How To Deposit a Cheque in the UK [Including Online]


They may not be in use as much anymore, but on the off chance you receive a cheque, it’s important that you know how to deposit it properly. After all, we wouldn’t want grandma’s birthday money to get lost. Luckily, you have a ton of options at your fingertips. 

To deposit a cheque in the UK, you can either use the mobile banking app for your bank, visit the bank and use an ATM, or go to the counter with either a paying-in slip or your account card. Alternatively, cheques can be deposited through the Post Office with paying-in slips for certain banks.

The rest of this article will go into detail about the various cheque depositing methods, including in-person and online.

How to Deposit a Cheque Online

One of the easiest ways to deposit a cheque is to do so online. That way, you don’t need to make any special trips to the bank or the Post Office (more on that later). In most cases, this refers to the use of a mobile app.

To deposit a cheque online, download and open your bank’s mobile app. Then, you’ll need to log in using a customer number, or in some cases; the bank will send you a small device used to work with your card. 

From there, the steps are usually as follows:

  1. Locate the account to which you want to deposit the cheque.
  2. Open the settings or the menu.
  3. Tap on “deposit” or “make payments.”
  4. Enter the amount, and any other information asked.
  5. Take a picture of the front and back of the cheque.
  6. Click “deposit” or “continue.”
man taking photo of cheque to deposit online

Some apps will have a section for cheques; others will likely have it in the “manage money” section. If you’re unsure where to find it in your bank’s app, run a quick online search for “how to deposit a cheque with *insert bank name* app.”

If you’re uncertain whether your bank even has an app, it’s more than likely that it does.

As of 2020, five of the most used banks in the UK are:

  • Lloyd’s Bank Group – 25+ million customers
  • Barclays – 24+ million customers
  • Natwest – 19+ million customers
  • Nationwide – 16.3+ million customers
  • HSBC UK – 15+ million customers

Source: Statista

Each of these banks has an associated mobile banking app available in the App Store and the Google Play Store, making banking easy for iPhone and Android users. 

Of course, as there are more than 300 banks and over 50 building societies operating in the UK as of 2021, it’s essential to keep in mind that while most will offer online banking, not all will have an app for mobile banking. 

Of those that have an app for mobile banking, not all of them will offer cheque deposits.  

In the table below, you’ll see which of the top UK banks – and a few smaller banks – have a banking app and offer cheque deposits.

In-Branch BankingBanking AppPost Office BankingApp Cheque Deposit
Lloyd’s Bank GroupYesYesYesYes
BarclaysYesYesYesYes
NatwestYesYesYesYes
NationwideYesYesNoNo
HSBCYesYesYesYes
MonzoNoYesNoNo
RevolutNoYesNoNo
The Co-Operative BankYesYesYesNo
The Yorkshire BankYesYesYesYes

Sources: Lloyd’s Bank Group, Barclays, Natwest, Nationwide, HSBC, Monzo, Revolut, The Co-Operative Bank, The Yorkshire Bank

Monzo and Revolut are new, online-only banks whose accounts are created and managed entirely via an app. That is why neither offer in-branch banking and why they are not connected to the Post Office. 

Neither offers cheque deposits on the app, though Monzo does allow customers to mail cheques for deposit. You just need to remember to take a picture before sending it, so you have a record should it get lost somehow. 

Interestingly, even though Nationwide is one of the top banks in terms of customers, they do not offer cheque deposits through their app. Compare that to the smaller Yorkshire Bank, and you can see that the latter offers more when it comes to services. 

Generally speaking, though, most larger banks do have apps and allow customers to deposit cheques from the comfort of their own homes.

Remember that the cheque will not clear right away, so be sure to keep it for at least a week or until you see the money has been deposited.  

woman deposit a cheque using a bank account

How to Deposit a Cheque Using a Bank Account

Even before the pandemic, banks have been trying to make the push towards paperless usage and more online customers. That’s why so many have banking apps and why they’re trying to offer as much via their apps as possible.

Of course, online baking isn’t for everyone, or maybe you’re just in town and happen to be near your local branch. In that case, you can simply go inside and deposit the cheque in person. 

To deposit a cheque using a bank account, you’ll need the cheque to be in your name and have the card associated with the account into which you wish to deposit the money. Alternatively, you can use another form of ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, as proof of identity.

Some banks ask for a cheque deposit slip (a paying-in slip), which you need to fill in before reaching the counter. Although, this is usually only for people depositing multiple cheques at once. 

However, many branches are moving away from in-person banking and deposits. For example, at Nationwide, if you have a FlexDirect current account, you must be depositing a minimum of £300 in cheques to be served in the branch.

Source: Nationwide

Can I Deposit a Cheque at the Post Office?

It is possible to deposit a cheque at the Post Office for most larger banks, including Barclays, Co-Op, Halifax, and Lloyd’s. To deposit a cheque, you need it to be made out in your name, have a paying-in slip from your bank, and a bank-specific envelope, which is available at the Post Office.

Paying-in slips are only obtainable from your bank, though they can often be found in the back of your chequebook. 

If you don’t have a chequebook, you will need to call your bank or visit your local branch and order paying-in slips. They typically come pre-printed with your relevant information, such as your bank account number and sort code. 

Sources: Lloyd’s, HSBC, Barclays

In addition to the paying-in slip, you also need a cheque envelope, which the Post Office provides. These are branded with your bank’s name and address and can fit up to 50 cheques in one. 

Check out this short video that explains this process further:

Source: YouTube: NatWest

As mentioned above, not all banks work with the Post Office and those that do, don’t all offer cheque deposits. Nationwide, for example, only allows for cash withdrawals and balance enquiries. 

