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What is a MICR Toner Cartridge?

By Bethany Taylor August 15, 2020 0 comments

If you have dealt with checks, you are definitely familiar with the term “MICR toner.” MICR is the short form of Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. A MICR toner cartridge is a specialty toner that the banking industry uses for fast, secure, and accurate check processing. Additionally, an MICR toner is a toner that is magnetized and translated into characters by a machine specialized for this process. These unique characters are like modern-day fingerprints that are used in the prevention of fraud. The toner is organized in a specific pattern or in a particular syntax to be read by machines specifically designed for this job.

How Do MICR Cartridges Work?

Printers with MICR toner

It is important to have checks printed using a MICR toner

A MICR cartridge has a special toner powder that has been explicitly intended for printing checks. 

Notably, printers with MICR toner can use this powder. MICR toners print out a bank’s routing number, account number, and check number on a check. This is known as the “MICR line,” which provides both the consumer and the banking institution with security when it comes to making transactions.

The MICR toner formula functions alongside a special font known as E-13B to produce a distinctive combination of characters on a check. That significantly decreases the risk of fraud during the check-processing period.

When Are MICR Toner Cartridges Used in a Laser Check Printer?

They are used exclusively for printing checks. If you print a check with a standard toner cartridge, the bank will probably reject it. That may make you incur an unnecessary expense after being charged a check rejection fee by your financial institution.

What is the Difference Between MICR Ink And MICR Toner?

As noted above, MICR ink and MICR toners are used to print special numbers known as MICR lines on checks. MICR ink is used in MICR toner compatible printers to print checks on Inkjet printers. On the other hand, MICR toner is used to print MICR lines on laser printers. Both kinds of cartridges should be compliant to the ANSI standard for check printing if they are originally manufactured and not remanufactured or refilled.

Why Businesses Print Checks with MICR Ink and Toner

MICR magnetic ink cartridge

You can use MICR ink in MICR toner compatible printer to print checks

Every bank and the Federal Reserve requires checks to be printed with MICR toner or ink to be processed easily. Businesses and companies should also use magnetic ink for payroll checks. As a check moves through the check clearing system, it goes through the reader or sorting machines that send a magnetic charge to the check. That allows the machine to read the information included within the MICR line.

If you want more information on how to choose or how to make MICR magnetic ink, get in touch with us at Progressive Business Systems, Inc.

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