How to Write a Check in 6 Steps

It is recommended to include relevant information such as an invoice number, account number, purpose of the payment, or any other details that help identify the transaction. However, it’s important to keep the memo concise and clear, as there is limited space available. Filling out the memo line on a check can provide important information to both the payer and the payee. It helps the payee identify the payment’s purpose or reference, especially when dealing with multiple transactions or accounts. Additionally, it can serve as a reminder or record for the payer, making it easier to track and reconcile their payments.

  • Paper checks are an effective and inexpensive tool for moving money, but you probably don’t write a check every day (or maybe you’ve never even done it before).
  • But knowing how to write and read a check is still an important skill in today’s world – and if you don’t know how to do it, you could be at risk.
  • No instructions are added to the check, so you’ll have to tell the bank teller whether you want the check cashed or deposited.
  • This is where you lay out the next steps for your recipients.
  • We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service.
  • A memo, short for memorandum, is a brief internal communication that informs a group about a specific problem, solution, or event.

This helps the bank clarify the total amount in case either the words or number amounts are hard to decipher. To endorse a check, turn the check over and sign your name on the blank line. Once it’s endorsed, you can deposit the check via mobile app, with a bank teller or at an ATM. In the upper left corner of your check, expensing vs capitalizing in finance you’ll typically find the name and the address you have on file with your bank. If you’ve moved and no longer live at that address, you should still be able to use the checks as long as your account number has stayed the same. The memo line is optional, but it’s good practice for keeping track of check payments.

If you don’t know the name, you can write “Cash”—but be careful, because this means anyone could deposit the check into their account. This is the practice of double-checking every transaction in your bank account to make sure that you and the bank are on the same page. You’ll know if there are mistakes in your account, and if anybody has failed to deposit a check you wrote them (thereby making you believe you have more money to spend). Sign your name on the line at the bottom right-hand corner using the signature you used when you opened the checking account. This shows the bank that you agree that you are paying the stated amount and to the correct payee. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service.

There are several ways to deposit a check into your bank account. There are times when a check is made out to multiple people, such as a parent and child or a couple as a wedding gift. To make your check secure and provide instructions to your bank, write “For Deposit Only to Account Number XXXXXXXXX.” Then sign your name below that, staying within the endorsement area. This method also is commonly used for ATM deposits and mobile deposits. Once that check is signed, anyone in possession of it could attempt to cash it.

Outline action items and timeline (Optional).

Some checks use a different format, so it’s a good idea to confirm your account number. For example, business checks and checks created by an online bill payment system have a slightly different format. While this is the same information as the fractional ABA, the routing number along the bottom of the check is written in a specific font with a special ink. Known as “Magnetic Ink Character Recognition,” or MICR, this allows checks to be easily read and processed by computers.

In order for your check to be valid it must be signed by yourself. If there ever is any fraud (or suspected fraud) on your account the signature will be key and an agent may review it to make sure that it matches your signature card. Therefore, I would suggest to not simply scribble your name or signature but to put some effort into it to make sure that you are providing a valid signature in this blank.

Persuasion memos are used to encourage readers to take action regarding an event or proposition, like voting or petitioning. Your subject line should be, short, attention-grabbing, and give readers a general idea of what the memo is about. A memo, short for memorandum, is a brief internal communication that informs a group about a specific problem, solution, or event. Memos may be sent as a paper letter or fax or attached to an email as a PDF. I’m writing to address the revenue analysis report your team requested.

Here, you write out in words the number of dollars and cents you are paying. For example, $50 in the amount box becomes “Fifty dollars” on the amount line. If you’re paying a whole dollar amount, include “and no/100” after the amount (“Fifty dollars and no/100) to keep others from adding more words. Plenty of banks have an option on their mobile app allowing you to deposit checks via your smartphone. Just open the banking app, find a button that says Deposit, and you’ll be prompted to take photos of the front and back of the check to scan it into the app.

Frequently Asked Questions about “What Does Memo Mean On A Check”

Conversely, if you’ve received a check and haven’t deposited or cashed it, doing so promptly is beneficial for both parties involved. In our modern digital world, most of our financial actions are electronic. But, the old-fashioned paper checks are still used in many places.

Step 5: Fill in the memo.

The security features section explains what features the bank uses to protect your funds. It’s helpful for consumers and lets potential thieves know that they can’t commit fraud at the bank. The check number shows which check in the pack (usually of 100 checks) was used. It enables the payer to track their payments and balance their account. You may notice that the check number is listed twice, once in the top right corner of the check and once at the bottom. The line in the middle of the check is for the person, company, or organization who is receiving the check.

You might want to do this if you don’t want the other person to cash the check until a certain date because you might be waiting on funds to arrive, for example. In addition to the MICR line along the bottom of the check, the bank’s ABA routing number is generally also printed in its fractional format on the upper right corner of a check. However, this section doesn’t contain important info, such as the routing number.


The top long line in the middle of the check, usually preceded by “pay to the order of,” is where you write out the recipient’s name. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. With the advent of Paypal, Venmo and Bitcoin, checks seem so last century, but that doesn’t mean you no longer need to know how to read a check for banking information. The memo section is an optional field on checks that you can use to make special notes about the transaction. For that reason, if you’re looking for the Routing Number and Account Number, sometimes you’ll want to verify these online. Since routing numbers can be viewed by all the public, you can usually use process of elimination to find the account number.

How to Write a Memo [Template & Examples]

If you’re sending your memo via email, these additional attachments can be added to your email. If you send your memo as a letter or fax, include these after the last page of your memo document. You can place the summary right before your closing statement. A summary may list key recommendations, a summation of important information, references, methods, or resources you used. If the information in your memo needs further clarification, you can place it within this section.

If you want to cash the check, you may be able to do it at that bank (any branch location—it doesn’t necessarily have to be at the same address shown on the check). However, you can’t simply post-date checks and expect the bank to delay the transaction. Banks generally have no obligation to adhere to the date written on the check unless you explicitly notify them. If you want to delay the transaction, you can write a future date and notify the bank. It’s not uncommon for retailers to require certain details to accept a check. They may handwrite your phone number on the check, for example.