A check (UK: cheque) is a written order instructing a bank to debit a specified account and to credit the debited amount to another specified account or to pay it out in cash.
Checks typically include the option of specifying a date or a range of dates during which the order is valid. They may include a magnetic field which facilitates automated settlement.
Personal checks are the most commonly used type of check. Whether or not the order placed by the drawer of a personal check can be fulfilled is contingent on whether sufficient assets are available in the drawer’s account.
Bank-guaranteed checks (bank checks) are guaranteed by the bank, meaning the bank performs the transaction whether or not sufficient assets are available in the drawer’s account. These are the most secure form of checks and guarantee that the beneficiary can deposit or cash the check.
A cash check is a personal check or bank check which orders a bank to debit a specified account and pay out the debited amount to a beneficiary in cash. A blank endorsed cash check is a check which does not specify a beneficiary and can be cashed by anyone.
A post-dated check is a personal check or bank check on which the date specified by the drawer is later than the date on which the check is written. The recipient of a post-dated check can only deposit or cash the check after the specified date. Post-dated checks are sometimes used as securities or as speculative instruments in the form of deferred checks.