Is It Unreasonable to Refuse a Bank Cheque?

I've sold my car to someone interstate for ~ $17K. They've deposited $500 into my bank account. They're flying up on Saturday to take the car and want to pay the balance with an ANZ bank cheque. A cursory search of the ANZ site finds this:

You can contact the ANZ Internet Banking team on 13 33 50 (International callers: +61 3 9683 8833) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to request an urgent stop payment on a lost or stolen bank cheque or to cancel a bank cheque you have purchased via ANZ Internet Banking.

This seems to fly in the face of "bank cheques are as good as (or better than) cash", which I've read in lots of places. I can't see any alternative to demanding cash or a bank transfer that's finalised before the weekend. Am I missing something? Is there an alternative?

EDIT: Though there a few who think it is unreasonable, there are quite a few more who think I shouldn't accept a bank cheque. There have been a few alternatives offered, pretty much none of which work easily and/or on the weekend. I've stuck to my guns and the buyers have agreed to bring cash.

Thanks for all the input.


      • Anz branch are open on saturday morning .

        • any ANZ branch here

          Most are closed, those that are open don't have Teller service on Saturday.

          • @Baysew: Interesting… so far the one i went on saturday morning had tellers and were definetly working as usual. They usually factors the fact that most people are working monday to friday and will need to come on a saturday morning to do some stuffs they can't normally. Same for westpac and cba who also open on saturday morning…

  • +12

    Only read the OP.

    DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT let the car go anywhere until you get cleared funds in your account. Simply do not. Triple so, if it's going interstate.

    • So he gonna make the buyer wait at his house for a few days or so until money comes and then let him drive it back home?

      • +3

        There are many instant money transfer mechanisms. This isn't 1975

        • The buyer banks with ANZ, the seller with Macquarie and ING. Neither has made a substantial money transfer before. The transaction has to happen on a Saturday. What instant money transfer mechanisms are available to us?

          • @SteveB00: Well, it's Monday now, so what did you end up doing?

    • and your advice to the buyer is do not pay for the car in advance until you have the keys? lol. What happens if the scammer was the seller?

      • Not sure I said that. Maybe you could highlight that part?

  • +4

    Just go cash. If I truly wanted the car I would get the cash out and give it too you for car on pickup. They may say they are worried about carrying that much. Well there's no way I would let anyone near it when travelling. Better if they are coming with a partner to split the funds. Gee they are already making the trouble of coming interstate.

    • this, you can order cash at your closest branch, if all good take them to the branch, cash out then all is straight forward for everyone

    • +1

      I would never do that. Telling someone you have only met on the internet, that you will be at a certain place at a certain time with a guaranteed large amount of money on you, that is definitely asking to be robbed.

      • meet outside a police station. At least the police CCTV will get them.

      • Then dont tell them you're going in to buy it off for cash, tell them you're looking and if you're keen on it after the inspection, you would buy it. But don't mention you would pay in cash. And then rock up with cash and pay in cash if you actually like the car, surprise mother! If you're that worried, come with a buddy or two or carry a weapon….maybe a box cutter? or scissors? Or baseball bat i don't know, anything that makes you feel mobbed free carrying 17k cash.

  • +4

    I'm selling a car tomorrow and my plan was to show him the car, if he is happy, go to CBA bank. He electronically transfers from his CBA account to my CBA account at a teller.

    I then check my CBA app, walk up to teller and have them transfer to my other bank. Sign paperwork, hand over keys and he rolls to department of transport and lodges the signed paperwork within the time frame.

    • What's would be the plan if the sale is at the weekend, like the OP?

      • +9

        Bank Cheque. lol

        • +1

          Some branches are open partially on Sat, might be ok to check in advance

      • Have him deposit the cash into my account at a weekend bank.

    • That's all good and well for amounts under 10k, it's not that easy after that.

    • +1

      I then check my CBA app, walk up to teller and have them transfer to my other bank

      That's a bit absurd.

      • +1

        He's attempting to prevent the payment being reversed by ensuring the funds are no longer there to be reversed. Not sure this actually works, but I wouldn't call it absurd

  • I only do cash for things like selling a car, then go to my bank to deposit it.

    Also take photos of their licence, a written agreement to transfer the car, with the price listed, and that it was paid in cash. photos of everything.

  • Bank Cheques are usually used for House deposits

    • +9

      Or for any large purchase where you don't want to carry aound an envelope stuffed with cash.

      Have you ever carried around $17k in cash?

    • +3

      Correct. It's hard for someone to abscond with your house.

    • +2


  • +15

    It's a very rare occurrence for a Bank Cheque to be cancelled and in 13 years of Banking I only came across it once and in that case the Cheque was stolen before it could be handed over and deposited and I'm sure there were all sorts of hoops like stat decs we had to jump through to do it. Your bank is going to make you wait for it to clear though. Your re-assurance is that you are sure the account it was drawn on has the funds to pay it unlike a personal cheque where there could be no funds. Good funds had to be handed over purchase the bank cheque.

    Also I would call ANZ and ask what the circumstances are under which the purchaser of the Bank Cheque can Stop or Cancel. The terms you are talking about refer to the circumstances where the prepare and mail a bank cheque on your behalf so you can possibly stop that before it is mailed but not after.

