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The ultimate guide to cheque cashing

Why wait three days for money you could receive now?

While cheques aren’t as common as they used to be, they are still a financial staple for many businesses and individuals. The trouble is, waiting three to five days for a cheque to clear can put a serious strain on your business’ cash flow, or even your own financial situation. It’s important to know there are providers available that can cash cheques for businesses and individuals and provide them instantly with the money that’s owed to them.

Related: If you don't want to use a cheque cashing service, you could consider comparing your short-term loan options.

What is cheque cashing?

As cheques usually take three business days to clear with banks, cheque cashing services can clear your cheque within minutes. This service is usually provided in exchange for a small fee, as the lender providing the service is taking on a risk by forwarding you the money before the cheque clears.

How does it work?

If you or your business has a cheque that needs clearing immediately, you have the option of paying a fee to bypass the normal three-day waiting period. There is a waiting period because a cheque basically acts like written instructions between two financial institutions, and the waiting period gives both institutions time to make sure the payment is made correctly.

Lenders that provide cheque cashing services are essentially forwarding you the money, as they have no guarantee that the cheque will not be dishonoured. Cheques are dishonoured for a number of reasons, although a common one is that there are insufficient funds in the payer’s account. Cheque cashing providers will forward you the money for a fee, which is usually a percentage of the cheque amount, as they wait for the cheque to clear. All you have to do is provide 100 points of ID.

Types of cheques that can be used

Different service providers will have different criteria, but may generally honour the following types of cheques:

  • Business cheques
  • Company cheques
  • Bank cheques
  • Account payee cheques
  • Government cheques
  • Benefit cheques
  • Gaming and lottery cheques
  • Insurance cheques

How to cash a cheque

  1. Take the cheque to your bank and request the money to be deposited in your account OR
  2. Deposit the cheque at your bank's ATM if your bank is closed
  3. Wait one to three days for the cheque to clear or request a special clearance OR
  4. Take your cheque to be cashed at an instant cash chequing retailer

Pros and cons of cheque cashing

Pros

  • Near-instant access to money. You will receive the cheque amount immediately, minus fees, instead of waiting three days for it to clear at the bank.
  • You don’t need a bank account. You can opt for the cheque to be paid out in cash, meaning you will not need a bank account to receive the money.
  • Transparent fees. You will be charged an up-front fee, but will avoid the fees that may be associated with opening and maintaining a bank account, such as ATM fees.
  • Convenience. You do not need to travel to your bank branch to cash your cheque.

Cons

  • You will be charged a fee. This may be a percentage of the cheque amount or a fixed amount. The fee will vary between different providers and can often be quite high.
  • Restrictions. Some providers may refuse certain types of cheques or have limits on the amounts that can be cashed out.

How you can compare cheque cashing services

Cheque cashing providers can be a convenient option for you to consider if you need a quick turnaround time for your cheque, but it’s important that you choose the right provider. Here are a few things to keep in mind when comparing your options:

  • Turn-around time. As this is likely to be the main reason you’re opting for cheque cashing services, you should check how quickly you can expect to receive the money. Some lenders may be able to provide you the money within a few minutes, while others may take longer.
  • Fees and charges. All cheque cashing providers are likely to charge fees, but the question is how much? Some may charge you a flat fee, while others may charge you a percentage of the cheque amount.
  • Restrictions. Some providers may have restrictions as to the kinds of cheques they will cash, whether they be business, personal, government, etc. They are also likely to have limits on the cheque amount they are able to cash. Check these restrictions before you apply.

Which lenders can cash my cheque?

The following lenders have branches and offer cheque cashing services:

  • Cash Converters
  • OK Money
  • Jacaranda Finance
  • Cash Stop
  • City Finance
  • Money Plus
  • Money3

Is there anything you should avoid when you cash a cheque?

You should avoid cashing your cheque with one of these providers before you take into consideration all of the associated costs. You should really only consider getting your cheque cashed by a third-party lender when waiting three days is not an option for you. Before you cash your cheque, weigh up the cost of the associated fees you will be charged against the value of receiving your money earlier.

Alternatives to cheque cashing

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  • Loan amount: $2,000
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  • Turnaround time: 30 minutes (conditions apply)
  • Fees: 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
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If you are thinking of getting your cheque cashed at one of these providers instead of your banking institution, a payday loan might be an alternative. They offer short-term loans until your next payday and can provide a fast turnaround on cash if needed. Remember, you should compare your options first before applying for any payday loan.

