As we know, a Cheque is a negotiable instrument defined under Section 123-131 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881. Crossing cheques is an important cheque feature that provides additional security.
A person issues a cheque to the person to whom the payment is intended, but in between the process of realization, the Cheque may be lost or stolen. Therefore, crossing the Cheque protects both the parties’ drawer and payee.
What is the crossing on a cheque?
A crossing of a cheque refers to two horizontal diagonal or vertical lines on the Cheque in the upper left-hand corner or upper centre. Crossing a cheque refers to instructions on how it is to be redeemed.
When a cheque is crossed, it cannot be encashed by the bank counter holder. Crossing means that the amount of the Cheque can only be recovered from the specified banker and credited to the payee account.
Purpose of canceled Cheque
A cancelled cheque contains all the basic details of your bank account, which helps the verifier/auditor confirm your details. Plus, a cancelled cheque doesn’t require your signature, so you don’t have any security issues to worry about when you present your bank cheque as proof of your financial identity.
While taking loans:
When you apply for a personal, home, car, or loan against their property, you must submit cancelled cheques to the banks. A cancelled cheque was considered proof of your bank account with the prospective lender’s bank.
While investing in the market:
When you invest in the stock market like the National Stock Exchange or Bombay Stock Exchange, the assistance provider will request your cancelled Cheque.
Organizations usually ask for cancelled cheques to verify an individual’s banking and financial profile. They can get all the details required to verify your bank account through a cancelled Cheque.
Government regulations require that when you purchase mutual funds yourself or through a third-party agency, you provide the seller with a cancelled cheque as proof of your bank account of any funds and derivatives received through your mutual fund’s transactions.
As mentioned above, when a credit is to be made to your bank account, a cancelled cheque by the lender is required first to verify the account.
Different ways to cross a cheque
A cross cheque concentrates on the instruction provided by the drawer (maker) of a particular cheque to the drawee bank. This instruction demands payment of the Cheque over the bank counter but with strict instructions to pay it to the person to whom the banker draws it.
What is the point of crossing? Through crossing, it is possible to identify the person who made the amount/payment. In India, there are various means of crossing to protect cheque payments:
This kind of cheque crossing requires two parallel transverse lines. There is no restriction on placing these horizontal lines in a particular area on the Cheque, but they can be drawn anywhere.
It is best to position it in the top left corner of the Cheque. The advantage or significance of this crossing is that the Cheque must be made payable to the banker only.
A special crossing cheque requires the banker’s name. The effect of this crossing is that only the banker to whom the Cheque had crossed has to be funded. It reminds everyone that a special crossing cannot convert into a regular one.
Not Negotiable Crossing:
In this cheque crossing variety, the paper document should contain the words ‘Not Negotiable. Moreover, the Cheque can cross specifically or generally.
What is the effect of this crossing? A cheque is negotiable (transferable), and the transferee’s title is not superior to the transferor’s.
Uncrossing a cheque:
If you now know the meaning of cross cheques, the payee is unlikely to uncross the Cheque. Further, the Cheque was considered non-transferable, meaning you could not transport it to a third party.
However, the only action allowed is for the payee to deposit a cheque into an account they hold in their name. Therefore, the payee can uncross the Cheque with the words “Crossing Cancelled” on the face of the Cheque.
However, such action was not recommended because it removes the payer’s initial protection.
Validity of a cheque
A cheque’s validity is three months from the date. It gets stale after this time, and the payee bank may refuse to pay the money. However, if the Cheque has become obsolete due to the expiration of the validity term, the drawer can re-validate it.
Who can cancel the crossing of the Cheque?
Crossing on a cheque can be cancelled by the drawer or the drawer of the Cheque by writing “Crossing cancelled” and placing a full signature confirming the cancellation of the crossing.
Significance of Cheque Crossing
- The holder or bearer cannot cash a crossed cheque at the bank counter. Hence, it protects both parties.
- The crossed Cheque was realized in the payee account only in the case of A/c Payee crossing.
- Crossing a cheque rescues the issuer of the Cheque against fraud.
- Unlike an open cheque, in the case of a crossed cheque, it is easy to identify who encashed it.
- A crossed cheque would prevent fraud if the Cheque were lost or stolen.
- A bank failing to comply with the crossing will breach its customer’s contract.
- A bank cannot debit a drawer’s account without observing the crossing on the Cheque. The bank must pay for any failures the drawer or payee incurred.
It is a unique 6-digit number on each cheque leaf.
Yes, you can use the same cancelled Cheque multiple times.
Using black or blue ink to cancel a cheque would be best. No other colours can be accepted.
No, the bank is responsible for payment only during business hours.
Yes, the bank can refuse payment in the following situations: If the Cheque is undated, if more than three months have passed since the Cheque was issued, and if a post-dated cheque was presented before its date.