What is a Counter Check?

Definition: A counter check is a blank form provided by banks, normally at cashier’s booths, to withdraw money from a personal account. It serves as a personal check but it is drafted to the client itself to extract money from his account.

What Does Counter Check Mean?

They are called counter checks because they are normally placed at the cashier’s desk (counter) and they are filled and presented to the teller in order to withdraw the money. These checks are normally simple forms, they don’t have all the complex security measures that personal or corporate checks have, because they will be received by an authorized bank representative in the actual physical presence of the account holder.

Normally, the cashier will check the signature, the account data and a personal photograph of the holder, to make sure the person that is making the withdrawal is the actual proprietor. Under normal circumstances, these withdrawals can’t be processed for a third party, since there are many fraud risks involved in doing so.

The term counter check is also employed in modern days to refer to a personal check printed individually by the teller with all the client’s account information, to be used as a regular check in the scenario that the customer ran out of checks or lost his checkbook. In some cases, counter checks require a small fee to be paid by the holder, since it is not a usual service.

Example

Mr. Michael is buying a used car for his son. He negotiated a 2010 Ford Focus that a friend currently owns and they negotiated $3,500 for the car. Mr. Michael needs to pay his friend as soon as possible since his son’s birthday is tomorrow and in order to do so he went to a local branch of his bank to get a counter check.

This check contains all Mr. Michael’s account information and since his friend trusts him he doesn’t have a problem to accept this particular form of payment. His friend can now go to his bank to either deposit his check or he can just cash it at any other branch of Mr. Michael’s bank.