MICR code helps protect your business checks

This document briefly defines magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) code, and summarizes how you can use it to protect the checks you write for your small business. For your accounts-payable and/or payroll accounts, you can order either standard or blank MICR checks. Each standard MICR check includes your preprinted MICR code. Each blank MICR check includes an open line into which you print your own MICR code, using MICR toner.
What is MICR code?
MICR code facilitates processing checks throughout the entire banking system. Both humans and specific check-processing machines can read MICR code. Criminals have trouble erasing or altering MICR code. Therefore, it helps protect against check fraud. The bottom line on every check contains MICR code in three or four fields (left to right):
  • Auxiliary ON-US - The payee's check number. This field field exists only if the check is a business check, which is typically wider than 6.5 inches.
  • Transit - Issuing bank or institution number.
  • ON-US - The payee's account number.
  • Amount - This field is empty until a processing authority, such as a bank, fills it in.
Standard MICR check
Each standard MICR check includes a preprinted MICR line that contains a sequential check number, your bank's transit number and your account number. You specify a new starting number when you order each batch of checks. As you you print your checks, you must load them in correct sequence, according to check number. For example the first check you print must have the same number as indicated by your accounting software.
You can print standard MICR checks on any printer. You need neither an MICR printer nor MICR toner cartridges. However, if you make a major change, such as closing an account, you must destroy your remaining stock of standard MICR checks for that account.
Blank MICR Checks
Each blank MICR check includes a space into which you can print your own MICR code. You need either an MICR printer or any standard laser printer for which you can obtain MICR toner cartridges.
MICR Printer - An MICR printer is a laser printer that has been designed to print onto only blank MICR checks. It uses MICR toner cartridges. It can have optional security features, such as lockable drawers, a removable hard drive to store authorized signatures, and watermarking capability.
Standard Laser Printer - You can use almost any standard laser printer to print onto blank MICR checks. For example, if an MICR toner cartridge is available for your printer, you can use it.
Regardless which type printer you select (MICR or Standard), you should use it to print only onto blank MICR checks, and keep it in a locked room or cabinet so that only authorized personnel can access it. You must also install check-printing software that supports your printer, is compatible with your accounting software, and includes MICR fonts.

1 comment :

  1. Hi,
    Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, or MICR, is a character recognition technology used primarily by the banking industry to facilitate the processing of cheques. MICR characters are printed in special typefaces with a magnetic ink or toner, usually containing iron oxide.order bank checks