Cheque Cancelled Because of US Date Format? (Australia)
Thread poster: DJHartmann

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Sep 15, 2016

I couldn't believe this!

My first big cheque from a prominent US agency got cancelled and the deposit withdrawn from my account after 2 days!

Calling Australia (from Thailand), I furiously wondered what could have been the case? The friendly Bank official said it wasn't a bad cheque, there could have just been an error with my name or the date or something. Looking at a photo of the cheque/deposit receipt, I noticed it had been written in US mm/dd/yy format and asked whether this was the problem. He responded, yes! Due to Australian law and regulations all cheques have to follow Australian guidelines, so please contact the sender and ask them to change their date format for future cheques.

Thankfully they're going to send the cheque to me here in Thailand where I doubt the bank staff will be so ridiculous not to deposit a cheque because of US date format!

Has anyone else experienced this before? Is it an Australian-only issue?


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:31
English to French
+ ...
idiotic bankers... Sep 16, 2016

... are not to be found only in the USA.

I don't know whether this is reassuring, or not.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:31
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Date formats Sep 16, 2016

I never use numeric-only date formats on any formal documents.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:31
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It sounds ridiculous, but is it really? Sep 16, 2016

A bank HAS to have rules because they have liabilities. The date of a cheque may not matter much if at all in most cases. But in one case every now and again it might be absolutely crucial. It's an absolute pain but I think banks have to have such rules.

The fact that there are two systems amazes me. It might have been OK in the past but it's crazy now. Personally, I'm very careful, but most of my clients insist on using all-figure dates, relying on their readers (British, American, Australian, but also Chinese etc using English - but which variant???) to be mind-readers too. My invoices are trilingual where necessary so I do use figures to avoid triplicating dates, but I use the unambiguous international format of YYYY-MM-DD.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Today Sep 16, 2016

Today's date is 16/09/2016.

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
German to English
What does that mean? Sep 16, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Today's date is 16/09/2016.


Are you saying that Americans don't really use the format M/D/YYYY?

Are you saying that the format M/D/YYYY is so stupid that we should just ignore the fact that hundreds of millions of people will misunderstand about a third of dates written only in numbers?

Do I also weigh 11 stones something, or does the stupidity argument apply in both directions?

Like Lincoln, I more or less never use number-only dates and, unlike Sheila, I almost never end up working in a context where they are unavoidable.


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Ruth Clowes  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 04:31
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Never experienced this particular problem with US dollar cheques Sep 16, 2016

This has never happened to me with my bank here in Australia. However, I don't like receiving US dollar cheques
because my bank charges AUD10.50 to deposit them and takes over a month to clear the funds.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:31
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Why the bank rejected the cheque Sep 16, 2016

Annoying as it is, I can see why the Australian bank might have rejected the cheque because the American date format was used.
For example:
If the cheque was issued on 12th September 2016, which in the European format would be written in figures as 12.09.2016, but in the American format would be written in figures as 09.12.2016, then (according to the European format) it would appear to have been issued on 9th December 2016 and would be deemed a post-dated cheque which banks usually don't accept.
Could that be the bank's reason?
That's why, for the sake of clarity and to avoid ambiguity, it's best for dates to be written out in full rather than only in figures.


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Ben Senior  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
German to English
German banks Sep 16, 2016

It's a long time ago but I received a cheque in Euros from an Irish client that I wanted to pay into a German Euro account. The bank here in Germany refused to accept the cheque because there was nowhere on the cheque that showed the location of where the cheque was made out, which is a requirement for all German cheques and official documents. A quick trip to another bank solved the problem because they were not so picky. Banks have their own rules and sometimes the bank employees cannot exercise a little bit of common sense. But I don't have any clients that send me cheques, I get paid only by bank transfer.

Ben


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:31
English to Japanese
+ ...
Cheques in this Internet age? Sep 16, 2016

Why didn't you ask for payment via Paypal, Moneybookers, Skrill, etc. or bank transfer?
It may cost you some money, but it's much easier, faster and more reliable.
I don't accept cheques due to the same reason as Ruth wrote. It takes more than two weeks to clear and I have to bear the cost for the bank's handling charges to receive money which may be equivalent or more than receiving money by bank transfer.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:31
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Write it out Sep 16, 2016

Lincoln Hui wrote:

I never use numeric-only date formats on any formal documents.


I do the same, including in my translations of personal documents. Different forms of date notation can be misunderstood, especially when both day and month are below 12.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:31
Member (2008)
French to English
International banks Sep 16, 2016

I don't understand this. Banking systems across countries are quite diverse and different countries have completely different banking standards. When I occasionally receive a cheque drawn on an overseas bank, which inevitably never meets local banking standards, my bank sends it back to the originating bank for confirmation. This is done internally between banks and doesn't involve either me or the originator. This can mean a hold on the deposit for several weeks until the confirmation is received, but at least the deposit has been made. Certainly it has never meant money is deposited without a hold to my account, then withdrawing the funds. What if the OP had spent the money before it was retaken by the bank? Then it would mean bounced payments, overdrafts, etc., because of a subsequent decision by the bank after accepting the deposit.

I can understand US clients paying by cheque. Cheques are still widely used in the US and for many companies it is the only way they will pay. It is a criminal offence in the US to pass a bad cheque (even one), so there is very little cheque fraud.

[Edited at 2016-09-16 15:46 GMT]


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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:31
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
No fees, little risk=happy US check recipients Sep 16, 2016

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

Why didn't you ask for payment via Paypal, Moneybookers, Skrill, etc. or bank transfer?
It may cost you some money, but it's much easier, faster and more reliable.
I don't accept cheques due to the same reason as Ruth wrote. It takes more than two weeks to clear and I have to bear the cost for the bank's handling charges to receive money which may be equivalent or more than receiving money by bank transfer.

Pretty simple for those of us in the US--no fees for the receiver and no risk involved with checks (as long as you know the identity of the sender). Bank transfers here generally entail some sort of fee, unless you happen to have the same bank as the sender. Plus for bank transfers you have to give out your account number, etc., which always makes me a bit nervous.

Very different situation from the rest of the world. Have never asked for a check in China, and bank transfers are very convenient.

[Edited at 2016-09-16 16:37 GMT]


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Cheque Cancelled Because of US Date Format? (Australia)

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