A cheque is a written document that instructs a bank or building society to pay a person or an organisation using funds from a current or company account. It can be for any amount. But there must be enough money in the account for it to clear and payment to go through.

What's on this page

How to write a cheque

When writing a cheque you need to include these details:

  • date
  • payee
  • amount both written and numeric
  • your signature.

Ideally you should include the name of the account holder’s bank or building society next to their name e.g. Nationwide John Smith. This helps protect your account against fraud.

This is an example of a correctly written cheque for John Smiths' Nationwide account:

Corporate cheques (also known as a banker’s draft or banker’s cheque)

A corporate cheque is a guaranteed payment method.

The funds are debited from your savings or current account at the time you request the cheque. Not when it is paid in. Corporate Cheques can be requested in Branch or online.

How long cheques are valid for

Cheques paid into or written from your account are usually paid for up to 6 months after the date on them. They remain legally valid for up to 6 years.

It’s better not to write a cheque with a future date. That’s because the recipient may try to pay it into their account early.

We do our best to spot future dated cheques. But sometimes they are processed. If that happens and you don't have enough money to cover it, the cheque might be refused. And that could mean you have to pay charges.

Request a cheque withdrawal online

You’ll need to print, complete and post a form to request a cheque withdrawal. Please make sure your form is signed and dated before sending it to us.

We’ll post your request to the address registered to your account within three days of receiving it. It may take longer, if we need to contact you and verify the transaction.

To request a cheque withdrawal form online:

  1. Log into the Internet Bank
  2. Select Move money — tab located at the top of the page
  3. Select Other payments
  4. Select Withdraw funds as cheque
  5. Use the link Request a cheque
  6. Follow the instructions.

Get a copy of a cheque you've issued

If you don't bank online you can visit us in branch to request a copy of a cheque, otherwise:

  1. Log into the Internet Bank
  2. Select the View Accounts tab
  3. Use Your Account link
  4. Select Other Account Services
  5. Find Account Services
  6. Use the link Request a Copy of a Cheque
  7. Follow the instructions.


Please allow 10 working days for the copy of your cheque(s) to arrive. If you’ve ordered 10 or more cheques it could take up to 60 days.

How to pay in a cheque

You, or someone you trust, can pay in a cheque written to you using a Nationwide cash machine or over the counter at your nearest branch. If you need any help, just ask the team there.


Unfortunately, we cannot accept foreign cheques.

Paying in cheques by post

To pay in a cheque by post, print and complete our paying in cheques form. You’ll need to sign and date the form and send it to us with the cheque(s) you want to pay in.

What to do if you can’t print the form

Before you send your cheques, please make sure:

  • the cheque is in date

  • the cheque has been signed and dated

  • the cheque has both the words and figures on the front of the cheque and that these match

  • that both the sort code and account number have been written on the back of the cheque on the right hand side (we will pay the cheque to the account confirmed on the back of the cheque).

If you can’t print the form

If you can’t print the form, write these details on to the back of each cheque, on the right hand side only:

  • the account holder’s name(s)
  • your signature
  • the date
  • preferred contact number
  • sort code and account number, or
  • savings account number, example: 1234/123456789 (this can be found within the Internet Bank or your passbook if you have one).


You must include all this information on the right hand side of the back of every cheque you send. The left hand side needs to be left unmarked so we can process the cheque. Without all these details, your cheque may be rejected.

Please send completed cheques to your local branch.

How long does it take for a cheque to clear

For cheques paid in at:

  • a Nationwide branch, or cash machine inside a branch, before 7pm (Monday to Friday), your cheque will be deposited immediately and cleared by 11:59pm the next working day.
  • a cash machine outside a Nationwide branch, your cheque will be deposited when the branch next service it and will clear after another 2 working days.

If any cheque is paid in on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday, then the day of deposit will be the next working day.

For cheques paid in by post:

  • you'll be able to access your money two working days after we receive your cheques, so you’ll need to take postage time into account.
  • You might see the amount pending in your account before it becomes available.

When a cheque you pay in doesn't clear for payment

You’ll need to ask whoever wrote the cheque to issue you a new one. We’ll usually write to explain why this has happened. That way you have all the details you need when you speak with them.

However, if you haven’t heard anything after 10 days, and it isn’t showing in your available balance, please contact us:

Call us

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm.
Closed Sundays and bank holidays.

Visit us in branch

Prefer to speak face-to-face?

Order a new cheque book


We’ll automatically send a new cheque book once you write the 20th cheque in your current book.

Order online

Log into the Internet Bank

  1. Log into the Internet Bank
  2. Select the My messages tab
  3. Choose Compose new message
  4. From the drop down menu, choose your account
  5. Select Cheques
  6. Select Order cheque book.

Call us

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm.
Closed Sundays and bank holidays.

Visit us in branch

Prefer to speak face-to-face?

Cancel a cheque or cheque book

If you’d like to cancel a cheque or a cheque book, you can do so by calling us or visiting your nearest branch.

Call us

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm.
Closed Sundays and bank holidays.

Visit us in branch

Prefer to speak face-to-face?