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How to Void a Pre-Authorized Check for Payment

Safeguarding Your Business From Accidental Loss of Funds

Voided checkBusinesses often use future-dated pre-authorized checks, or pre-scheduled online payments, to pay for their goods and services. But a business’s finances can sometimes fluctuate without notice, and when this happens, such future-dated payments can wreak havoc on the company’s bank account if they are processed when the company doesn’t have the funds available.

At times like this, having the ability to void the payments can help you protect your company’s revenue. Here is how to go about voiding a pre-authorized check for payment.

Voiding a Paper Check

If you need to void a paper check that has been issued in advance, then you are going to have to contact the payee and ask them to send the check back to you. Once you receive the check, write “VOID” across the face of the check in bold lettering. Make sure you update your company’s ledger to reflect the voided check.

Voiding an Electronic Check

If you scheduled an e-check payment and you now need to cancel it, then you have a couple of options. You can either adjust the pay date online on the payee’s website, or if that is not possible, then you will have to contact your bank and ask them to place a stop payment on the e-check.

In order to stop a payment, you will need to provide the bank with the name of the payee, the amount of the check, and the check number, if you were supplied with one. In some cases, when a check number isn’t issued, the check may still clear through the account even after placing a stop payment on it, although some banks may still be able to void it using the payee’s name or the amount.

What to Do After a Check Is Voided

When you have the need to void a pre-authorized check, it is important to monitor your bank activity to ensure that the payment does not still clear through the account. This can sometimes happen when a paper check is converted to an electronic check.

If an electronic payment is processed even after you placed a stop payment on it, then you have the right to claim a refund from your bank. Electronic bank transactions are regulated by federal regulation E, which allows you to file for a refund with the bank within 60 days of receiving the bank statement on which the charge appears.

Dave Donovan


Dave Donovan has written extensively for the web with a primary focus on articles targeting finance and business.