MICR is an acronym. It stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. This is the process of making the fonts that contain the account numbers and routing numbers on the bottom of your checks the ability to give off a magnetic signal to enable readers and check sorters at the bank to process all the checks accurately and quickly. The most common fonts used for MICR printing are the CMC-7 fonts and the E-13B font. MICR is most commonly used in the bottom line of your checks and deposit slips which includes the routing and bank account numbers.
MICR is a powder based product (toner). It contains the mineral Iron Oxide, which allows the toner to give off a magnetic signal when passed through the automated bank readers. Bank readers will read and record the routing and account numbers off of the bottom of the checks and then sort the checks for payment and processing.
The History of MICR
The history of MICR started over 50 years ago. MICR was invented during the 1950's to help productivity of bank employees when processing checks. As time passed and technology evolved, computers started being implemented in banks as well as the business sector. So computer and technology manufacturers, and check processors (such as banks) worked together to make suggestions on ways to automate check processing.
Before the MICR method was developed, there were two check processing methods used; Top Tab Key Sort and Sort-a-Matic. The Top Tab Key Sort used a method of punched holes in the top of every check that indicated the different digits of ones, tens and hundreds. When sorted, a metal key was used. It was inserted into the holes on each check, and then it seperated them by the corresponding holes and put the checks in numberical order by account number with this method.
The Sort-a-Matic method was made of 100 dividers that were made of leather or metal. Each divider had its own number, and they were numbered from 0 to 99. This process sorted checks through different steps and phases. It would review the first two digits of the account number, and so on. Then the checks were placed into one of the dividers mentioned above. They were grouped with this process until the checks were in numerical order.
These old outdated methods were too time consuming for bank employees. Plus, there were more and more checks that needed processing everyday. So when computers became available, it was a no-brainer to automate this tedious process! Today MICR enables banks to process checks at a much faster rate than before.
What are MICR Specifications?
Guidelines were put into place to make sure the automated process ran smoothly. Some basic guidelines include good quality MICR character prints with no fading on the MICR line, as well as no breaks or voids. Also, guidelines were made to limit the skewing of the font characters to no more than 1.5 degrees on the check. Exact positioning for the font symbols that explain sections of fields (such as the Aux On-Us Field, Transit Field, On-Us Field, and Amount Field) were also established.
When guidelines are not met, the routing and banking numbers will give off a low signal or no signal. The checks therefore would be rejected by the bank readers, and the bank can charge a service fee of up to $30 per check to the issuer of the rejected check.
Where do you buy MICR?
Laser Cartridge Plus is one of the very best places to purchase MICR in the USA. Every MICR Toner is post-tested for quality assurance and exceeds ABA, ANSI, and Canadian standards. Our customers have become accustomed to having the highest quality bank certified MICR delivered to them trouble free and on-time since 1995. Laser Cartridge Plus has one of the lowest defective cartridge rates in the industry. We have customers in every trade all over the world who rely on our quality MICR Toner to print their checks everyday without bank rejections. Our customers demand only the most reliable MICR cartridges available in the market today and we pride ourselves on the fact that our cartridges are made in the USA. After years of research and many testing methods, we have brought only the best methods forward in current times for our customers with security features that make us the most trusted name in the business when it comes to MICR.
Choose a brand below to shop for MICR now, or watch the video below to learn more.