How to Verify a Check: Verification Options For Individuals & Businesses

Short Answer: The only reliable way for individual payees to verify funds before cashing a check is to contact the issuing bank directly and ask whether the payor’s account has sufficient funds. Third-party, membership-based check verification services are also available for small businesses. Below, we explain how to verify a check.

How to Verify a Check

The only way for payees to verify that a check is real and the funds are available (to ensure that a check will not bounce) is to contact the issuing bank on which the check is drawn. You can visit the issuing bank in person or call its customer service department. Most banks will be able to tell you whether or not there are sufficient funds in the payor’s account to cover the check if you cash it immediately.

If you need to verify checks for your business, there are additional third-party and online verification tools available. However, these services do not always verify the availability of funds; some will only confirm that the account and routing number are legitimate, the payee and amount are correct, and no one has altered the check.

We gathered this information by contacting representatives at a variety of banks and credit unions, as well as viewing policy documentation for online services and contacting their customer service departments.

Contact Information for Major Banks and Credit Unions

The table below includes the number you should call at each major bank and credit union for check verification. You can also visit in person if it has physical branches; click each bank or credit union’s name to visit its branch locator (if applicable).

Note that while many banks will verify funds before you cash a check, some may not be able to give out this information due to their privacy policies.

Bank or Credit Union Phone Number
Chase Bank (800) 935-9935
Bank of America (800) 432-1000
Wells Fargo (800) 869-3557
Citibank (800) 374-9700
US Bank (800) 872-2657
Truist (formerly BB&T and SunTrust) (800) 226-5228
PNC (888) 762-2265
Capital One (888) 810-4013
TD Bank (888) 751-9000
State Street Bank (217) 223-6480
Charles Schwab (888) 403-9000
HSBC (800) 975-4722
Fifth Third Bank (800) 972-3030
TCF Bank (800) 823-2265
Flagstar Bank (888) 248-6423
Ally Bank (888) 925-2559
Chemical Bank (800) 867-9757
Bank OZK (800) 274-4482
Citizens Bank (800) 922-9999
KeyBank (800) 539-2968
BMO Harris Bank (800) 340-2265
Sterling National Bank (855) 762-7500
Valley National Bank (800) 522-4100
Union Bank (800) 238-4486
Regions Bank (800) 734-4667
M&T Bank (800) 724-2440
First Republic Bank (888) 408-0288
Discover Bank (800) 347-7000
Navy Federal Credit Union (888) 842-6328
Huntington Bank (800) 480-2265
Bank of the West (800) 488-2265
BBVA (844) 228-2872
USAA (800) 531-8722
Santander Bank (877) 768-2265
Comerica Bank (800) 266-3742 (Eastern time zone)
(800) 925-2160 (Central time zone)
(800) 522-2265 (Mountain/Pacific time zones)
Silicon Valley Bank (800) 774-7390
Zions Bank (888) 307-3411
UBS Bank USA (800) 354-9103
City National Bank (888) 816-8064
People's United Bank (800) 894-0300
New York Community Bank (800) 786-6560
Synovus Bank (888) 796-6877
CIT Bank (855) 462-2652
East West Bank (888) 895-5650
First Horizon Bank (800) 382-5465
First National Bank (833) 226-5362
Alliant Credit Union (800) 328-1935
Connexus Credit Union (800) 845-5025
First Tech Federal Credit Union (855) 855-8805
Consumers Credit Union (877) 275-2228
GTE Financial (813) 871-2690
Green Dot Bank (866) 795-7597
Wings Financial Credit Union (800) 692-2274

Additional Options for Businesses: Third-Party Verification

Companies like BetterCheck, Check 21, and CrossCheck allow you to enter a check’s details online or use special in-store equipment for check verification. These services may or may not verify funds availability, as noted above, and they are only available to financial institutions or merchants — not individuals who receive checks.

If you run a business, online verification can help save you time compared to repeatedly calling banks. Note that these options do charge fees; customer service representatives were unable to share exact fee information with us since it varies by plan, but you can contact each company to request a quote. We detail your options in the table below.

Verification Company Requires sign-up? Verifies funds? More Information Yes Yes, with Live Verify and Instant Verification services Find out more
Certegy Yes Varies by transaction Find out more
TeleCheck Yes No Find out more
CrossCheck Yes No Find out more
Check 21 Yes Yes, with Live Verify services Find out more
Seamless Chex Yes Varies by plan Find out more
BetterCheck Yes Verifies positive funds but does not guarantee exact amounts Find out more
Victory Payments Yes Yes (optional) Find out more
Access Payment Systems Yes Verifies positive funds (but not exact amounts) with ATMVerify services Find out more

What Happens If a Check Bounces?

Banks are not required to verify funds before processing a check, so checks can and do bounce. If you cash a check and it bounces, the majority of the responsibility for the bounced check will fall on the payor, but there may also be consequences for the person who cashes the check. See our related research for information on what happens if you cash a check that bounces.