Have you ever heard the term counter check and wondered what is a counter check? It is simply a blank check without any personal information printed on it, but where do you find one and why would you want one in the first place?
What is a Counter Check?
You will find a counter check at the bank and will often need to ask the bank teller for one.
Once you receive one, you will notice that they are pretty plain.
Unlike regular checks or pre-printed checks, there is no name or address printed on it.
Also, it usually won’t have all of the security measures you find on your own checks.
This is a simple check that you can use to withdraw money from your checking account just as you would with a personal check.
The bank teller will provide you with one and then you will fill it out and give it back to them.
That’s why there isn’t a need for a lot of security measures on it.
This check is just offered as a convenience to a bank customer.
Also, these are similar to starter checks you receive when you open a bank account except starter checks have your bank account number on them, and counter checks don’t.
How Does the Bank Know You Are Writing the Check Against Your Account and Not Someone Else?
Since this check doesn’t have your name printed on it, how does the bank teller know you are who you say you are when presenting this check for cash?
Typically, they will match your signature to the signature they have on file.
When you open a bank account, you must sign documents.
These documents and your signature are scanned into the bank’s system.
They will keep this signature on file so when you present a paper check they can compare the two.
You might also be asked to show your driver’s license or some other state ID if the teller doesn’t know you personally.
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When Would You Use a Counter Check?
If you have your own printed official checks why would you use the bank’s check?
There are a couple of times it makes sense.
First, if you are out without your checkbook or debit card, you might need to withdraw some cash and this is an easy way to do so without a personal check.
The second reason is you didn’t realize you were out of checks.
Maybe you thought you had another batch of checks available to you, but you were wrong.
Now you will need to order checks and that can take a couple of weeks or even longer to receive a shipment of checks.
It’s also nice that these bank checks are free to use and there is no printing fee associated with them.
Of course, you can really only use them to receive cash from your bank account.
You can’t use them as a form of payment for someone else.
That’s why it is a good idea to have preprinted checks available in case you need to write a check to someone else.
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To Sum it All Up:
While it is true that in today’s world people tend not to use a handwritten check of any kind and instead opt to use their debit card or electronic checks, they still come in handy. And if you want to take cash out of your account and you don’t have a check or your debit card handy, this is one way you can do so for free and it is simple to do – as long as the bank is open.