From pre-authorizing payments to getting paid, sample cheques still come in handy… even though cheques are rarely used in Canada. The main reason you need a Bank of Montreal (BMO) sample cheque is to share your banking information with someone else.
Understanding Your BMO Sample Cheque
If you know what the numbers at the bottom of your BMO sample cheque mean, you can probably just share those numbers… without having to go looking for a Sample Cheque in your banking portal every time someone asks for a sample cheque.
So, here are the important features of a cheque in Canada that you should be able to recognize by looking at a cheque:
1. Your home address
This is information you don’t need to look at a sample cheque to know. However, this information is often needed by those who ask you for a sample cheque.
2. Your bank branch address
This is the address of your BMO branch. Note that some BMO branches have more than one point of service.
3. The Transit Number
This is a 5-digit number that identifies the BMO branch to which your bank account is associated.
4. The Institution Number
The institution number is a three-digit number that identifies the financial institution you are dealing with, regardless of the branch you have chosen. BMO’s institution number is 001.
5. Your account number (or folio number)
The account (or folio) number is the identifier for your bank account. Without the transit number and institution number, it cannot be used to transfer money. As a result, it is the most sensitive information you will find on your sample cheque, as it is the number that is associated with your bank account. This number varies in length depending on the financial institution, but BMO account numbers are always 7 digits long.
How to find your sample cheque on the BMO online portal
Before the Internet, a sample cheque was a paper cheque with “SAMPLE” or “VOID” written on it to ensure that the cheque could not be used. If you have a chequebook, you can still do this. In fact, a sample cheque is a document that contains all the information displayed on a cheque, so you can still do it that way.
For those who don’t want to waste paper, or who simply don’t have a chequebook, it is possible to obtain a BMO sample cheque by logging into the BMO online portal. Here are the steps to download a BMO sample cheque in PDF format with just a few clicks:
- Log into your BMO account through using the following link: https://www1.bmo.com/onlinebanking/cgi-bin/netbnx/NBmain
- Click on “My Accounts”
- Click on the account for which you would like a sample cheque
- Click on “Void Cheque”
- A PDF document containing your BMO sample cheque should open in your browser; all you need to do is download it.
Now you know everything you need to know about finding your BMO sample cheque, and how to interpret the different elements on it!