What happens when you use a cheque to buy something? The shop (also called 'merchant') deposits the cheque in his bank. The bank sends the cheque to Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited. Using a system called the Real Time Gross Settlement, the amount of the cheque you have written is paid by your bank to that of the shop. Your bank account is debited (the cheque amount is paid out of the money or balance you have in your bank account) and the shop's account is credited (he receives the money to his bank account). It usually takes between one and two days to clear a cheque.