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Coronavirus pandemic: how do I pay in a cheque?

Coronavirus pandemic: how do I pay in a cheque?
Image source: Getty Images


Need to pay in a cheque during the coronavirus lockdown? Not to worry – it’s still pretty easy. Here’s a rundown of the three main ways to do it. 

1. Pay in a cheque in person

You can visit your local bank or Post Office to pay in a cheque during lockdown

Visiting the bank

Many banks, like RBS and Santander, let you pay in cheques to personal accounts and savings accounts through self-service machines. Just visit the branch and a member of staff will point you in the right direction. 

Otherwise, you can always pay them in at the counter.  

However, be aware that opening hours will vary right now, and you should try to visit when it’s quiet to allow for social distancing.

Using the Post Office 

Post Offices are an essential service, so they’re still open in all tiers. Just check your local opening hours before your visit. To pay in a cheque at the Post Office:

  • Complete a paying-in slip (which you can find at the back of your cheque book or order from your bank).
  • At the Post Office, ask for a deposit envelope for your bank. For example, if you have an HSBC account, ask for an HSBC deposit envelope.
  • Make a note of your account number and sort code on the envelope, and hand it over.  

2. Pay in a cheque by post

While you can’t pay in cash by post, it’s fine to send in cheques this way. The procedure varies from bank to bank, though, so always double-check before you send. 

First, complete your paying-in slip. If you don’t have one at the back of your cheque book or you don’t have a paying-in book, you can order some from your bank. Some banks, like Santander, don’t need you to include a slip if you include your postcode, account number and sort code instead. 

Next, send the cheque to the right address – most banks have special addresses for receiving cheques by post.

It’s your responsibility to cover the postage costs, and you should always take a picture of the cheque before you send it.  

3. Pay in a cheque using your mobile

Yes, you can use your mobile to pay in cheques! Let’s break down how it works: 

  • Open your mobile banking app.
  • Find the option to pay in a cheque.
  • Enter the cheque amount and take a picture of it with your mobile camera. Be sure to take a picture of the front and back.
  • Submit the cheque, and that’s it done! 

There might be a limit on how many cheques you can pay in this way, so it’s best for single deposits.

One more thing: not all banks offer this feature yet, so double-check your banking app to see if it’s available. 

How long it takes for a cheque to clear

It depends on how you pay them in: 

  • In person at the bank by 3.30pm: the next working day 
  • Mobile app by 3.30pm: the next working day
  • Post Office: two working days 
  • By post: five working days

All that said, processing times can vary, so always check with your bank beforehand. 

Takeaway

While it’s okay to leave home for everyday banking, it’s best to stay home if you can. Where possible, use your mobile app or the post to pay in cheques during the coronavirus lockdown. If you must visit the bank or the Post Office, try to go when it’s quiet to avoid queueing. 

And remember, don’t wait until the last minute to pay in a cheque, especially if you’re relying on the money to pay bills. There’s always a chance it won’t clear in time, which could mean you miss your repayments. 

What next?

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