    • Yes, I understand that. And I trust the buyers. However, imagine they get 100 kms down the road and the car, through no known issue, catches fire and burns to the ground. I'm an honest person, but I could imagine myself, in this situation, starting to think I've been the victim of fraud, and maybe the car wasn't as represented. Might I try to get the bank to cancel the cheque? Maybe …

      • +10

        You could try but you would have to be lying to the Bank and on a Stat Dec to do this.

    • I also have a personal friend who was once (last century) paid for services rendered with a bank cheque that the bank didn't honour (long story). It ended up in court and I'm still not sure he got the money.

      • +1

        If the cheque is not honored the reasoning would usually messy. They aren't infallible

        • +2

          If the cheque is not honored

          Then they are committing a crime… (Cheques Act 1986)

          • +1

            @jv: JV mate, you love your bolding dont you?

            • +2

              @Currynuts: Not really…

              • @jv: Its just more often than not, you have bolded something in your comments!

                • +4

                  @Currynuts: When jv buys a car his bank cheque is written in bold

          • @jv: Not if it is done as part of a Court Order

            Eg if a Court issued a directive (ATO/Police/Institution, or family/civil/commercial proceedings), there are many circumstances in which the buyer may not even know their cheque could be cancelled, or an EFT reversed.

    • I cancelled a bank cheque with Commonwealth in 2018 wth no issues. The only hoop I had to jump through was to attend a branch as it couldn't be done over the phone.

      • +1

        Had it been presented though?

  • From my original post:

    You can contact the ANZ Internet Banking team on 13 33 50 (International callers: +61 3 9683 8833) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to request an urgent stop payment on a lost or stolen bank cheque or to cancel a bank cheque you have purchased via ANZ Internet Banking.

    Where am I lying? Especially if I think I've been defrauded.

    • Has the cheque been lost or stolen ? It's a pretty simple question.

  • +1

    Updates to the banking network over the last year or so mean transactions between almost any bank in Australia are instant, regardless of if it's on the weekend or in the middle of the night. There should be no need to use bank cheques for this sort of thing.

    ANZ and Macquarie have both already moved across to this New Payment Platform (NPP), so I'd suggest they should call ANZ to prepare to affect the transfer over the weekend and you call Macquarie to understand how you can verify payment on the spot.

    Hope this helps :)

    • +3

      There are usually daily transfer limits. Also, first time transfers and/or large values can be held for a day or two by the fraud team for investigation.

      Eg On a Sunday I bought something worth about $100 off Facebook Marketplace, the seller and I thought a transfer from CBA to CBA account would be instant, but because it was the first time I transferred to that person, it was pending for about day.

      The receipt email explicitly said

      "For your security, first time payments to new accounts will be held for up to 24 hours."

      In this situation, seeing as $500 has already been transferred, you would think/hope another transfer would be instant.

      • +1

        Daily transfer limits on ANZ accounts with 2FA are $25k, but the whole setup of that might be a bit much for anyone who isn't tech-savy. I've sent plenty of money from my ANZ account, even to accounts I've never sent to before, and have never had a payment held.

        I think that's why the advice is to call your bank. A quick online search shows this to be a CBA security measure…I've got no idea if that rule is sometimes applied by other banks, but it's definitely worth checking!

        • +1

          Just a point of interest around this - your bank limits may exceed the Osko instant payment limits. I recently needed to send some money from one of my accounts to another, although my daily transfer limits were more than enough, I could only do $10k per day via the Osko system. I had to either send $10k every day, or send $10k instant and the rest overnight.

          If I was the buyer I'd send $7k instantly the day before I arrived to pick up the car, then the remaining $10k instantly when I actually got the car.

      • Even if it's paused by fraud it's out of the buyers account and can't be reversed by the sender

  • +5

    Keep it simple.
    If the person wants your car then just explain that any payment must be cleared before you hand over posession.
    If you are unable to confirm that a payment is cleared on a weekend then that is his problem, not yours.
    If he does not want to understand then he is suspicious and I would not deal with him.
    BTW… Bank cheques can be counterfeit. Been happening for decades.

  • Someone has to trust someone

    if Im a buyer im not chucking 20k into some strangers bank account

    if Im a seller, im not letting a 20k car drive off without the money.

    • +6

      If the buyer pays cash, no one has to trust anyone.

      • except for a visit from buyers mates that night/next day after the car disappears up the road. :)

        • -6

          And austrac for breaching 10k limit rule

          • @Herbse: There is no 10k limit rule. That was a proposal that has since been dismissed.

          • @Herbse: You can trade more tha in the $10k cash it just gets tracked. If you are buying a car that's not something they are interested in

      • who carries 20k cash though?

        • +4

          Someone who's about to buy something at $20K?

  • +2

    Have them sign something that's dated and timed, so as to give a bit of recourse in the event of them trying to back out?

    It's a shame really that the <1% cause the reasoning behind this post, when majority of people would be perfectly honest about the whole thing

    • I agree. I'm one of the honest >99% but, as I explained above, I could imagine a situation in which I might entertain thoughts of asking a bank to stop payment on a bank check, not because I'm a scammer, but because I've believe I've been misled.

