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The American standard of business

MICR Check Printer

MICR docWhen you look at a check or other financial documents, you’ll possibly notice strange signs in certain positions. On a standard financial check, these characters appear along the bottom, and usually contain information such as: the account number, the routing number, and the individual check number. It is the MICR line (MICR font dates back to the 50’s).

During the 1950’s, and increasing demand for business checking accounts led major American financial institutions to scramble for a efficient and accurate way of processing the exploding volume of checks.

MICR — the universal financial standard

Magnetic Ink Character  RecognitionMany countries use the same MICR font, known as E-13B. E-13B characters are the official MICR font is the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, India and Japan. In these countries, the E13-B information needed by banks and clearing houses is printed in a magnetic ink near the bottom of the document.

After the financial checks or financial documents are printed, they then are mechanically processed and electronically sorted through a special machine.

This machine magnetically reads out required information about the check including account number, the amount of the check, institution upon which the check was issued and other transaction codes.

Magnetic Ink Character Recognition in the USA

While it is not necessary for the usual person to understand all the process that allows financial institutions and banks to process their checks, the technology used in the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition process has allowed financial system the USA to grow to the size that is today.

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