As an experienced ecommerce seller who has processed many types of payments over the years, one of the most common questions I get asked is:
"Does Walmart cash handwritten checks?"
I totally understand the appeal of handwritten checks – they can be quicker and more convenient to write out versus electronically printed checks.
However, as a seller, you need to be aware that many major retailers like Walmart place restrictions on handwritten checks to reduce risk.
In this ultimate guide, I‘ll share everything you need to know as a seller about getting handwritten checks cashed in 2023, including:
- Walmart‘s policy on cashing handwritten checks
- Why retailers restrict handwritten checks
- Full list of alternative places to cash handwritten checks
- Step-by-step process for cashing handwritten checks
- All potential fees to be aware of
I‘ll also provide pro tips from my own experience as an experienced ecommerce seller on how to safely cash handwritten checks as smoothly as possible.
Let‘s get started!
Does Walmart Cash Handwritten Checks In 2023?
The short answer is no – most Walmart locations will not cash handwritten checks signed by hand in 2023.
Instead, Walmart store policies require that only checks printed electronically with key details will be accepted:
- Company name
- Telephone number
- Date issued
- Amount in numbers and written out
This policy applies even for checks drawn from legitimate business accounts – Walmart money centers will decline any check handwritten manually.
I know this can be an inconvenient surprise if you‘re counting on cashing a handwritten check at Walmart. But there are very good reasons for this strict policy…
Why Retailers Don‘t Accept Handwritten Checks
As a fellow seller, I fully understand the desire for flexibility in taking handwritten checks. But large retailers like Walmart restrict them due to two key risks:
1. Higher Risk of Fraud
Handwritten checks can be easier to falsify or alter versus professionally printed checks. This introduces more risk of fraudulent activity.
2. Insufficient Funds
With handwritten checks, it‘s also more likely that there are insufficient funds in the account to cover the check amount.
These risks add up to major potential losses for the retailer. To protect themselves, most major chains decline handwritten checks completely.
However, Walmart‘s policy does vary in some cases…
Exceptions to Walmart‘s Handwritten Check Policy
While Walmart‘s handwritten check ban is widespread, exceptions can exist in some locations based on:
- State laws: Some states require retailers like Walmart to accept handwritten checks, overriding corporate policy.
- Manager discretion: Individual store managers may decide to accept certain handwritten checks on a case-by-case basis.
To confirm a specific store‘s handwritten check policy:
- Call the store directly
- Stop by the customer service desk
- Ask at the money center
Don‘t assume all Walmart locations follow the same rules – always verify first before trying to cash a handwritten check.
Where You Can Cash Handwritten Checks In 2023
The good news is that while Walmart bans handwritten checks, you still have several convenient options for getting handwritten checks cashed, including:
1. Your Bank or Credit Union
If you have an existing account, your own bank or credit union will likely cash a handwritten check for minimal fees – often under $10.
Major national banks that cash handwritten checks include:
- Wells Fargo
- Bank of America
Credit unions like Navy Federal and Chartway Federal are also excellent options.
You can also visit the bank that issued the handwritten check, as they will cash checks drawn on their customers‘ accounts.
2. Check Cashing Stores
Check cashing stores like Check Into Cash, ACE Cash Express and Money Mart specialize in cashing handwritten checks for people without bank accounts.
However, fees are usually higher – make sure to call individual locations first to ask about their rates.
3. Other Major Retailers
Some other major retailers like Kroger and Albertsons will cash certain types of handwritten checks with proper ID as a customer service.
Again, call ahead to verify their specific policies.
4. Local Community Banks and Credit Unions
Smaller local banks and credit unions are often more flexible than major national chains when it comes to cashing handwritten checks for existing customers.
Building relationships with tellers at community banks can help ensure they‘ll work with you to cash the occasional handwritten check you receive.
6 Step Process for Cashing Handwritten Checks
Now that you know the best options for cashing handwritten checks beyond Walmart, here is a 6 step process I recommend as an ecommerce seller:
Step 1) Call ahead to verify the location‘s policy on handwritten checks, ID requirements and any fees.
Step 2) Endorse the back of the check with your signature and account number (if depositing).
Step 3) Bring a valid government-issued photo ID like a driver‘s license.
Step 4) Provide any requested documentation like a fingerprint or utility bill.
Step 5) Be prepared to pay any check cashing fees (typically under $10 for banks or 1-5% of the check for other locations).
Step 6) Cash or deposit the check amount into your account after verification.
Following this simple checklist helps ensure a smooth handwritten check cashing experience!
Expect to Pay Check Cashing Fees
When cashing handwritten checks, you should expect to pay a fee in most cases. Here are the typical fees charged:
Banks: Under $10 per check for account holders; 5-10% of the check for non-customers.
Credit unions: Up to $5 for members; around 10% for non-members.
Check cashing stores: From 1% to 12% of the check amount; additional $3-5 service fees.
Retailers: Around $3 per check in fees, if they cash handwritten checks.
Always contact the location first to get their specific fee schedule. Having an existing bank account can help minimize fees.
Tips for Safely Cashing Handwritten Business Checks
As an ecommerce seller, you may receive handwritten checks from other businesses. Here are my tips for safely cashing these:
Call the business to validate the check first. Confirm the amount and that sufficient funds are in their account.
For large amounts, visit the business‘ bank (the check issuer) to cash it to reduce your risk as the recipient.
Set up a business banking account to minimize fees for depositing checks – often under $10 per check.
Cash handwritten business checks only from companies and people you trust. Avoid taking checks from strangers.
If a business sends frequent handwritten checks, politely ask them to order commercially printed checks for easier processing.
Exercising caution with handwritten business checks protects you from potential losses as a seller.
Does Walmart Cash Any Handwritten Checks?
The only exception where Walmart may cash a handwritten check is during tax season in areas where it offers tax preparation services.
Handwritten tax refund anticipation loan checks printed by a Walmart tax center may be cashed at Walmart for a fee. However, all other handwritten checks are declined per standard policy.
Walmart Check Cashing Alternatives
While you can‘t cash handwritten checks at Walmart, their money centers do provide other useful financial services including:
- Cashing pre-printed payroll and government checks
- Cashing printed business checks (subject to fees and ID verification)
- Printing money orders
- Wiring money/money transfers
- Paying bills
- Loading cash onto prepaid debit cards
- Check cashing for Walmart employees
So don‘t rule out Walmart‘s money centers altogether – just be aware they don‘t handle handwritten checks.
The Bottom Line
As an ecommerce seller, handwritten checks can be extremely convenient but are restricted by many major retailers like Walmart due to fraud and insufficient funds risks.
Thankfully, you have multiple options for cashing handwritten checks in 2023 at banks, credit unions, check cashing stores and some other retailers.
Just be prepared to pay nominal check cashing fees. And always call ahead to verify an exact location‘s policies before visiting.
With the right preparation and relationships with local banks and credit unions, you can smoothly cash the occasional handwritten checks that you receive and run your selling business efficiently.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to share advice from my own experience as a successful ecommerce seller.