What Is MICR? - MICR Line Explained

MICR is an acronym for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition; it refers to the formulation of toner used to print the specialized font at the bottom of checks and other negotiable documents. Unlike regular laser toner, MICR toner contains iron oxide, which is required by the Federal Reserve to make the check-clearing process more efficient.

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Why Is the MICR Line Quality So Important?

Once a check is deposited into the bank, it is sent to a central location for processing, where high-speed readers/sorters read the MICR line information by sending a magnetic charge to the paper and reading the routing number and the account numbers there. The checks are then sorted based on the MICR line information. Checks are usually sorted multiple times and then sent to internal holding, clearing houses, the Federal Reserve, or other destinations. Misread or unreadable MICR lines are repaired at this stage and the repair process adds costs and delays for the financial institution. These costs are often passed to the company that printed the check.

Checks where the payee and payor accounts are from the same institution are referred to as “on-us” checks, which get processed and stored internally. Checks drawn on other institutions are dispatched to other clearing agencies for further processing. The clearing agent also utilizes reader/sorter equipment to read and sort the checks by the payor banks, where they are typically processed again by high-speed reader/sorter equipment. Checks must withstand multiple passes through the equipment and the MICR line must remain durable and legible.

Our Quality MICR Printers

Source Technologies’ MICR laser printers and OEM toner cartridges are engineered specifically for MICR printing. MICR toner is used for checks, WIC vouchers, and other negotiable documents. Our solution includes extensive security features, MICR fonts and toners all designed to optimize the performance of our printers. Decades of research, development and testing have been put into our products resulting in a solution that produces secure MICR documents of the highest quality using blank check stock.

To learn more about our MICR print solutions and what is MICR and what is not, contact Source Technologies today.

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