Business Banking

How to endorse a check to someone else

Learn how to sign or endorse a check to someone else in this step-by-step guide.

Jump to:
section

Table of Contents

Endorsing a check is a fairly simple process, but it has its tricks. Learn what you need to know about endorsing a check with this comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide. This guide cannot address every situation so you should always verify the information below with your bank.  

When you receive a check that is payable to you and you can't or are not required to cash it yourself, there is the option of having it signed for someone else to cash or deposit it for you. This practice has some advantages, such as saving you time under certain circumstances, giving money to a family member or simply paying money that you owe to another person.

Although the process is quite simple, there may be some obstacles along the way, mainly from banks. In this complete guide, you'll learn how to carry out the process correctly, as well as some additional tips so that you can avoid any unnecessary inconveniences.

Can I sign over a check to someone else?

Indeed, you can sign a check in the name of another person when you require it under certain circumstances such as those already explained, but note that this doesn't mean that in effect the other person will be able to cash or deposit the document in 100% of the cases, due to certain reasons to which banks pay close attention.

To begin with, behind the doors of the bank, the process is long and tedious, since the financial entity must organize all the personal and business checks that it received throughout the day and then send them to the issuing banking entities to request the corresponding payments.

Subsequently, the issuing banks must carry out a series of verifications to confirm that everything is in order, such as checking signatures or that there are sufficient funds in the account of the check writer to avoid check frauds. If everything is OK, each issuing bank will transfer the money to the receiving bank, but if there is any inconsistency with a signed-over check, the bank will refuse to pay the funds.

That is the reason why many times banks refuse to pay checks signed in the name of other people, since this can sometimes be an indicator of a scam, with which a bank can lose money. This may take several days to complete.


How do I endorse a check to someone else?

Although in general the process is quite simple for you as the issuer, note that there are a number of precautions that you must follow at each step to increase the chances of success. The first thing you should do is check with the financial institutions if they accept this type of transaction, since otherwise it'd be a total waste of time for both you and the other person. Remember that even if the receiving bank accepts the transaction, the issuing bank could put up some obstacles. Let's look at the steps in more detail.

1. Contact the bank

Many banks don't offer third-party check payment services for a variety of reasons that may include check theft, identity theft, or check bouncing. In addition, each bank may have its own protocol regarding this financial procedure. So before doing anything else, you should contact the corresponding financial institution and obtain all the information you can regarding the procedure, so that the beneficiaries can cash or deposit the money without problems.

2. Talk with your recipient

Remember that nowadays, checks are used less and less frequently, so many people won't be used to this method of payment, especially the younger generations. To avoid wasting time, talk to the other person first and make sure they don't have any inconvenience with this payment method. It could also happen that your recipient has never received money in this way, so in this case you would have to explain to such a person how the process is. Once you have agreed, be sure to request your recipient's personal details, including their full name, national ID number and contact details.

3. Endorse the check to the recipient

Find the endorsement area. This is usually located in the back of the check. Some checks make it easier for you by identifying the area with the legend "endorse here," but the exact location may vary. Now you must use what is called a special endorsement by writing "Pay to the order of [recipient]" in the corresponding line. Generally, you will need to write your recipient's full name next to your signature. This serves to indicate to the teller at the receiving bank that the document is authorized to be paid to a third party.

TIP:

Make sure that your recipient's name is written exactly as it appears on their national identification document.

4. Deliver the check to your recipient

Once you have completed the previous step, contact your recipient to deliver the document. At that time, make sure you both check that all the data is correct. Also, remind your recipient to contact you in case of any eventuality that may arise once he is in the bank. That's why it's important to clear up any details with your recipient beforehand to avoid potential inconveniences - especially if they're cashing a check for the first time.

How do you endorse a check for someone else for mobile deposit?

Today, more and more banks are offering the option to deposit checks through their mobile banking apps. It is a fairly simple process that offers the typical advantages of any digital transaction, such as being able to carry out the operation at any time and from anywhere. For this reason, it's likely that your recipient prefers this type of deposit instead of going to the bank physically and wasting more time. Note that, depending on the case, with this modality both you and the other person can make the deposit easily.

Here is the general procedure you should follow when endorsing checks for mobile deposit.

1. Wait until the right moment

Never sign a check until you are ready to deal with it, as once endorsed, checks can be cashed by anyone, so you don't want to leave a check in an insecure place with your signature on it.

2. Specify that it is "For Mobile Deposit Only"

Including this phrase in the endorsement area ensures that the document cannot be physically cashed or deposited. This is a requirement that most banks with online deposit systems ask for, so if you don't include it, the bank will most likely reject the transaction.

