What Printers Use Magnetic Ink?

check MICR reader isolated

 Whether you are running your small business from home or are well-established in an office, printing your own checks can save time and money. The ability to print your own checks eliminates the risk of running out of them at an inconvenient time. When printing your own checks, there are a few things to be aware of beforehand.

Checks come with a special code at the bottom of each one, and this must be printed using magnetic ink. The printer from which you are printing your checks must be MICR-, or Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, compatible. In order to effectively print your checks, the printer needs to have check printing software, MICR fonts, MICR-compatible cartridges and check printing paper.

More About Magnetic Ink Character Recognition

MICR is a Federal Reserve-required technology for check printing. MICR is used for validating the authenticity of documents and, specifically, checks.

Magnetic ink is used to print specific information. In the case of checks, routing, account numbers and account-specific information can be encoded in the ink. MICR technology minimizes the chances of fraud and enhances security.

If a check is fraudulently printed, it does not contain accurate information in the line of magnetic ink which alerts the bank to take further steps to verify it. Bank check processing machines are designed to process high levels of iron oxide in check printing or magnetic ink.

loading paper into laser printer

Which Printers Are MICR-Compatible?

While it is possible to use magnetic ink cartridges in an inkjet printer, often the magnetic particles in the cartridge settle to the bottom which then compromises the quality and strength in the magnetic print. If the strength of the magnetic ink is not enough to be read by the bank’s check-processing equipment, an error is triggered, and this costs you time and sometimes money.

Laser printers with MICR toner are the ideal option when it comes to printing checks. The magnetic particles required for MICR printing are much more compatible with the solid toner material of laser printing than its liquid ink counterpart.

Most laser printer toner is slightly magnetic to begin with which allows it to be directed to its necessary place on the paper. MICR toner cartridges, designed specifically for check printing, are available and work well with many small-and large-scale laserjet printers.

woman fixing copy machine

The Magnetic Difference

When considering whether to purchase a MICR-compatible printer and MICR toner cartridges for your business, keep in mind that you may spend a bit more money upfront to upgrade your inkjet printer, but you will be saving money over time.

Although MICR technology was not always easily accessible, a wide variety and selection of printers today are equipped for proper check printing and allow almost anyone to print checks from their home or office. The investment in a quality printer enables you to print checks easily and as needed for the foreseeable future which provide a number of other benefits.

  • Minimizes Fraud

Unlike regular toners and inkjet ink, MICR toners must contain at least 50-60% iron oxide to meet minimum requirements as set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for all banking and financial institutions. If a check is presented to a bank with ink that does not meet these standards, the check will be investigated further before it is processed. This minimizes potentially costly check fraud for you and your business.

  • Higher Quality Output

If you print a check using a substandard magnetic ink, the check will likely be returned or rejected. Using a high-quality MICR toner when printing checks minimizes the time and hassle for you, your employees and the bank, as well as any possible fees in relation to the poor quality of the check.

  • Reduces Costs

Printing your own checks can ultimately save you money if you invest in quality materials upfront. Without having to rely on a check printing or payroll service, you can minimize related expenses and not having a stack of checks already printed out increases personal security.

  • Reduces Waste

If you print a check with a substandard ink or low-grade magnetic cartridge, it will likely create smears or smudges on the check. This ultimately leads to you having to reprint the check. MICR toners are designed specifically for check printing and eliminate the costly and wasteful need to reprint checks due to ink smears.

Final Word

For individuals and businesses who desire the capability to print their own checks, and reduce related expenses while not compromising security, magnetic ink and MICR compatible printers are an economical solution. Ink Jet Super Store is ready to answer all your questions related to installing MICR toners and compatible printers.