      • Similar to spacebsck suggestion, but also just ask if the guy is happy to record a quick video, showing him, you, car and Bank cheque, agreeing to transaction. You now have verbal and written agreement with face.

        If there is a claim of stolen bank cheque I would think you have plenty of evidence to refute the bank.

        • Are signatures worth the paper nowadays? Can't they just scribble whatever

          • +1

            @capslock janitor: Yea, that’s why I suggested making a short video with your phone as well. Now days it’s easy to make that extra back up evidence

  • -2

    Is It Unreasonable to Refuse a Bank Cheque?


    • +1


    • Is It Unreasonable to Refuse a Bank Cheque?

      Yes Yes

      FTFY JV.

      • That is bold of you…

  • +6

    Why not open a new transaction account in ANZ and ask him to meet near the branch which is open on Saturday. Just go into the branch and ask him to transfer the money through teller. Infact check deposit from ANZ to ANZ should be instant

  • +1

    Nope, cash is king. Payment by bank transfer is safer.

  • +5

    Damn you're paranoid, you should just refund the guys $500 and say no.

    A transfer puts him in risk of you scamming him and some people don't wanna bring that much cash, you have literally no reason to suspect him being a scammer but you worrying about it, yes there are scammers out there but while you hear about hundreds of them you don't hear about the hundreds of thousands of successful fine purchases/sales people make.

    I just don't understand why you took the deal if you were so suspicious of it, you created the problem for yourself, just give him his $500 back and find another seller if you're so paranoid, I feel bad for the buyer.

    • The guy is a woman and she's already paid for a vehicle inspection and airfares for herself and her husband. As I explained above, I could imagine a scenario where an honest person might feel they've been defrauded, and ask for a bank to cancel a bank cheque.

      I feel bad for the buyer, too, but I can't see that I have any alternative but to insist on cash.

      • -1

        Just get them to bank transfer. They've already done $500, why can't they do the rest?

        • +2

          So the OP wont defraud the buyer, but buyer will defraud the OP? My aluminium hat just aint adding that up properly, I might have to buy a aluminium body suit too.

          The buyer has

          1. Organised a bank cheque - Safe legal tender, can anybody direct me to any news report of somebody being defrauded by the use of a bank cheque?
          2. Deposited $500
          3. Organised to fly interstate to pick up the vehicle

          Theyre legit!

            • +2

              @John Kimble: Youre suggesting that the OP request the whole amount be transferred to them which would then open the buyer up to be defrauded of the whole amount, which just seems ridiculous to me.

              The OP is not the only one with something to lose here. The buyer is using a legitimate "safe" way of purchasing.

              There has to be some level of trust from both parties.

              In my opinion, the buyer has shown a huge degree of trust by placing a deposit, & organising interstate flights, what has the OP given?

              • @chalks1971: you never know ..
                a few hundred VS 17k vehicle

                for all we know they could've been travelling anyway, and taken this opportunity (or not even interstate)

                take the plunge

      • +8

        You feel bad for putting them in a situation you put them in and have no basis of your paranoia?

        That makes no sense man, you're just being paranoid, admit it you've read too much ozbargain.

        • +1

          have no basis

          What are you talking about? Scamming people out of their shit is not uncommon enough to stop being wary of it - especially when we are talking about sums of money like this.

          • +3

            @johnno07: Its a bank cheque. I'm yet to hear of an instance where bank cheques were easily "reversed/cancelled".

            OP is being exceedingly paranoid.

  • +1

    I would open a bank account in the same bank the buyer is intending to draw a bank cheque and then visit the branch with them and do an instant transfer. That way the buyer doesn’t need to carry large cash with them and the the seller has cleared funds.

    Opening a new bank account is relatively straightforward in most banks.

    • -1

      You didn't read the whole thread, did you?

      • +1

        Well you didn’t read my response properly. If I were you, I would open a bank account in ANZ and then ask the buyer to meet at the ANZ branch (many of them are open on Saturdays) and transfer the remaining balance at the bank. Simple. Have done that multiple times and no issues.

  • Use Paypal.

    • +4

      'item not received'/'item not as described' :D

      • You can't do that on PayPal gift

        • Good to know but who buys a car and pay using Paypal gift?

  • +4

    people are confusing between a 'bank cheque' and a 'personal cheque'. they are different.

    • +3

      Perhaps, but bank cheques can still be cancelled by the buyer.

      • +2

        Which is illegal to do unless you have a very good reason.

        • +5

          I'm sure if you're shifty, you wouldn't really care about participating in illegal activities.

          • @JimB: If you’re that worried you should also worry about meeting them in person as well right? What if they just steal your car instead….

            • @cloudy: I'm not worried, I would accept a bank cheque.

              I'm just stating the fact bank cheques can be cancelled.

        • So is stealing the car

          • +2

            @pharkurnell: YOU WOULDN'T DOWNLOAD A CAR.

            • @Munki: If I could, I would.

              These days it's just easy to stream it for a few dollars a month.

Login or Join to leave a comment