Walmart accepts checks, but limits and fees do apply. If you want to know about Walmart’s personal check policy, but you don’t want to spend your time digging through Walmart’s website or making phone calls just for one simple answer, this article was written with you in mind.
Paying for Purchases With a Personal Check
All Walmarts accept personal checks as payment for your purchase at the traditional register. You cannot use a personal check at the self check out because those machines don’t have the capability to scan checks (or check your ID). Note: This information was confirmed with customer service as it is not posted online.
Note that it makes no difference whether you’re paying with an in-state or out-of-state check. If you’ve traveled to a different state and need to use a check to shop at Walmart, the requirements will be exactly the same as if you were in your state of residence.
1. A government-issued, photo ID
Walmart accepts state issued driver’s licenses, state ID cards, military IDs, U.S. passports, and social security cards with photo ID. At manager discretion, a store may accept a foreign passport. There is no way to cash a check without presenting an ID.
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2. Your name must be the name on the check
To prevent check fraud, Walmart can only accept your check if the name on the ID you show matches the name on the check. If your name is on the checking account, but not the check, you won’t be able to use the check. The only exception is business checks — an employee can use a business check at Walmart without having their name listed on the check. An employee ID may be required in addition to a government-issued, photo ID.
3. Your check must pass TeleCheck’s verification scan
Walmart uses TeleCheck (or, at a minority of their stores, Certegy), a third-party check verification company, to assess the riskiness of checks and protect against fraud. If your check doesn’t pass TeleCheck’s scan, you won’t be able to use it.
What Is Telecheck and How Does It Work?
Walmart processes personal checks electronically through a third-party check verification company. The majority of Walmart stores use TeleCheck for this service, but a few do use Certegy. These two companies are the largest providers of check verification services for retail stores and if you often pay with checks, you’ve probably had yours scanned before.
When you pay with a personal check at Walmart, you must let the cashier run your check through the Telecheck or Certegy scanning machine. Walmart posts a statement at the checkout lane stating that by choosing to pay by check, you consent to having your check processed in this way.
TeleCheck or Certegy runs the information from the check, such as the routing number, bank account number, and amount of the transaction, and your identifying information, such as your driver’s license number, against the data stored in its system to assess the check’s riskiness. This assesses the chances your check will be returned for insufficient funds as well as the chances of check fraud.
Generally, this helps Walmart avoid accepting bad checks and reduces check fraud, but sometimes perfectly good checks are declined, too. According to TeleCheck, even something seemingly innocent such as a bank account number not seen by TeleCheck before could be a risk factor that could possibly lead to the check being declined.
When the system accepts your check, it’ll print a receipt, which you’ll sign. This authorizes the company to transfer funds from your checking account electronically. The cashier will give you a copy of the receipt and your original check. If the system declines a personal check, you’ll still get a receipt and your check back — but, the funds won’t transfer and you’ll have to pay for your purchase another way. Look on the receipt for TeleCheck’s or Certegy’s phone number — you can call them and find out why your check was declined. If you were declined by TeleCheck, you’ll have to contact them to resolve the situation. You can also read their declined check FAQs for more information. If you were declined by Certegy, you can call or use the online declined check lookup to find out why.
Can You Get Cashback when Paying with a Personal Check?
You can get $20 cashback when paying by personal check. Before writing your check, ask the cashier if cashback is available, just to confirm that there is in fact enough cash on hand in that specific register. You’ll then make your check out for $20 more than the purchase price. After your check is scanned and accepted, the cashier will give you back your receipt, the original check, and $20.
If you need more cash back, you can pay with a debit card. On debit transactions, you can get up to $100 cash back. Find out more about Walmart’s cashback in our article, Cash Back Limit at Walmart Using Credit Card, Debit Card, Check.
How Long Does It Take for Funds to be Withdrawn from Your Bank Account?
When a personal check is processed electronically, funds usually transfer within one to two business days. And, according to Walmart’s posted policy, it’s possible that the money will be deducted as quickly as the same day. That means you can’t post date the check you pay with, as funds could be withdrawn as early as the same day.
What If Your Check Is Returned for Non-sufficient Funds?
According to the check writing policy Walmart posts in store, if there is not enough money in the customer’s bank account at the time the check is presented for payment, the customer will be charged a $35 returned check fee. Both the returned check fee and the original payment amount will then be deducted from the account by EFT or bank draft. You agree to this policy when you sign the receipt at check out.
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How Many Checks Can You Write Per Day?
According to Walmart and TeleCheck, there is no maximum number of checks that can be written at Walmart per day. But, a limit could be imposed by your financial institution. Your bank or credit union could put a freeze on your ability to write checks because writing multiple checks is suspicious and triggers their fraud protection services, or because you have a set daily limit attached to your account. If you plan on writing more than five checks at Walmart per day, it’s best to check with your bank or credit union ahead of time to make sure your account won’t be frozen.
Walmart accepts personal checks for purchases. To pay with a check, you need a government-issued, photo ID. While Walmart doesn’t cash any personal checks, if you do need cash, you can get up to $20 cashback on your purchase when you pay with a check. Walmart cashes several other types of checks, including payroll checks, government checks, tax refund checks, and more, but only if they are printed.
Many major retailers also accept personal checks. You’ll always need to show a government-issued, photo ID to pay with a check, no matter which store you go to. To find out what other retail grocery stores take personal checks as payment, including their limits and requirements, see our article, What Stores Accept Personal Checks?