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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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I was at a store, and the cashier scanned my check and then handed it back to me. Is this normal?

Answer:

Yes, a retailer or other person you give a check to may convert it into an electronic payment by scanning the information on your check. 

The scan will capture the specific number on the check so that it can be identified on your statement. You can hold on to the check for your records, but don’t use it to make another payment, even to the same merchant, because your bank or credit union may reject it.

The retailer or other person must provide notice of this practice on a sign near where it accepts checks. 

You have some important additional protections when your check is turned into an electronic transaction by scanning it.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.