Privacy and security have become a growing issue in our society. Although technology has its perks, the downside cannot be overlooked. If not careful, criminals could get your details and initiate transactions without your knowledge.
Identity theft, unauthorized transactions, among many other issues, are reasons why financial institutions will always advise their consumers not to share their details with a third party.
A compromised data can lead to several woes. Data compromisation can happen both online and offline. People who use cheques also get duped. So, how do you prevent such ills from happening? Are open cheques safe? What can you do to ensure your cheques are protected?
A void cheque is a cheque with the word VOID boldly written on it. The word void on the cheque prevents anyone from filling out the cheque and using it to carry out any transaction.
Several reasons warrant voiding cheques. Your financial institution might request that you provide a void cheque when setting up a payroll deposit or automatic payment. This way, they can use the cheque to set up an electronic link to your bank account since your account details are printed on every cheque.
A void cheque eases direct payment since it is the means most employers use to pay their employees instead of writing cheques. Once an account is linked electronically, all funds will be deposited directly into all designated accounts on payday.
Also, you can set up automatic payments for recurring expenses such as rent, bills, etc. This way, money is automatically withdrawn from your account instead of you having to send a cheque or going to pay in person.
How to Void a Cheque
Voiding a cheque is a seamless process that takes less than a minute to complete. You will need a pen or a permanent marker and the cheque(s) you intend to void; simply write “VOID” across the cheque in CAPITAL letters.
When voiding a cheque, ensure to cover as much surface area as possible. Make the word bold and legible, as there might still be the possibility of someone filling out the uncovered space and cashing out your money.
Remember not to cover the numbers on the bottom of the cheque. That is the detail your financial institution will use to verify the connection between your bank account and the electronic payment system.
Getting a void cheque in Canada
Voiding a cheque is easy, especially when you have a chequebook handy. However, if you do not have a chequebook, you will have to visit the bank or request a new chequebook is sent to you. Alternatively, you can use an online channel. Below are two steps to take to get a void cheque:
- CIBC Online Banking
You can void your cheque online via the CIBC Online Banking channel. Sign in to CIBC Online Banking and click on “My Accounts” from the menu. Choose the account you want to link and select the “Void cheque/direct deposit info” link from the “Manage My Account” dropdown.
Ensure to go through the Account Information form with your account information, including transit number, institution number, and account number. Once this is complete, you can proceed to print the form, append your signature and date. You can then proceed to submit it to the company that requested the information.
- Visit your Financial Institution
You can get a voided cheque from your financial institution. Visit a branch and request a teller to print one for you. Note that there may be a fee for this service depending on your financial institution.
Alternative to getting a Voided Cheque
If you cannot get a cheque or do not have a chequebook, you can download the payroll, Direct Deposit, or Pre-Authorized Payment form. This form is available in a PDF format online, giving you access to your account and routing number. Most Canadian financial institutions offer this service.
Ensure to fill out each field correctly by inputting the requested information. Save the form and print a copy to sign the “Customer Signature” colon. Proceed to submit the form to the organization or billing company requesting the information.
Note that if you are sending the form via email, you will have to scan your signed copy of the form so that the electronic version contains your signature. Alternatively, you can request a paper copy of the Payroll, Direct Deposit, or Pre-Authorized Payment Form at your CIBC Banking Centre.
Voiding a cheque(s) is one of the safest ways to automate payment and secure your money. It is a form of protection against fraud. It gives you the assurance that your cheque cannot be used anywhere. You can always contact your financial institution on more ways to get a voided cheque and securing your banking details.