Updated November 21st, 2018
Name Product Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Cash Deposited In Costs Fornightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
$2,000
9-15 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
$396
A small loan up to $2,000 that you repay over 9-15 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
$2,000
Up to 2 years
3 hours - conditions apply
47.8%
$316.7
Apply for up to $2,000 and be able to access your approved loan as a convenient line of credit.
$2,000
62 days to 1 year
1 hour - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
$396
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 1 year. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.
$2,000
6-12 months
Same day - conditions apply
20% of loan amount establishment fee + 4% of loan amount monthly.
$396
Credit24 offers this loan up to $2,000 and gives you 12 months to repay.
$2,000
3-12 months
1 business day
Establishment fee from 10% of loan amount + monthly fee from 2%
$354
A small loan between $500 and $2,000 that can be funded in 24 hours.
$2,000
6 to 12 months
Overnight
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
$396
A short-term loan from $500 that you can have up to 12 months to repay. All credit histories considered.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Are cheque cashing services safe?

Generally, it is perfectly safe to use a cheque cashing service, but you should always research the different providers before choosing to use the service as fees can vary dramatically.

What fees will I have to pay?

This will vary depending on the service provider. Some charge a flat fee while others will charge a percentage of the cheque amount.

What will I need to bring?

This will also vary by provider, but you will generally need to bring the cheque, personal identification and may also need a business registration certificate if you are cashing a cheque on behalf of a business or company.

Picture: Shutterstock

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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JohnSeptember 1, 2018

    I have a cheque if $70,000 from the Bank of Melbourne. I want to cash this within a day. What should I do as I bank with CBA?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniSeptember 1, 2018Staff

      Hi John,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Since you are with CBA while the cheque is from Bank of Melbourne, I am afraid that you have to deposit the cheque with CBA due to its amount. Cheques deposited into your CBA account will normally be available within 3 working days but some cheques may take longer.

      It is best to contact CBA directly regarding this matter.

      I hope this somewhat helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    RyanNovember 7, 2016

    I won $1400 on the poker machines while I was in Victoria now I’m back in perth I want to know if there are any institutions who can cash prize cheques as I need the money ASAP?

    • finder Customer Care
      LouNovember 8, 2016Staff

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for your question.

      On the above page, we have listed some of the lenders that offer cheque cashing services. You may want to check out if any branch is available near you.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    JulieAugust 13, 2016

    I have been paid $786with a cheque that I’m assuming is a personal cheque as it doesn’t have the company name on it and I desperately need the funds today can you place help me find the closest place I can take it too as thus us my first time in this situation. I am at durack in Brisbane Queensland. Thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethAugust 16, 2016Staff

      Hi Julie,

      Most banks will be able to cash your cheque for you, so if you have a bank branch location that’s convenient to you can cash it there. Local cheque cashing services include The Cash Store at Acacia Ridge, Cash Smart in Logan Central Plaza and ugo at Logan Central Plaza.

      I hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

  4. Default Gravatar
    KathrynApril 27, 2016

    Can you cash a UK cheque quickly?? My bank takes 7 weeks!

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethMay 2, 2016Staff

      Hi Kathryn,

      Just to clarify, you’ve come through to finder.com.au, a financial comparison service, but I can provide you with some information on this. Most banks will be able to cash an international check for you. However, if you don’t have an account you will usually have to pay a fee. You could also try lenders that provide cash checking services such as Cash Converters and Needy Money.

      I hope this has helped,

      Elizabeth

  5. Default Gravatar
    GeorgeFebruary 25, 2016

    I have personally chequer can u cash it at this time in the morning

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethFebruary 25, 2016Staff

      Hi George,

      Some banks offer 24/7 cheque cashing services in-branch. You can check with your bank if it offers this service. If it doesn’t, you may want to try Googling “24-hour cash cheque services” to find local business that may be able to assist.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  6. Default Gravatar
    JasonJanuary 19, 2016

    Where and can I cash a cheque 24 hrs from the reserve Bank?

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethJanuary 20, 2016Staff

      Hi Jason,

      This depends on where your are located. Some banks offer 24/7 cheque cashing services in-branch, so you may want to check with your bank if it offers this service. If it doesn’t, you may want to try Googling your location and “24-hour cash cheque services” to find local business that may be able to assist.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  7. Default Gravatar
    danquahAugust 20, 2015

    Please I want to start working for an online company which will pay me by cheque in my mail.how do I cash the cheque?

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethAugust 20, 2015Staff

      Hi Danquah,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can find a cheque cashing service if you’re looking to cash your cheque with your bank. There are a few of these services available, two of which are Needy Money and Cash Converters.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  8. Default Gravatar
    paulSeptember 12, 2014

    I have RSL club cheque can I cash it 24hours anywhere?

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleySeptember 15, 2014Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your question.

      You’ll need to check the policies of the RSL club you received the cheque from. In most cases all cashed cheques are to be entered into a ‘cheque cashing register’ located within your RSL.

      All the best,
      Shirley

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