Can we withdraw cash without a check?

Crossed check & Co: an overview of the check types

Checks are primarily a security instrument that contains a money order to a third party. Payment is made by the check issuer's bank to the holder of the check. This means that checks are mainly used for payment transactions.

The prerequisite for a successful check cashing is that the issuer's account has sufficient funds. If there is no cover, a bank can refuse to pay out a check.

This is how a check is cashed

As a rule, a check is a document that authorizes the purchaser to do two things: On the one hand, he can initiate a payment from the check issuer from his or her account and, on the other hand, he has the right to request this payment from a bank.

The usual process for a check is as follows:

  1. The check issuer fills out the check. There he enters the amount that the recipient is to receive, depending on the check, he deposits the name of the recipient and signs the document.
  2. The recipient receives the check and goes to his or her bank. Depending on the type of check, it can then be paid out in cash after submission or offset against the recipient's current account.

Usual areas of application

  • Payment of salaries or wages
    Wages can be paid out cashless with a check. The employee cashes his paycheck himself at his bank.
  • Payment for goods
    Sales and purchases of goods can be covered by checks. They are redeemed upon receipt of the goods.
  • Deposit of deposits
    In some cases, it is possible to leave higher deposit amounts as a check for short-term rentals of vehicles or real estate. Similar to a cash deposit, the check is cashed by the owner if necessary.
  • Alternative to cash or bank transfer
    For a long time, the check was the only way to make cashless payments when shopping. Checks could also replace bank transfers. Today, online transfers or EC cards are used instead.
  • Payment of surplus or damage from insurance
    Many statutory health insurance companies use personal checks to pay out surpluses to their members. Some insurers also send the money for damages to their customers in the form of a check.

Personal check

  • Will not be paid out in cash, but transferred to the recipient's current account.
  • Advantage: High security and traceable transaction.

The crossed check, or V-check for short, is a check that may not be cashed. It is only issued to a specific recipient, who can have the amount of the check paid to his or her current account. It usually takes between three and nine working days to cash a crossed check. This is how long the banks take to ensure that the issuer's account has sufficient funds for the transfer.

Crossed checks in Germany are marked “only for clearing” in accordance with Article 39 of the German Checks Act. The check issuer can add this note to the check by hand. This notice does not lose its validity even if it is crossed out. This prevents the recipient from having the amount paid out in cash.


Anyone with a valid current account with sufficient funds can issue a crossed check. The check is cashed at your own bank. A redemption at a foreign bank is also possible. However, fees may be charged for this.

Crossed checks prevent improper use, as the check cannot be redeemed anonymously. At the same time, the transaction can be precisely traced by transferring it to the recipient's current account. If a crossed check cannot be cashed due to insufficient funds from the check issuer, the recipient has the right to enforce his claim in court. Only order checks are even more secure.

Cashier's check

  • If cash is paid to the recipient, usually only redeemable at the named bank.
  • Advantage: Simple method of cashless transfer or payment - with the note "only for settlement", the cashier's check becomes a crossed check.

As the name suggests, cash is withdrawn when cashing these checks. Payment is usually only made to the recipient noted on the check. Personal checks can be used as an alternative to delivering cash. These checks are used, for example, in some countries to pay salaries.


Usually a bank is named on a cashier's check, at which the recipient can have the cash paid out. Usually it is the issuer's bank. If the check is cashed, it also serves as a receipt for receipt of the money.

Upon request, the cashier's check can be converted to a crossed check with the note “only for settlement” or, in international payment transactions, with two diagonal lines in the upper left area.

Order check

  • Often used for the secure mailing of checks, payments can only be made to the recipient named in the check.
  • Advantage: Secure form of money transfer.

An order check is a real "order paper", on which the amount written on it may only be paid out to the person noted on the check or to the bearer of the check (endorsement). Order checks can be recognized by the additional line for the recipient's name.


The order check is generally used for sending checks by post, as it offers the highest level of security and prevents misuse. However, the use of this type of check is rather rare, as it is associated with additional work on the part of the banks. This is because it must first check the authorization of the check holder or carrier. As a rule, the form for the check will be noted that the content may not be changed or deleted.

The order check can contain different endorsements. This involves the transfer of the rights to receive the amount of money. The following forms are possible for an order check:

  1. Full endorsement: In this case, the beneficiary is explicitly named on the check form.
  2. Blank endorsement: Here “to order” is added to the check. This means that anyone who gives it to the bank can redeem the order check.
  3. Debt collection endorsement: With this form, the beneficiary may only collect the value of the check for the issuer of the endorsement.

Order checks are cashed at a bank like other checks. They cannot be used as a means of payment.

Bearer check

  • May be paid out by the bank to the respective holder of the check.
  • Advantage: Easy administration for banks, since no identity check is required.

A holder's check is characterized by the fact that it can be redeemed by whoever owns it, i.e. is the holder of it. Bearer checks are therefore not restricted to a specific person or an endorsement.


Bearer's checks can be cashed at a bank by any adult. You do not need any legitimation to redeem. This means that bearer checks are transferable documents and work like cash.

The redemption of personal checks can be restricted by adding notes such as “or carrier” or “only for settlement”.

Name check

  • Issued to a specific person can only be redeemed by that person.
  • Advantage: Very secure money transfer.

A name check is always made out specifically for one recipient. Only that person can cash the check. Transfers by endorsement are not possible. In this case, the addition “not to order” is usually added to the check form.


In France, name checks can only be cashed at a bank by the legitimate beneficiary. Alternatively, it can be redeemed by an authorized bank representative. Depending on whether the name check is paid out in cash or settled, it is a cash or crossed check.

Other types of checks

In addition to the more common types of checks, there are other checks that are briefly presented here.

Cashier's checkBank checks are mainly used for intercontinental payments. With this type of check, the debtor is the bank. It becomes a check issuer. In this way, checks by recipients abroad can be cashed faster and more securely. Because it is easier for banks to check the creditworthiness of another bank than the creditworthiness of a private person or a company. In the case of a bank check, the original issuer's account is debited immediately.
Confirmed check / Bundesbank checkTheoretically, a confirmed check is not permitted under the Check Act. However, there is an exception with the Bundesbank check. In this case, the issuer's bank account will be debited immediately with the corresponding amount. The bank then sends this check to the Deutsche Bundesbank. She stamps the check and thereby confirms that it is covered. At the same time, the Bundesbank check can be used like cash. For the beneficiary, there is virtually no risk of default with such a check. Bundesbank checks are used, for example, when buying a house or car.
Euro checkThe Eurocheque can be seen as the forerunner of the EC card. Until 2002, banks guaranteed the cashing of these checks up to an amount of 400 D-Marks throughout Europe. Its redemption was linked to the debit card. Euro checks could be used in trade like cash.
Today this payment guarantee no longer exists. Instead, the EC card or the giro card can usually be used as a means of payment. It is also possible to withdraw cash from ATMs within the EU. For this reason, Euro checks are rarely used today.
Travelers CheckIn theory, a traveller's check is not an actual check, but rather an obligation. Because travelers can buy these checks in advance from providers such as American Express or Thomas Cook or banks for a fee. The checks can then be cashed in the destination country directly like cash or exchanged for cash at banks. Travelers checks are available in major currencies such as euros, dollars, pounds sterling or yen.
When cashing the checks, they must be signed. Often banks also require an identification document. It is also advisable to keep the receipt for the purchase of travelers checks.
One advantage of travelers checks is that, unlike cash, they can be reimbursed by the issuing provider in the event of theft.