Checks, to some, may be an outdated way of completing transactions, especially with the numerous online options. But, to some, if not most, signing that piece of paper and handing it to a bank teller still makes complete sense. It may, however, not be easy if you are a busy person. For whatever reason, you may not have the time to get it to your bank cashier in time or at all. The question is, can someone deposit a check on your behalf, and if possible, is it safe?
It is possible to deposit a check on someone’s behalf. You only need to ensure that the check bears the payee’s authentic signature or it has the phrase’ ‘to deposit only.’ We, however, recommend that for your own financial security, you (the payee of the check) make an effort to deposit the check by yourself, especially when huge sums are involved. Depositing a check-in person also eliminates chances of mistakes such as the misspelling of names or account details.
Doing this seems difficult for some people, particularly for the first-timers. The entire process may make you nervous. This article gives you some quick tips on how you can gain confidence, pass every ‘first-time’ huddle, whether you are doing it for yourself or on someone’s behalf.
Have The Payee Fill the Deposit Slip
The best and simplest method to deposit a check for someone is to fill in their details in the deposit slip. While on this, ensure that they write their details appropriately.
Doing this leaves you with the simple task of just delivering the tiny piece of paper to the teller. Also, it eliminates the chances of inaccuracies and discrepancies with the payee’s information.
It is important to note that you will still need to collect a receipt from the teller even with this method. It confirms that you deposited the money correctly and can act as a reference point in any future disputes.
Go the For Deposit Only Route
The payee can always write the words, ‘For Deposit Only’ if they are unable, for whatever reasons, to fill in the deposit slip. These words should be written in the endorsement area, accompanied by the account number the payee would want to transfer the subject sums.
The method, also known as the restrictive endorsement, functions like the deposit slip method and leaves limited room for error. You won’t encounter any restrictions from the bank as long as you have the details in the correct place.
There is also the less secure option where the payee only writes, ‘For Deposit Only’ in the endorsement area without the account number. You need to ensure that the account holder’s name and the payee’s name match up.
Get the Payee’s Signature
This is the least secure method of all the three methods we talked about in this article. The insecurity part comes in because the signature makes this a bank endorsement; the person depositing the check can choose to either deposit it or cash it. Or, if the check gets lost and lands in the wrong hand, it gives the holder all the freedom to inflict grave financial damages.
The method requires the utmost level of trust between the payee and the person they are sending to make the deposit. And, they should do everything possible to ensure that the piece of paper doesn’t get stolen.
Read Also: Can I Deposit a Check at an ATM?
Other Things to Note When Depositing a Check
Apart from the three methods discussed above, these tips will help you next time you are depositing a check on behalf of someone.
You Can Deposit a Check Without an Endorsement
It is impossible to deposit a check without an endorsement if you are not the payee or doing it on behalf of someone else.
If the check is yours, you can still deposit a check that hasn’t been endorsed, but only if it is made out to you. Some banks may also accept a not-endorsed check if they are of significant amounts and you have the necessary identification.
However, it is important to note that your bank may impose a few unusual terms on such transactions. For instance, the waiting period before withdrawal from the account the payment is made to may be longer than usual.
You Cannot Put the Funds in Your Account When Depositing a Check On Someone’s Behalf
This is why the third method we discussed above is so insecure. Depositing the funds in your own account if the check is not yours results in check fraud, a serious offense. You should never sign the check and transfer the funds in your account if it doesn’t have your name in it.
In most cases, the payee trusts the people they send to transact on their behalf, which should be a problem.
However, there are instances when checks are stolen or get lost and land in the wrong hands. As a payee or the trusted holder of a blank-endorsed check, never expose your checks to others. Always have your checks locked somewhere safe until you are ready to deposit them.
You Can Always Track the Progress After Depositing Your Check
It is important to keep a deposit receipt because of two things, it shows proof of the transaction and helps you track when your funds are available. The receipt breaks it down even, indicating the funds available soonest and those subject to deposit holds.
If your bank places a hold on your deposit, you will get a notification via mail, email, mobile deposit, or ATM.
One reason online transactions are increasing in popularity is the security that comes with them. However, if you still trust the physical way of writing, depositing, and cashing checks, then you have to be extra cautious. The best way to do this is to deposit the check-in person unless you are totally incapable of making it. It is possible to send someone else to do it on your behalf, but you must take extra precautions and use the tips above. In all these, you also need to keep receipts for reference and to track the progress.