If you are thinking about printing your own checks then you need to educate yourself on MICR Toner. Made up of regular toner with a higher concentrate of iron oxide this type of toner cartridge can be read by the automated bank sorters readers. Using just a regular toner cartridge will result in the banks having to manually enter your check into the computer system and can access you a bank fee as high as $30 per check. It is very important to get a good grasp on the procedures of printing your own checks before you just jump in and end up paying a high cost in bank fees.
MICR Toner stands for Magnetic Ink Character
Recognition Toner, is a special toner that utilizes character recognition
technology used primarily by the banking industry to facilitate the processing
of checks and makes up the routing numbers and account numbers at the bottom of
checks. This technology allows computers to read information (such as account
numbers) off printed documents. Unlike barcodes or similar technologies,
however, MICR codes can be easily read by humans.
MICR characters are printed in special typefaces with a magnetic toner, usually containing higher amounts of iron oxide than regular toner. As a machine decodes the MICR fonts, it first magnetizes the characters in the plane of the paper. Then the characters are passed over a MICR read head, a device similar to the playback head of a tape recorder. As each character passes over the head it produces a unique waveform that can be easily identified by the system.
The use of magnetic printing allows the characters to be read reliably even if they have been overprinted or obscured by other marks, such as cancellation stamps and signature. The error rate for the magnetic scanning of a typical check is smaller than that with optical character recognition systems.
Just having a laser printer and a regular toner cartridge will not allow you to print your own checks. Having a special cartridge called a MICR Toner Cartridge with the added iron oxide and a security feature of dye added to prevent forgery from a reputable cartridge company is the only way to ensure you won't be out any additional money for check fees from the bank. Writing a check is one part of the process. Being able to cash that check is another. There is nothing worse than handing out your payroll checks to your employee's just to find that the MICR Toner Cartridge that you used was inferior and all of the checks were questioned by the bank as fraud. To prevent this from occurring you need to consider buying your MICR Toner Cartridge from a reputable company that specializes in MICR Toner.
Prices for MICR Toner Cartridges can be substantially higher than regular toner. The reason behind this is that MICR Toner is a specially formulated toner with a higher iron oxide content and security dye's that prohibit criminals from altering the checks. The price is well worth the reward when it comes to check fraud. Finding the right company can be especially tricky when it comes to MICR Toner Cartridges. If you set out for the lowest price in this industry you will quickly find yourself with an inferior product that can cost you in the long run.
Just having the MICR Toner Cartridge is not enough. Having checks with a security feature is another thing. Often criminals will use special techniques to lift or modify the name and amount of the check giving them the funds instead of who they were intended. Security features are continuously being updated and developed to defend against alteration, erasure, toner removal, photocopying, and counterfeiting. Choosing the right security features for your business can save you big money. Without preventive measures, your company becomes an attractive target for crime rings or individual fraud artists. A shift in liability from the banks to the check issuers has begun because the issuers are not protecting themselves. A good secure check will have both covert and overt features.
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