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A guide to cashing a cheque

Cheque cashing services offer access to funds sooner, but can charge high fees.

Cheque cashing services can let you cash in a cheque instantly but charge significant fees for the service. You will usually need to pay a transaction fee plus a percentage of the amount you're cashing in. In some instances, taking out a payday loan could cost less than a cheque cashing service, explained here.

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

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It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
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  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

What is cheque cashing?

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

How does a cheque cashing service work?

If someone has a cheque that needs clearing immediately, cheque cashing offers the option of paying a fee to bypass the normal three-day waiting period. There's 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 the money with 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 the money for a fee, which is usually a percentage of the cheque amount, as they wait for the cheque to clear. Applicants must provide 100 points of identification.

Finder survey: How many Australians of different ages have used a wage advance or pay advance service?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
No97.87%95.76%93.63%90.48%88.59%83.16%71.43%
Yes2.13%3.64%6.37%7.74%7.07%9.47%14.29%
No but I plan to in the future0.61%1.79%4.35%7.37%14.29%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1016 Australians, December 2023

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

Which lenders can cash my cheque?

The following lenders have branches and offer cheque cashing services:

  • Cash Converters
  • OK Money
  • Cash Stop
  • Money Plus

Options for cashing a cheque

  1. Take the cheque directly to the bank/branch and request the money to be deposited in an account OR deposit the cheque at the bank's ATM. Both of these options mean there will be a wait for the cheque to clear which can range from three to five days. If the funds are required urgently there are options to request a special clearance but this may incur a fee and will depend on the bank.
  2. If you need faster access to the funds, you can take the cheque to be cashed at a cheque cashing retailer for a fee.

Pros and cons of cheque cashing

Pros

  • Faster access to money. The cheque amount will be available immediately, instead of waiting three days for it to clear at the bank.
  • No bank account required. Cheques can be paid out in cash, which means a bank account isn't required to receive the money.
  • Transparent fees. Cashing cheques does cost a fee, but this will be upfront.

Cons

  • High fees. 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 to compare cheque cashing services

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

  • Turnaround 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 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'll cash, whether they be business, personal, government or another type. They're also likely to have limits on the cheque amount they're able to cash. Check these restrictions carefully.

Alternatives to cheque cashing

A payday loan may be an alternative to cheque cashing if you need access to money straight away. Payday loans are short term loans and can provide a fast turnaround on cash if needed. However, it's important to know that payday loans are an expensive form of finance and must be paid back within a relatively short time frame, so compare all the options before applying.

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20 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    GoranJanuary 16, 2020

    I just sold my car to a car dealer who gave me a cheque where can I cash it in to have the funds available ASAP coz I have some outstanding bills to pay

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiJanuary 17, 2020

      Hi Goran,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well. I understand your position. You can cash your cheque from any providers on our list above but make sure you have read the guide on how to cash your cheque from them. To read more information about them click the MORE INFO button by clicking the brand logo. The fastest turnaround time on the list shows 30 minutes. You can review the provider with the fastest turnaround time as you need the funds ASAP. To get started, click the GO TO SITE button on the right part of the page.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    JayApril 14, 2019

    I want to cash my cheque but I’m abit worried that I got asked to send a picture message of my license and the cheque ??
    Shouldn’t it all just get handled in person to avoid stressing that it might be a scam?

      AvatarFinder
      JohnApril 15, 2019Finder

      Hi Jay,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      It would be advisable to have the cheque cashed your self to avoid scams from happening. Generally, a cheque can be cashed by someone else on your behalf by using a valid government ID as well as your endorsement signature at the back of the cheque. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    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?

      AvatarFinder
      JeniSeptember 1, 2018Finder

      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

    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?

      AvatarFinder
      DeeNovember 8, 2016Finder

      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

    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

      AvatarFinder
      ElizabethAugust 16, 2016Finder

      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

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