Short Answer: Walmart accepts personal checks as payment at regular registers and when paying for a Walmart.com order in person, but not at self-checkout. To pay by check, you’ll need to show a photo ID and pass third-party check verification through TeleCheck or Certegy. For more details of the Walmart check writing policy, see below.
Walmart Personal Check Writing Policy
All Walmart stores accept personal checks as payment at the register. You can also use a check to pay for a Walmart.com order in person. However, you cannot use a personal check at the self-checkout; those machines don’t have the capability to scan checks (or verify your ID).
To find out more about Walmart’s personal check writing policy, we contacted the retailer’s corporate customer service department and stores in Delaware, Tennessee, and Washington.
To write a check at Walmart, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- You must provide identification. You’ll need to show a government-issued, valid photo ID. Walmart accepts driver’s licenses, state ID cards, military IDs, and U.S. passports; it may accept a foreign passport at the manager’s discretion. The cashier may also ask for your phone number.
- Your name must be on the check. To prevent check fraud, Walmart will only accept your check if the name on the check matches the name on your photo ID. This means that if your name is on the account but doesn’t appear on the check, you won’t be able to use it. Exceptions can be made for business checks, but not personal checks.
- Your check must pass third-party verification. Walmart stores use TeleCheck or Certegy to assess risk when accepting checks. The third-party verification system may deny your check, in which case you’ll need to pay with a different method.
Note that it makes no difference whether you’re paying with an in-state or out-of-state check. If you’re traveling outside of your home state and need to use a check at Walmart, the requirements and process will be the same as in your state of residence.
There is no maximum number of checks that you can write per day at Walmart. However, note that your bank or credit union might impose a limit. Some accounts have check-writing limits or daily spending limits in their account agreements; banks may also freeze your ability to write checks as a fraud protection measure. Limits vary by account, but in general, if you plan to write more than five checks in one day, it’s best to check with your financial institution ahead of time.
As noted above, Walmart will use either TeleCheck or Certegy to verify your check — most locations use TeleCheck. These companies are the largest providers of check verification services for retail, so if you often pay by check at stores, you likely have an active TeleCheck and/or Certegy file.
Walmart will run every check you write through third-party verification. By paying with a check, you consent to having your check processed this way. TeleCheck or Certegy will run the check information (account number, routing number, transaction amount, etc.) against its database to determine whether the check would be risky for the retailer to accept.
Check verification helps Walmart avoid accepting bad checks and reduces check fraud, but TeleCheck or Certegy may also decline your check for reasons not related to fraud. For example, a bank account number not seen by TeleCheck before can lead to a decline.
Walmart allows you to get up to $20 cash back when paying by personal check. Make the check out for up to $20 more than the purchase price; after the cashier verifies the check, you’ll receive $20 cash back.
Before writing your check, you may want to ask the cashier to be sure there is enough cash on hand at that specific register. If you need more than $20 cash back, it’s best to pay with a debit card. See our related research for more on getting cash back at Walmart.
When Walmart processes your check electronically, the money may deduct from your bank account the same day; however, the funds will usually transfer from your bank account within one to two business days. Walmart doesn’t accept postdated checks.
According to the check writing policy Walmart posts at its registers in stores, if there is not enough money in your bank account at the time the check is written, you will be charged a $35 returned check fee. Both the returned check fee and the original payment amount will be deducted from your bank account electronically. You agree to this policy when you sign your receipt at the checkout, so you will be responsible for the fee (and any fees charged by your bank) if you write a bad check.
- Walmart customer service (800) 925-6278
- Bank of America customer service (800) 432-1000
- Wells Fargo customer service (800) 869-3557
- Walmart store customer service representatives