This section is from the "Practical Banking" book, by Albert S. Bolles.
In paying a note or acceptance to a bank or banker, instead of drawing bank notes for the amount, the payer should request the paying teller of the bank in which his funds are deposited to certify that his check is good for the amount, and hand it to the bank or banker who holds the note or acceptance. The check in all cases should be made payable to his or their order for the amount of the same.
When making up a list of checks for deposit, the depositor should endorse them all, whether payable to bearer or order, with this phrase:
A. B. & Co.
Or, " For Deposit at Arctic Bank."
A. B. & Co.
By this means the depositor protects himself from risk of loss by losing any of the checks; for though payable to his order, and endorsed by him, they cannot be collected by any person except the clerk of the bank in which the deposits are made, and consequently they would be valueless in the hands of a stranger.
In the case of checks payable to bearer, the safer plan is to write across their face " See endorsement," or " For deposit." In England, the custom prevails of crossing checks payable to bearer. This crossing consists simply of drawing across the face of the check two parallel lines, between which are written the words, "& Co.," after a blank space. The check can then be collected only through a bank or banker.
To obviate the trouble of writing in full the words, "For deposit," or "For deposit at Arctic Bank," a stamp may be used, leaving only the signature of the party to be written underneath by himself.
A banking firm in San Francisco have the following rules printed on the inside of the front cover of their check books in order to impress on their customers the importance of using every precaution against fraudulent alterations or forgery of checks:
Guard Against Fraud!
Draw all your checks from your own book.
Number your checks in regular succession.
Write plainly. Use plenty of good black ink, and allow it to penetrate the fibre of the paper before blotting.
Begin writing and figures close to left-hand margin, and leave no space for additions or alterations.
See that the figures correspond with the body of the check, and that dollars are plainly separated from cents, thus:$100 75/100 or $100 1/100.
Keep this check-book in your safe when not in use.
Deposit your pass book regularly for monthly settlement.
In a recent address by an experienced banker,* he says that "a good bank clerk is one who, being thoroughly trustworthy, has a natural aptitude for figures, who is ready of hand and quick of eye, who can handle money neatly and expeditiously, and see in an instant whether what he handles is good or otherwise. A first-rate teller will detect a forged note or spurious coin by its very touch, even while he is handling thousands. Those who handle checks must acquire a rapid power of observing signatures, and be able to detect in an instant any attempt at fraud or forgery."
About half-past ten the exchanges from the Clearing-house are brought in by the messenger. If the paying teller examined the checks received he would be obliged to neglect other work, for they frequently amount to several millions. Three men are often sent by a bank to the Clearing-house. One man, a messenger, carries the exchanges, another guards him, and the third is the settling clerk. The settling clerk sits at a desk assigned to him. The messengers start one after another in the manner fully explained in the latter part of this work. The settling clerk receives the envelopes, containing the checks on his bank, from the messengers of other banks as they are passed in to him. He keeps these in a certain order, and enters the amount from each bank in the appropriate place in a statement prepared for that purpose. As soon as the proof is made the balances are struck, and the messenger and assistant return to the bank. The settling clerk remains to make the final proof, and then he returns. The messengers bring with them the record of the balance, which is generally correct. Sometimes, but not often, a small variation is discovered after further examination, which is always made.