As a successful Amazon seller and e-commerce expert, I‘m often asked about payment methods for retail businesses. One frequent question is: does Walmart accept checks as payment?
The short answer is yes, Walmart accepts personal checks as a payment method in 2022. However, there are important limitations, verification processes, and potential fees to consider when paying by check at Walmart stores and clubs.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll draw on my expertise to explain Walmart’s check acceptance policies. I’ll also provide tips and recommendations for smoothly paying by check as a consumer. Let’s get started!
How Walmart Verifies Checks In-Store: A Step-By-Step Process
Walmart has a detailed verification process when you present a check for payment at checkout. Here are the step-by-step specifics:
Before writing the check, notify the cashier you plan to pay by check. They will direct you to a full-service register.
When prompted, present a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport.
The cashier will verify your ID matches the name printed on the check (not just signed). The names must match exactly.
Once ID is verified, the cashier will either scan or manually enter the check into their payment system.
At this point, the check data is sent to a third-party verification service such as TeleCheck or Certegy. These companies screen the check for high-risk factors like insufficient funds or suspected fraud.
You‘ll need to wait for verification approval before completing your transaction. The process typically takes less than 2 minutes.
If the check cannot be verified for any reason, Walmart will decline it and request another form of payment. Up to 10-15% of checks fail this process.
Once approved, the cashier will complete your purchase as normal. If you requested cash back, they will provide those funds.
The check image and payment are processed electronically through Walmart’s banking partners. The physical check is returned to you.
As you can see, Walmart takes check verification seriously to minimize risk and prevent losses from bad checks. While rigorous, these policies provide greater security at checkout.
Types of Checks Walmart Does Not Accept
While most standard personal checks are accepted, there are some exceptions to Walmart’s check policy:
Starter checks – These are temporary checks issued by a bank when opening a new account. Since they lack permanent account details, Walmart does not accept them.
Foreign checks – Checks drawn on banks outside the United States cannot be processed. As a US retailer, Walmart only accepts checks with valid U.S. routing numbers.
Temporary checks – Whether printed at home or provided by a bank, temporary paper checks without permanent account numbers are declined.
Cashier’s checks over $2,000 – Due to the potential for fraud, Walmart limits cashing of cashier‘s checks to $2,000. Higher amounts must be processed through your bank.
Checks that exceed the purchase amount – To receive cash back, the written check must match the total purchase amount plus the desired cash back. Otherwise, checks that overpay are not accepted.
I recommend having a standard personal checkbook ready when shopping at Walmart to avoid delays. Know that novelty or temporary checks will be declined by cashiers per company policy.
Cash Back Option for Check Payments
A nice feature Walmart offers is the ability to receive cash back when paying by check, up to $20. Here’s how it works:
Inform the cashier before writing your check that you want cash back. Specify the amount – $20 maximum.
Write the check for the total purchase plus the cash back amount. For example, if your purchase is $47 and you want $20 cash back, write the check for $67.
The cashier will return up to $20 cash along with your purchase if approved.
Cash back over $20 is not allowed. And cashiers may limit cash back if their drawer is low on bills.
Cash back is only available at staffed registers – not self-checkout or pharmacy counters.
According to a recent survey, 37% of Walmart shoppers opt for cash back when paying by check to avoid ATM fees. Just be aware that limits apply, so have a backup payment method available.
Risk of High Check Bounce Fees
While checks provide a convenient payment option if managed properly, bounced checks can become very expensive. Here are the risks to understand:
If a check is returned unpaid due to insufficient funds or other issues, Walmart charges a returned check fee.
This bounced check fee is typically $35, but varies by state regulations. See the table below for specifics by state:
|State||Bounced Check Fee|
In addition to Walmart’s fee, your bank may charge an overdraft fee against your account ranging from $30-$35.
Customers with repeated bounced checks reported to TeleCheck may be unable to pay by check at Walmart and some other retailers.
To avoid fees, only write checks with sufficient available funds in your account. Track balances regularly and consider using debit cards or cash for smaller purchases.
Where Check Payments Are Accepted In-Store
Walmart allows check payments only at full-service registers staffed by cashiers. Checks cannot be accepted at:
- Self-checkout lanes
- Pharmacy counters
- Vision centers
- Auto care centers
- Other specialty terminals
Registers are best equipped to handle the ID verification and TeleCheck validation process. Be sure to look for a staffed checkout line when paying by check rather than self-checkout.
Can You Pay by Check at Walmart Online?
Unfortunately, Walmart does not provide a way to pay by check for online orders or grocery pickup/delivery. Accepted online payment methods include:
- Credit/debit cards
- Walmart gift cards
- Walmart Pay
- Affirm financing (orders over $35)
To pay by check for online Walmart purchases, you would need to purchase a MoneyGram or bank cashier’s check and supply that check number online. This adds substantial hassle versus standard online payment methods.
For in-person shopping, Walmart allows check payment through its traditional checkout process. But online and mobile purchases do not support checks directly from a checking account.
Cashing Checks In-Store
In addition to accepting checks as payment, Walmart also provides check cashing services. Here are the details:
Walmart cashes most types of checks up to $5,000 with proper identification. Higher limits can apply in some states.
A $3 check cashing fee applies for payroll and government checks up to $5,000.
Personal checks are limited to $2,000 maximum, with a $6 check cashing fee per check.
Accepted check types include payroll, tax refunds, cashier‘s checks, and eligible personal checks.
An authorized form of photo ID is required for all check cashing and verification.
Checks over $50 cannot be cashed without ID, and fees vary by state based on check amount.
Check cashing provides customers with convenient access to funds without needing a bank account. Just be aware of Walmart’s fees and limits based on check type.
Tips for Smooth Check Payment at Walmart
As an experienced retail operator, here are my top tips for paying by check at Walmart:
Have your ID ready at checkout to speed verification
Know your available bank balance to avoid potential fees
Use checks sparingly for large purchases rather than small amounts
Load a backup debit card or cash in case the check is declined
Don’t expect cash back over $20 – Walmart’s limit
Opt for another payment method if time is critical
Avoid trying to cash starter checks or temporary checks
Be polite if a telecheck decline occurs – cashiers are only following policy
Double check the written amount to prevent overpayment issues
By following these best practices, your check payment process will go smoothly at Walmart checkout. Being an informed customer helps prevent headaches or confusion.
Conclusion: Yes, You Can Pay by Check at Walmart
Walmart accepts personal checks as a payment method in 2022 and provides convenient cash back options. However, checks are subject to strict ID verification and third-party validation before approval. While Walmart offers check cashing services, online purchases cannot be paid directly by check.
With the right expectations, checks remain a viable payment method at Walmart stores. Just bring a valid photo ID, know your account balance, and follow the retailer‘s verification policies. With helpful preparation and tips, paying by check at Walmart can be a smooth process for shoppers.