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What Is a Check?

A check (cheque in British English) is a piece of paper that demands that money be paid. In some countries, the check might be made from another material, but it is usually printed out on paper. There are different kinds of checks, but in general, a bank provides checks to holders of checking accounts (also called current accounts). The checking account holder is also called the drawer. The drawer is the person who writes out the check to another person who is supposed to receive the payment. The person who receives the payment is called the payee.

A check contains basic information such as the issuing bank, the issuing branch, the check number, the checking account number, and the checking account holder. These pieces of information are usually printed out on the check. The drawer has to fill in other pieces of information such as the payee, the amount (both in words and in numbers), and the date. The drawer also has to affix his signature on the check for it to be valid. The payee may be another individual or an organization.

It is important that the details in the check are accurate. For example, the name of the payee must be exactly the same as the information written in the identification card. Otherwise, the bank may refuse to pay on the check. More so, erasures on the check must be avoided. If there are erasures, the drawer has to sign beside the erasure in order for the check to be considered valid.

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