks are a very popular means of payment. It is used to pay all kinds of things: bills, purchases, rent or others, you can also deposit a check on your account. The law prohibits paying in cash for anything having a value greater than € 3,000. This is why when the amount is high, it is better to pay by check.

Why use a check

Unlike payment in cash, the check allows you to keep track of it. Also here the payment is often important. And so it makes it possible to prove payment as soon as there is no invoice. On the other hand, the debited account must always be funded when a customer issues a check, indeed a bad check can lead to a banking prohibition and costs following non-payment.


Whoever writes the check and pays the sum is the issuer. Whoever collects the money is the beneficiary.

The check must respect the following rules of form:

There must be no blank before or after the entry of the sum

The sum must be entered in figures and letters. If the entries do not match, the amount in words is retained.

The name of the beneficiary must be legible

The signature must conform to the model known by the banking establishment

The checks onlinemust be dated the day it is written. If it is post-dated, the issuer incurs a fine equal to 6% of the amount of the check, with a minimum of € 0.75.

A merchant may require the issuer to present one or two pieces of identity with a photograph (when the sum to be paid exceeds a certain threshold, for example).


The validity period of a check is 1 year and 8 days. Beyond this period, his beneficiary can no longer cash it in his bank account.

To be able to cash the sum of the check, its beneficiary must endorse it, that is to say sign it on the back, and deliver it to a bank before this deadline.

The issuer’s account is debited when the check is cashed.

Payment abroad

You can use your euro checkbook in euro area countries only if the merchant accepts it.

Your banking institution may charge you fees.

These fees vary from one establishment to another.

Using advice

When issuing a check, it is mandatory to note the date of issue on it. This date is very important because it will determine what happens next.

When the check is debited from your account, the bank will take into account the date on which the check was issued and if the account was at that time not funded (two days before receiving the payroll for example at the end of the month) the customer may pay fees due to non-funding of the account.

In many countries, checks are free, however some banks charge for the use of checks, while others charge for sending a checkbook to your home more than the current postage rates.