How to Cancel a Cheque

A cancelled cheque is nothing but a cheque which is crossed and has the term “Cancelled” written on it. It acts as a proof that you hold an account with the bank. For cancelling a cheque leaf, you need to draw two lines across the cheque and write the word “cancelled” between the two lines. Your signature is not required on a cancelled cheque. A cancelled cheque will have details such as your name, your account number, name and address of the concerned bank, and the cheque number.

You Can Cancel Your Issued Cheque in a Number of Ways

  • Via phone banking
  • Via online banking
  • Via nearest bank’s branch
  • Via Video Teller Machine (VTM)

The cheque cancellation method varies from bank to bank. You need to get in touch with your bank to know about the various options that are available to cancel a cheque.

How Do You Proceed When You Want to Cancel an Issued Cheque?

Find out the reason as to why you want to cancel your cheque

  • In order to cancel a cheque, you need to either be the owner of the relevant bank account or need to be legally authorised to do so.
  • You will need to mention a reason for which you’re raising a stop payment request. For example, you can raise a request to stop payment on a cheque you’ve issued when you realise your bank account doesn’t have sufficient funds so that the cheque payment gets cleared.
  • You will need the following details to proceed with your cheque cancellation:
    • Payee name (to whom the cheque was written to)
    • Your contact details (phone number mentioned on the cheque)
    • Your address details as mentioned on the cheque
    • Account number
    • Cheque number
    • Date on which the cheque was issued
    • The amount for which the cheque was issued

Note: Always consult with your bank regarding what specific information they would require in order to cancel your cheque. The bank may require more information in addition to the above details to cancel your cheque.

Payment status verification

  • Get in touch with your bank to confirm whether your cheque has been cleared or not.
  • You can verify the status of your cheque via online or phone banking.
  • You’ll not be able to proceed with cheque cancellation if your cheque receiver has already been paid.
  • Cheque cancellation is not a process which will come into effect instantly. Mostly, it occurs by the end of the next working day.
  • In case the cheque has not yet been cleared, you will not need any information from the cheque recipient in order to make a stop payment on your cheque.

Keep a tab on the fees and charges applicable

  • Irrespective of whether your cheque payment was stopped or not, you’ll be liable to pay a fee to the bank in order to use the stop payment service. This fee will vary depending on which bank you have the account with and also the type of the account you have.
  • Since a fee is applicable to raise a stop payment over a cheque which will be an additional cost for you, make sure you’ve got a legitimate reason to cancel an issued cheque.

Fees and Charges Applicable for Cancelling an Issued Cheque

A fee will be applicable when you want to cancel a cheque that has been issued already and you want to raise a stop payment on that cheque. The fees and charges applicable will depend on your bank and which kind of an account you hold.

Also, a stop payment fee will vary depending on the mode you’ve chosen to cancel your cheque as well as the currency applicable on the cheque you want to cancel. Take a look at the stop payment fee details for a few banks in Singapore:

Bank name Cheque charges for stop payment
  • Phone banking - Per cheque S$15 (maximum S$30)
  • Video Teller Machine (VTM) - Per cheque S$30 (maximum S$60)
  • At the bank’s branch - Per cheque S$30 (maximum S$60)
OCBC Via branch:
  • Singapore dollar cheques – Per cheque S$30

Via online/phone banking:

  • Singapore dollar cheques – Per cheque S$15

United States dollar cheques – US$30

Premier Banking customers: 2 cheques waived per customer/per month

UOB Per cheque S$30 for both Singapore dollar and foreign currency accounts
CIMB Singapore dollar (SGD) cheques
  • Per cheque S$30
  • Per range S$50

United States dollar (USD) cheques

  • Per cheque US$20
  • Per range US$30
Standard Chartered
  • S$40 per Singapore dollar cheque
  • US$30 per foreign currency cheque
  • S$30 per SGD cheque
  • US$30 per USD cheque
  • Via bank branch – Per cheque S$30
  • Via online/phone banking - Per cheque S$20

Steps on How to Deal With Your Bank Regarding Your Cheque Cancellation

Handling it in person

  • Gather all the information that is required in order to cancel your cheque.
  • Request for cancellation by contacting the bank either through phone or by visiting the bank’s branch in person.
  • Find out from the bank regarding the exact cheque cancellation charges that are applicable before you raise a request for cancellation just to ensure you’re in a position to pay the additional fees and charges.

Handling it online

  • If your bank allows you to raise a stop payment request online, consider using the online option itself since it is less time consuming and comes into effect faster versus when done in person. Also, the cost is lower when compared to visiting a branch.
  • When you do it via an online portal, in most cases, all the required information from your end will be attached to your bank account itself hence the entire process will be completed faster.
  • You can find an option to cancel your cheque online on the bank’s official website. In case you face difficulties in finding this option, enter the word “Stop payment” in the search box that is provided on the bank’s website. Later you can navigate to the “Request Stop Payment” page and enter details such as cheque number, cheque amount, payee details, cheque date, and any other additional details the bank needs to go ahead with your cheque cancellation request.

Be aware of the timeline

  • Make sure you know when your stop payment request will come into effect.
  • The request can go live immediately, or in less than 24 hours, or by the end of the following business day.
  • It will vary depending on your bank as well as when you raised the request.
  • Also, it is important for you to know how long a stop payment order will stay in effect.
  • Most financial institutions will remove the details of stop payments from their system post 6 months. This will vary from bank to bank.
  • You might have to raise a new stop payment request if required post this time period.

Make arrangements to make a payment to your payee

  • Post your cheque cancellation, you’ll need to make alternative arrangements to make a payment to your payee.
  • You can probably consider requesting your bank to return your cheque. This is because a stop payment order will not be in effect forever. You can avoid the hassle of raising a new stop payment order in the future again.
  • In case you want to retain a returned cheque for documentation purposes ensure you void the cheque (Write “VOID” in bold letters across the cheque leaf). A voided cheque can never be deposited or encashed.
  • In case you don’t intend to keep the cheque even for tracking purposes, make sure you tear the cheque. Do not consider throwing it out as is it because if found by an unauthorised party, he or she can encash it post the stop payment date.

Common Reasons to Cancel a Cheque

  • When you realise your issued cheque is lost or stolen.
  • When a cheque issued by you was used for a fraudulent activity.
  • When you realise your bank account doesn’t have sufficient funds so that the cheque issued gets cleared.
  • When you’ve made errors on your cheque while writing details such as payee name, cheque date, cheque amount, and signature.

As long as your cheque is not processed and you’ve all the required information, you can raise a stop payment order on the cheque.

What Information is Needed to Cancel a Cheque

In order to cancel an issued cheque, you’ll need details such as your account number, your cheque number, the date on which you issued the cheque, to whom the cheque was issued to, and how much money the cheque was issued for. After gathering this information, you’ll need to get in touch with the bank to check if the cheque has been cleared or not.

If your cheque has not yet been cleared, you need to intimate the bank to stop payment on your cheque and pay a cancellation fee that is applicable. Ensure to confirm with the bank authorities as to when the stop payment will start being effective and for how long it will last suppose the recipient of the cheque wants to encash it prior to the stop payment or after it.

What to do When You Failed to Put a Stop Payment on a Cheque?

You may not be able to raise a stop payment request on an issued cheque in time. When your cheque payment has already been processed, you cannot consider using the option of stop payment. Also, if your stop payment request was not raised within a stipulated time, your request might not go through successfully.

When you’re unable to cancel an issued cheque, you can consider getting in touch with your payee directly. You can request him/her to not make a cheque deposit and arrange for an alternative reimbursement instead.

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