Foreign check – how to cash it in Poland

Working outside Poland, many people came across checks, which are rare in our financial transactions, especially among private individuals. 

Watching foreign companies, you can see the scene when someone reaches for a checkbook and prints a form for a specified amount. In this way, in many countries, receivables for service providers, paid salaries or social benefits, and even refunded taxes are regulated.

So this is a form of cashless trading


That does not require any electronic devices, all you need is a checkbook and a pen. In Poland, it is hard to imagine that we will pay a plumber with a check to repair a leaking tap. This form of settlements has not been accepted with us, in a broader scope it functions only practically only between business entities.

Poles sort of immediately “jumped” from traditional banking to electronic and mobile banking, and while paying for services we remain faithful to cash. There is a lack of trust, fear that the check will not be covered.

No one is convinced by the fact that the issue of an uncovered check is punishable by criminal liability, even if it was done unintentionally (e.g. when the exhibitor was counting on the account to have received the money he had expected and was convinced that the check was covered) .

Foreign check – payment order

Foreign check - payment order

A check is a document containing an unconditional payment order for the sum of money specified on a check to the person named on it by name or simply to its bearer. The validity of a check, i.e. the time in which it can be cash from the moment it is issued, is governed by the financial regulations of the country. After this date, the bank issuing the check is still obliged to make it, but the issuer has the right to cancel it.

Checks are written on special, numbered forms in the form of a check book, which can be received by any account holder. The regulations precisely specify the elements that should appear on the check. The most important thing is to specify the exhibitor, the amount, date and place of issue, and the exhibitor’s signature.
The essence of the check is based on the trust that the person who issues it actually has a certain amount of money in his account and whoever receives the check will exchange it for money, i.e. he will make the check. The check can be issued in the form of purchase or collection.

In the first case, the bank accepts a check from the person who presents it for redemption and immediately pays out the money. It is different when collecting it. With this form, the bank accepts the check as a deposit and pays the amount it was based on when it receives money from the bank that serves the account of the check issuer.

Redeeming a foreign check


Accepting a check for collection is an inconvenience for the person to whom it was issued, because it does not receive money immediately, but must wait for confirmation of the authenticity of the check by the bank that issued it and transfer the money by the bank to which the check is to be issued. This operation can take up to several weeks, it all depends on the efficiency of information flow between the two institutions.

Additional costs of using a foreign check

The check may also be charged with a deduction by the bank where the check is being made for a certain amount due to various fees or commissions.
Shorter check delivery times and lower check delivery costs are two elements that private companies dealing with check transactions are trying to compete with. This industry flourished after the release of EU labor markets for Poles, when emigrants began to send checks to their families left in Poland with money earned, when Poles employed abroad began to receive a refund of taxes paid there.

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