Using paper checks has become less and less common over time. This is due to the fact that most people prefer to manage their finances online. The majority of Americans are paid with direct deposit instead of a check. However, checks haven’t disappeared completely from the payment process. They are still used to provide banking information to set up electronic payments. A voided check means that it can’t be used to make payments, but it is still helpful in providing banking information.
What Is a Voided Check?
Checks have several pieces of banking information printed on them. They can tell an employer your banking company, routing number, and account number so that your employer can set up direct deposit to your checking account. However, you don’t just want to hand a blank check to somebody. You can prevent anyone from using the check to withdraw money from your account by voiding the check. A void check is a normal check that has the word “void” written across the front.
Reasons to Void a Check
Anytime you need to give your banking information to someone else is a great reason to use a voided check. While you could copy down your banking information by hand, it’s likely that a mistake will be made. Instead of having to write the account and routing numbers by hand, it’s much more reliable to use a voided check.
There are several situations that you may need to use a voided check. One of the most common reasons to void a check is to set up a direct deposit for your salary or wages. If your employer pays you electronically, then they need your banking information. Direct deposit can also be used for an employer to reimburse any expenses or for a government agency to deposit your benefit checks.
Another common reason to use a voided check is to set up automated loan payments for your mortgage or student loans. You can also set up automated bill payments for things like your utilities or credit cards. This helps you avoid having to go in each month and manually make these payments.
On the rare occasion that you are using a check to actually make a payment to someone, you might make a mistake when filling it out. In this case, you should void the check. A half-filled out check is dangerous to keep around because it could be used to make fraudulent withdrawals from your account. Voiding the check prevents anyone from using it.
How to Write a Voided Check
Knowing how to void a check is simple. Just take one of your checks and write the word “void” across the front. The letters should be big enough to cover the entire front of the check, but they shouldn’t cover the banking information at the bottom. Make sure to use a thick pen or marker so that it’s impossible to erase or cover the void mark. Never sign a voided check. This could make it easier for someone to access your account.
Then, just send the check or an image of the check to the company or individual who requested your banking information.
Make sure to keep records of the checks that you voided. It can be helpful to have the check number and date in case anything happens and you need to look back at your checking activity.
Provide Banking Information Without a Check
Many companies ask for a printed document like a check because there is a lower chance of error and fraud. However, if you don’t have any printed checks you’re probably wondering how to provide a voided check.
One way to provide printed banking information without a check is to ask your bank for a counter check. This is a check printed on demand at the counter. Counter checks typically come with a small fee.
Ask the person requesting your banking information if a deposit slip for your checking account is acceptable. Deposit slips have your routing number and bank account number so they should also work to set up direct deposit or automatic billing.
If you don’t have access to either of these two documents, see if your bank can provide you with an official letter that contains your routing and account numbers.
Voiding a Check Online
Voided checks are becoming less common as companies are shifting their information online. Many companies use payment management systems that allow you to enter your banking information online to set up direct deposits. It is also likely that you can set up automatic loan or bill payments online. Some companies even accept payments over the phone and just require you to share your routing and account numbers verbally.
Although you might be using checks less frequently, voided checks are still important for setting up a direct deposit and automatic loan or bill payments. Writing a voiding check is simple to do and allows companies to receive accurate and secure billing information.
After you’ve shared your billing information and received your direct deposit, you can use Check Stub Maker to create a pay stub with an accurate estimation of your earnings and tax deductions.