About Your Personal Cheque Facility

How long does it take to clear a cheque?

When you deposit a cheque to your credit union account it will usually take 3 working days to clear, but may take longer in some cases. Please note that you will not be able to withdraw any of the proceeds of a cheque until it is cleared.

Also, when depositing the cheque, you can ask for a special clearance on the cheque. When you do, we will tell you how long it will take to specially clear and the amount of any special clearance fee.

Crossing a cheque, not negotiable or account payee only

If you cross a cheque, it is a direction to us to pay the cheque into an account at a bank or other financial institution. A crossing does not actually prevent the cheque being negotiated or transferred to a third party before presentation to a bank or financial institution for payment.

Crossing a cheque means drawing 2 lines clearly across the face of the cheque as shown above. When you cross a cheque or add the words ‘not negotiable’ between the crossing you may be able to protect yourself, but not always, against theft or fraud. This crossing sometimes serves as a warning to the collecting financial institution, if there are other special circumstances that it should inquire if its customer has good title to the cheque.

When you add the words account payee only between these lines you are saying that only the named person can collect the proceeds of the cheque. These words may give you better protection against theft or fraud. It would be prudent for the collecting financial institution to make inquiries of the customer paying the cheque in, if the customer is not the payee of the cheque.

Deleting ‘or bearer’ on the Cheque

Your pre-printed cheque forms have the words ‘or bearer’ after the space where you write the name of the person to whom you are paying the cheque. The cheque is a ‘bearer’ cheque. If you cross out the words ‘or bearer’ and do not add the words ‘or order’, the cheque is still a bearer cheque. You can give yourself more protection against theft or fraud by crossing out the words ‘or bearer’ and adding the words ‘or order’.

How Do I Stop Payment on a Cheque?

You can stop payment on a cheque by:

  • Ringing us with sufficient particulars to identify the cheque; we may insist on written confirmation; or
  • Writing to us, again, with sufficient particulars to identify the cheque.

You must, of course, do this before we have paid the cheque. A dishonour fee will be charged should the cheque subsequently be presented.

What Do I Do to Reduce the Risk of Forgery?

When filling in a cheque:

  • Start the name of the person to whom you are paying the cheque as close as possible to the word ‘Pay’;
  • Draw a line from the end of the person’s name to the beginning of the printed words ‘or bearer’;
  • Start the amount in words with a capital letter as close as possible to the words ‘The sum of’ and do not leave blank spaces large enough for any other words to be inserted; also
  • Add the word ‘only’ after the amount in words;
  • Draw a line from the end of the amount in words to the printed ‘$’;
  • Start the amount in numbers close after the printed ‘$’ and
  • Avoid any spaces between the numbers; and
  • Always add a stop ‘.’ or dash ‘-‘ to show where the dollars end and the cents begin and, if there are no cents, always write ‘.00’ or ‘-00’ to prevent insertion of more numbers to the dollar figure.

When Can We Dishonour or Not Pay on Your Cheque?

We can dishonour your cheque or not pay on it if:

  • You have insufficient funds or available credit in your account to cover the cheque;
  • You have not drawn up the cheque clearly so we are unsure what you want to do;
  • The cheque is ‘stale’, that is, the date of the cheque is more than 15 months ago;
  • We have notice of your death or mental incapacity; or
  • The signature differs from that registered.


To apply for a cheque facility, please use our online general enquiry form


If you have any questions, please contact us