Here are some of the top banks that offer cheque deposits through the Post Office:

  • Bank of Ireland
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Co-Op
  • Halifax
  • Santander
  • TSB

Source: Post Office

person deposit a cheque at an ATM machine

Can You Deposit a Cheque at an ATM / Cash Machine?

It is possible to deposit a cheque at an ATM/cash machine, and all you need is your account card and PIN. Put the card into the machine, enter your PIN, find “deposit cheque” on the menu, and insert it into the slot. Check that the amount is correct before you confirm the deposit.

It’s also a good idea to take a picture of the front and back of the cheque before you put it into the machine; that way, you have proof of its amount before it’s put into the system.

Santander and TSB offer cash withdrawals, balance enquiries and cash and cheque deposits at their cash machines. These will work in the same way as you would expect, and all you need is your PIN and card. 

When the time comes, it may ask you to confirm the amount to be deposited before you insert the cheque. Then, after you insert the cheque, the machine will scan it and show you an image on the screen. Finally, it will display the amount, and if there is a discrepancy, it should give the cheque back to you.

Sources: Santander, TSB

This differs slightly with Nationwide, though, as they require a cheque envelope. The good news is that they provide this to you as part of the process. After you enter the deposit amount, the slot will open, and an envelope will come out. Put the cheque inside and put the envelope back into the slot. 

Source: Nationwide

Other banks, such as Barclays, NatWest, and HSBC, have separate machines used for deposits and other banking functions. The idea being to keep the cash machines free for people with fewer and faster needs. 

These self-service machines are usually found inside the branch and work in a similar way to an ATM. You will need your card and PIN and then navigate to the “deposits” section. 

That said, Lloyd’s uses Cardless Immediate Deposit Machines, which work without the need for a card at all. Unfortunately, you will need your account number, which many people don’t know off-hand. 

At NatWest, you’ll need to deposit each cheque individually, and they will give you a receipt with an image of each cheque, along with a detailed breakdown of your transaction. The process is the same at Barclays and HSBC machines.

Sources: Barclays, NatWest, HSBC, Lloyd’s

Depositing Large Cheques in the UK – Guidance

Depending on the bank, limits are set on how much you can deposit per cheque and per day.

For example:

  • Halifax – cheques must be under £1,000 each, and you can only deposit up to £2,000 per day.
  • NatWest – mobile deposits can only be up to £750 per day. 
  • Lloyd’s – cheques must be under £1,000 each, and you can only deposit up to £2,000 per day.
  • HSBC – cheques must be under £500 each, and you can only deposit up to £2,500 per day.

Sources: Halifax, Lloyd’s, NatWest, HSBC

Anything above these limits, and you will need to go into the branch to be helped. In the case of smaller sums (a few thousand pounds), they will just need a form of identification.

However, for higher sums (upwards of £10,000), they will need proof of where the money came from. This is in accordance with anti-money laundering policies, which state that banks must report unusual transactions to the authorities. 

If you have a cheque with a high amount, you will need to prove where it came from. The best way to do this is by bringing the person who wrote the cheque to the bank. Or, if it was a part of an inheritance, bring a death certificate. 

Sources: HSBC, BankTrack

Can Someone Else Deposit a Cheque For Me?

Someone else can deposit a cheque for you through the Post Office or at a bank if you give them the paying-in slip and the relevant information, or if you already have the cheque deposit envelope. Otherwise, only you can deposit cheques as you need your account card and PIN to access the account.

As it’s a deposit and not a withdrawal, there are fewer risks when asking someone else to make the deposit for you. So, with a pre-filled paying-in slip, a family member or friend would have no issues doing this. 

The cheque just needs to match the name on the slip, and it needs to be signed by you. Also, in many cases, you will need to endorse the back of the cheque with your signature and the phrase “for deposit only.”

Source: Pocket Pence

Of course, if the person is someone you trust, and it’s an emergency, they will be able to deposit your cheque via the ATM or self-service machines if you give them your card and PIN. 

Never share your PIN with anyone unless you absolutely have to.

Similarly, if you give someone else access to your phone, and therefore, the banking app, they can perform the deposit for you. 

However, third-party deposits are being cracked down on. And since cheques are becoming less common, it’s possible that branches will start to phase out paying-in slips. That means you will need to make the deposit as the account holder.

Source: Which

The only other exception to this would be people named on the account. 

a building with a bank signage

Can I Deposit a Cheque at Any Bank, or Just Mine?

It is only possible to deposit a cheque at your own bank, though you can use any branch. You just need a paying-in slip or your account card. The cheque will be scanned and the image sent to the cheque clearing service. Once cleared, the money will be deposited into your account. 

It used to be very commonplace that people used and paid with cheques, and it would have been very inconvenient if they had to go to a specific bank every time. So, not too long ago, you could deposit a cheque at any bank.

That’s why they created the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company. Before the new cheque imaging system was introduced, cheques were collected at the end of the day and sent to the local company to be cleared. Now, banks send images of the cheques, which are cleared and deposited much faster. 

Source: BACS

However, now it’s only possible to deposit a cheque at the bank in which you have an account and as mentioned, this can be any branch of that bank.

Final Thoughts

Depositing cheques can be complex since they’re not as widely used anymore. Hopefully, this article cleared up the confusion and answered any questions you had. 

Gina

I'm an ex-BBC food co-ord and committed cuisine nerd. My specialties are travel (I've been to over 50 countries), food, drink, the outdoors, and any geeky tech!

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