What’s in a check? A lot more than you might think.
The quality of any Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) document depends on several components. It’s critical to have a secure MICR printer and blank check stock working together to eliminate the expense and risk associated with pre-printed checks, but without a quality MICR toner cartridge in place, even the best hardware in the world won’t ensure your check meets Federal Reserve’s MICR standards.
The Federal Reserve requires MICR toner for every check in circulation
To process checks, banks’ high-speed reader/sorters must be able to “read” the numeric information that appears at the bottom of checks – the MICR line. This MICR line must be printed using magnetic toner because the machine sends magnetic charges to the paper in order to read the routing and account numbers. If the MICR line is mis-read or unreadable at this stage, the financial institution repairs the MICR line on the check, resulting in a processing fee, also known as a check reject fee that gets passed back to the company who issued the check. Check reject fees can get very expensive if many checks are printed with the same poor-quality MICR toner cartridge.
The importance of quality MICR toner cartridges
The quality of the MICR toner has to satisfy your business needs in terms of yield, or number of pages printed per cartridge, and performance, which should be virtually defect-free. When testing the performance and quality of MICR toner, look for:
- Character Signal Strength – What’s the measure of the magnetic property in the toner? Is it high enough?
- Adhesion – What’s the MICR toner’s ability to adhere or fuse to the check paper?
- Durability – How does the MICR toner perform when passing through a reader/sorter multiple times?
- Contamination – How does the MICR toner affect the printer hardware?
- Toner Yield – What’s the expected output of pages per MICR toner cartridge?
Source Technologies’ MICR toner cartridges pass a 300-step manufacturing process designed to ensure businesses receive quality cartridges that mitigate check fraud risk and reduce check reject fees. Check out the Source Technologies MICR toner cartridge quality assurance process for more elements to test when looking for quality MICR toner that adheres with national MICR standards.