MICR is an acronym that stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. The MICR font was developed in the 1950s by Stanford University in conjunction with Bank of America for the purpose of more efficient processing of checks as the volume of checks was increasing rapidly and manual processing was no longer as effective.
The E13B MICR font is the standard used in the U.S. and many other countries. E13B generally refers to both the shape of the character and the magnetic nature of the toner/ink used for printing. Some countries use the CMC-7 MICR font standard.
ABA and ANSI in the U.S., PIRA and APACS in the U.K., CBA in Canada - MICR fonts must meet the standards set by these organizations to guarantee readability by reader/sorter equipment at financial institutions. Special toners or inks combined with appropriate printing equipment is required to ascertain the signal strength needed to meet MICR standards for readability.
MICR lines can be printed with magnetic ink on a printing press or with MICR toner on a laser printer. The ink or toner is magnetic and can be read by MICR reader/sorter equipment at financial institutions.
MICR check printing software will automatically print MICR encoded account and check information onto your checks during the check printing process. Checks can be printed locally to a printer on your network or distributed via secure web connection for printing at remote locations. MICR check printing software adds significant security and efficiency in check processing for organizations that print excess of 300 check per month.
The SecureCheck 8 MICR Check Printing System from AP Technology will work with virtually any accounting application on any platform to merge your accounting data with check layouts stored at the printer to create complete checks on blank stock. Learn more about SecureCheck 8 MICR Laser Check Printing.
With APSecure-RCP Remote MICR Check Printing System, your checks can be printed locally or to remote sites anywhere in the world. The only requirement is web connectivity.
The E13B MICR font is comprised of 14 characters, including ten specially designed numbers, 0 through 9, and four special symbols, Transit, Amount, On-Us, and Dash:
MICR Font Symbols
The MICR line contains critical account and routing information for automatic processing of the check through the banking system.
There are special, high-speed machines used to read E13B or compatible fonts. The MICR font is recognized by the waveform, magnetic pattern, or visual structure of the characters, or a combination of these methods.
Signal strength is affected by the level of iron oxide in laser-printed MICR characters. The iron oxide level in printed MICR characters is affected by MICR toner cartridge quality and laser printer settings.