3. Make sure the information is correct

Remember that any misspelled or inaccurate information can lead to the bank rejecting the transaction, so make sure you haven't made a mistake.

4.  Make the deposit

Whether it is you or the other person who carries out the transaction, it's important to follow the instructions indicated by the banking application very carefully. Don't worry, as most of these apps are very easy to use. In any case, here are the general guidelines of the procedure:

  • Sign in to the mobile banking app
  • Look for a "Deposit Checks" option and tap it
  • Find the option to enter the amount of the check
  • Enter any additional information, such as a bank account number
  • Tap "Next" or "Done"
  • The app will ask you to take a photo of the front of the check and another of the back
  • Tap "OK" or "Continue" and take the photos
  • Tap on "Deposit"
  • You may need to tap on some other option to complete the deposit
  • Once completed, the app should show you a confirmation message
  • Wait for a transaction number or a digital deposit slip to appear

Please note that these are very general process guidelines and these steps may vary by bank and by circumstance.

TIP:

It is recommended that you place your checks against a dark background and in a well-lit area for best results when taking the photos.

Alternatives to signing a check over to someone else

As you have seen, although the process of endorsing checks is quite simple for you, it can actually become quite cumbersome if something goes wrong, especially for your recipient. The good news is that there are several alternatives that save time and unnecessary hassle for both parties.

1. Go to the issuing bank

This option will make the whole operation less troublesome from the start. It is as simple as presenting the document at the box office of the issuing bank. A bank teller will review the issuer's account and verify that there is enough money to make the payment. If everything is in order, the recipient will receive the money in a matter of minutes. However, if the recipient doesn't have a bank account, he will most likely have to pay a fee for the service provided, which usually varies depending on the bank.

2. Go to a check cashing store

Although there are fewer and fewer, there are some companies that provide check cashing services by paying a fee at the time of receiving the money through a kind of specialized mini ATMs. These mini stores are usually located in shopping centers and have the advantage that the procedure is usually quite fast and simple. The bad part is that it is very easy to run into a scam.

3. Open a bank account

Having a bank account is an option that will allow your recipients to save time, efforts and money. Although maintaining a bank account usually requires the payment of a fee that is charged from time to time, the benefits outweigh this small detail. Having a bank account would allow your recipients to receive payments through transfers, automatic payments, pay lower rates and keep a record of transactions easily accessible from any mobile device through specialized applications.

4. Credit unions

Similar to banks, credit unions are financial institutions that offer a whole series of services for the benefit of their members, including deposits, loans and check payments, among others. If your recipient is part of a credit union, it is possible that he can collect or deposit his money through one of these institutions and much faster than in a bank.

5. Mobile check deposit

As you could already read above, this can be a very simple, practical and easy to use option. If your recipient's bank mobile app offers this feature, in a matter of a few minutes they can deposit an endorsed check, either in a checking or savings account to later withdraw the money from an ATM or transfer it digitally.

6. Go for online banking

Since traditional banks can present somewhat difficult obstacles to overcome for many people - such as high fees or difficulty opening an account - there are online banks that offer different financial services, including checking accounts free of monthly fees. It is usually very easy and fast to open an account in one of these online banks, deposit money and send it to another person, either through ACH, debit card, Bill Pay or even check, allowing you to save a lot of money, time and effort, in addition to offering a whole series of discounts and rewards as it happens with the Nearside business checking account.

Frequently asked questions

Can I sign-over my stimulus check to someone else?

No. If you are one of the people who has received one of the economic incentives from the government and you have wondered if you can sign it for another person to cash it, you should know that the stimulus checks can only be deposited in an account with a matching name. In such a case, the best option is to make the deposit in a bank account and later transfer the money to the other person.

Do you need to sign the back of a check to deposit it?

Not necessarily. Sometimes, when the beneficiary of a check doesn't need to cash it immediately, the receiving bank can authorize a deposit without an endorsement signature if the document has the legend "For Deposit Only", in addition to the payee's name on the back of the document (restrictive endorsement).

Can someone else deposit a check for me without my signature?

Yes, it's possible. Consider that banks may allow this type of operation, since you could be traveling outside the city, for example. However, to do this, it is best to designate a trusted person to carry out this transaction, in addition to writing the legend "For Deposit Only" on the back of the document.

Is it possible to cash a check that is not in my name?

This is possible if the beneficiary of the check places an endorsement signature on the back of the check. However, there is also the possibility of charging it if the document has a blank endorsement, since this allows anyone to cash it.

Free report and guide
How COVID-19 Impacted Incomes of the Self-Employed Workforce
How did the pandemic impact the income of  gig workers and entrepreneurs? Download to learn more.
Get The Report

Frequently asked questions

No items found.

References