The Truth Behind Why Google Checks Bounce

Nov 8, 2007 • 7:26 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense

We have reported not just once, but twice that Google checks have bounced for AdSense publishers. When you think about this happening, in a logical manner, one would think that one of the richest companies in the world cannot possibly bounce a check. Obviously, this can happen, but is very unlikely.

So what happened in the previous cases of a Google check bouncing? What is the likely story? We know it is unlikely that Google won't have funds in their bank accounts, especially the accounts used for paying AdSense publishers.

A long WebmasterWorld thread had a recent report of a bounced check. This time the forum members and I were not going to let this go. We kept grilling the person who reported the issue to bug the bank and get more details. After dozens of calls and speaking with several people at his bank, he found out the true reason as to why the check was "bounced."

In fact, the check was fine and should have been cleared into the account. However, the bank thought that this individual, who happens to deposit a check from Google very month, was defrauding the bank and Google.

A woman at National City Bank named Rachel, told the bank customer, that several individuals have tried to cash fraudulent Google checks at National City. Due to this, the bank put a hold on the check and told him that it bounced. Again, this individual has been an AdSense publisher for two years and has been depositing Google checks at that bank for 18 months.

I suspect this is much more likely a reason for a Google check to "bounce," when compared to Google not having the necessary funds in their bank account.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Matt Cutts

11/08/2007 06:32 pm

I've seen at least one other case where someone claimed that their Google check couldn't be cashed at a bank, but the check and account were fine. When we dug into it on the Google side, the best that we could guess was that the bank teller made a mistake, or possibly that that particular bank branch had a policy to only cash checks from the "home branch" of a person. But "my bank did something weird" doesn't make as sensational a story as "my Google check bounced!" :)

Dave Walker

11/09/2007 02:07 am

Get direct deposit [EFT] and avoid this all together!


11/09/2007 08:31 pm

Thanks Matt and Dave. I just posted more about this over on the WebmasterWorld thread, but I'll also chime in here to say that yes, these reported check errors are usually the result of a bank miscommunication. If you're in a country that can receive payments by EFT or Western Union Quick Cash, please sign up today!

Jonathan Dingman

11/12/2007 02:54 pm

Dave, That's what I'm talking about! EFT is the way to go. I do it for all my advertising avenues. It's faster, it's free (for us), and there's no "bouncing" issues :)

Jeff Moore

11/12/2007 06:12 pm

You know, i'm not surprised to learn that it was National City bank. I've had similar problems caching checks due to "fraud prevention." Since the same party pays me every month, I don't know what makes one month raise a flag and another month not. I've also had shop clerks tell me that I should change banks when i've handed them my National City debit card. I've had several lousy experiences with them and it seems im not alone.


11/18/2007 03:09 am

Considering the funds are literally created when the check is signed - it can never technically bounce - thats how the federal reserve system works. However - the fact that they said that they thought that people were trying to defraud google - thats interesting.


12/26/2007 05:18 am

Same here. Checked bounced in November... no explanation. Resubmiting process did not work. I want my money! NationalCity case.


04/11/2009 06:56 am

I think it should not happen any where, but there may be some problem there.


02/12/2013 02:24 pm

My cheque bounced today....I'll contacting the bank. Thanks for the info.

Hardeep Asrani

06/14/2013 12:28 pm

My bank bounced today... looks like it was some sort of mistake...I'll keep you guys updated tomorrow...

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