Transferring money from one person to another has never been simpler than in the twenty-first century. With the advancement of technology and more people becoming financially savvy, there have been numerous ways to transfer money from one person to another.
Just imagine how convenient it would be to avoid the hassle of first depositing a check into your bank account before transferring the money to someone else. Thanks to third-party checks, you can skip the back and forth by simply signing the check issued to you over to another person for direct cashing.
Endorsing a check written to you to a third party is pretty straightforward. This guide will take you through what third-party checks are, where you can cash them, and the steps required to endorse a check to a third party.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Third-Party Check?
A third-party check is similar to a regular two-party check but with a single exception. Unlike the two-party check, which involves a person writing the check, and the person the check is written to (payee), a third-party check takes it a step further.
In a third-party check, the payee hands over the check to another person or an organization, and the third person then cashes it. So, to put it simply, a third-party check is one that the original payee has signed over to someone else.
For instance, your sister receives her monthly paycheck at work but remembers she has to give you money for a new laptop. She then endorses her check to you so you can cash it in for money to buy a laptop. Once this is done, you become a third party in the money transfer process.
The convenience of transferring funds directly rather than first depositing them into your bank account is what makes a third-party check a popular payment option.
How To Endorse a Check to a Third Party
Believe it or not, the most important aspect of third-party checks is endorsement. This is because, with proper endorsement, cashing a third-party check will be way easier and less stressful.
To ensure a check is ready for cashing in a bank or third-party service, you must take the following steps to endorse the check to the recipient.
Communicate Your Plan With The Recipient
To avoid endorsing a check to someone who may not accept it, the original payee must first talk to your recipient to ensure they are comfortable with this payment option. Once they are on board, exchange your full names and contact information for the coming steps.
Verify That The Recipient’s Bank Will Accept The Check
Another important step to take before signing over a check is to confirm that the recipient’s bank will accept the check to ensure a smooth cashing process.
Because banks have different rules and requirements when it comes to endorsing a check to someone else, it is always a good idea to verify with the recipient’s bank first. While you’re at it, inquire about any additional identification your recipient may need to cash it out.
Correctly Sign Over The Check
This step should be carried out with utmost care and attention to avoid errors that could prevent the check from being cashed. To begin, sign the back of the check while keeping your signature in the top section of the endorsement area.
Next, write “Pay to the order of (recipient name)” on the second line beneath your signature. To avoid mistakes, write neatly and spell correctly, as the teller will double-check their identification before cashing it out.
Give Your Check to the Recipient
This is the final step in the endorsement process. Here, you hand over the check to the person who will either cash or deposit the check. Cashing the check should be a breeze if all the previous steps are detailedly followed.
Where Can I Cash A Third-Party Check?
If a check has been signed over to you, and you’re wondering where you can cash it, don’t worry; there are options. However, these are common places you can cash a third-party check.
While banks remain one of the most popular places to cash a third-party check, some do not accept it. To be safe and save time, you should first review your bank’s policies before attempting to cash such checks.
Here’s a list of some of the banks that provide third-party cashing services:
- Citi Bank
- Chase Bank
- Bank of America
- First National Bank
- Suntrust Bank
- HSBC Bank
- TD Bank
- Connexus Credit Union
- Trust Financial
However, to cash a third-party check, you must have an account with that particular bank. The same applies to being able to withdraw funds.
If you don’t want to go to a bank, ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are a viable option for cashing your check. However, cashing a check with an ATM is similar to cashing a check at a bank because an ATM also requires you to have a bank or a checking account.
Hence, It’s always a good idea to double-check with your bank before cashing a third-party check at an ATM. If you use an ATM that does not accept third-party checks, the check may be retained by the ATM until the bank mails it back to you.
Most banking apps nowadays allow you to cash a third-party check virtually whether you have a bank account or not. Some examples of apps that accept digital check deposits and online transfers include:
- Google Pay
Banks and credit unions have made it easier to transfer funds by accepting checks via their online banking systems. Some even permit you to do so without a bank account with them.
To use your mobile app to cash a third-party check, simply take a picture of the check and cash it virtually. Once this is done, hold it until the institution confirms that it has cleared.
Check Cashing Stores
While this attracts a fee, an advantage of using a check cashing store to cash a third-party check is that it allows people who do not have access to banking to cash a check without having a checking account.
Some popular check-cashing stores are:
- Cash ‘N’ Go
- The Check Cashing Store
- ACE Cash Express
Sometimes casing a third-party check using a check-cashing store might require in-person verification in which you and the original payee must be present to cash the check.
Although the process of cashing a third-party check is a viable option, especially when you don’t have a bank account, there are other alternatives to it. However, one thing you should constantly be on the lookout for is ensuring you get all your details correctly to avoid errors that may arise.