What Is MICR Toner?
MICR, or magnetic ink character recognition, toner is specialized toner that is usually magnetized then translated into characters by a special type of machine. The result is a great way to prevent various types of fraud because the unique characters that result can be considered the fingerprints of today’s society.
Now that you know what a MICR toner printer is, let’s get into the specific details of what it does differently from other printers. For starters, if you look at the bottom of the checks in your checkbook, you’ll notice two sets of numbers. One is the bank number that is specific to the bank you use, and the other is your particular account number. These are also called the MICR numbers, and they are only printed either with MICR ink or MICR toner.
The difference between the two isn’t as complicated as it might sound. Simply put, if laser printers are used to print the checks, MICR toner is used, whereas MICR ink is utilized when the checks are printed on an inkjet printer. In both cases, check printing always includes MICR technology and includes printing with special machines that recognize each character quickly and easily, mainly because the characters are always in a certain order or combination.
Because of all these things, the line at the bottom of your checks that contains the routing and account numbers and also the check number is called the MICR line. The font that is used is one called the E-13B font, and most people recognize it by now as the standard font for check-processing purposes.
How Long Has MICR Technology Been Around?
Banking institutions know that MICR technology has been around since the 1950s, and if you take a look at your checks as compared to other people’s checks, you’ll notice that the routing and account numbers usually have the same typeface or font. This is intentional because MICR printing machines are essentially the same regardless of which bank and which printing company is providing people’s checks.
Although the technology isn’t required by law, most banks have agreed to utilize these machines because it does a great job of cutting down on fraud. Companies that actually print the checks themselves always use a special MICR printer and MICR toner cartridges for continuity, which is why your checks look so similar to everyone else’s.
Who Uses MICR Toners and Ink?
Basically, it is the banking and check-processing industries that purchase most of the MICR ink and toners on the market, but that doesn’t mean the products are difficult to find. In fact, there are numerous companies that make and sell more than one type of high-quality MICR toner cartridge to these industries, and just like other types of high yield toner cartridges, they are made for many different types of printing machines.
Just like when you purchase a printer for home use or for your office, MICR inks and cartridges can be made for specific brands of printers. For instance, there is an HP MICR toner, a Canon MICR toner, and many other types as well. This guarantees that the job will be done both correctly and in a much neater fashion, guaranteeing consistency among different banks and financial institutions.
In fact, this is such an accepted technology that if a company did decide to print checks using a standard toner cartridge instead of a MICR toner cartridge, the chances are good that the bank would reject those checks, which naturally would create a slew of headaches for both the bank itself and the person or business whose name is on the checks.
Of course, not all printers have MICR toner specifically made for them, but it is crucial for check-printing companies to utilize the right compatible MICR toner cartridge because this is the only way to make sure the checks are consistent in size and style as most of the other checks in use today.
Working Together to Produce the Best Results
When your check is processed, it goes through a MICR machine, but for the machine to read the numbers properly and determine if each check is real or a fake, two things are necessary: the right toner and the right fonts. The MICR machine reads both the font and deciphers the toner to make sure the two things are compatible, and if they’re not, then fraud is a possible reason why.
That is why most banks and financial institutions insist that only qualified companies print their checks for them because they know that they need a company that will use the right machines and the right toners so that the checks are printed correctly. It makes processing the checks both easier and faster, not to mention more reliable, making it easier for both banks and their customers to notice immediately if fraud has been committed.
Can You Print Your Own Checks with MICR Toner?
If you’ve already answered the question, what is MICR toner and a MICR machine, you’re already half-way to being able to print your own checks. As long as you have a legitimate account number, the right type of paper, and of course, the right toner and printer, you can feel free to print your own checks if you like.
MICR technology has been used for decades for one main purpose: to detect and deal with fraud on bank checks so that both people and businesses don’t suffer its ill effects. So far, the technology has saved billions of dollars in fraud costs, and it is a technology that isn’t expensive to utilize, especially because the companies that sell these specialized toner cartridges sell them at such reasonable prices.
If you’d like to find out more about these toner cartridges or even the check-printing process itself, you can do so by doing some online research. You can also go online to find the companies that offer toners for various types of printers, and if you’re a bank or financial institution, these things are an important step in learning all you can about bank fraud so that you can do your part to combat the problem.