What is a crossing on a cheque?

Last Updated: 18 Mar 2020

It is important to write a crossing on your cheque if you do not want it to be cashed or if the funds are intended for a specific person or company only.  You can provide ASB with your instructions by using one of these types of crossings:

  • General crossing – Writing ‘Not Negotiable’ within two parallel lines across the face of the cheque means that the cheque must be deposited into a bank account and cannot be cashed.  However, this crossing does not prohibit the cheque from being endorsed to another payee.
  • Special crossing – Any cheque that is crossed and contains the words ‘Not transferable’, ‘A/C payee only’ or ‘Account payee only’ means that the cheque must be paid into an account in the name of the payee and cannot be endorsed or cashed. 

If the words ‘Or bearer’ appear on a cheque, this typically means that the cheque can be paid to whoever presents it. It’s important to note that where a cheque contains a Special crossing, any ‘Or bearer’ instruction is void. 

For more information on cheque security, see How can I protect myself from cheque fraud?

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