Magnetic Ink Character Recognition is a system which allows documents to be 'electronically' read at high speed. It is commonly used in the banking industry and MICR inks can be found at the bottom of most checks (typically recording details such as the account number and sort code). Because the inks used are magnetized; any information can be quickly and securely processed with the help of a special scanner.
Printing your own checks can save your business a small fortune, but you'll need to invest in a laser printer that accepts MICR toner. Because MICR is a niche technology you may well find that manufacturers don't produce MICR toner cartridges for your specific model of printer. However, if you own an HP or a Lexmark printer then the chances are that you'll be in luck.
Besides checks, MICR printers can also be used for printing depository transfers and loan coupons; as well as the usual array of standard printing tasks. The most versatile of today's printers allow you to switch between cartridges, depending on the job.
MICR toner costs significantly more than regular toner owing to the high quality of the product (badly printed MICR can not be read); however they often mean substantial savings in the long run.
Refilling MICR toner cartridges isn't recommended as quality is soon compromised. However, one way to save money (and the environment) is to send your spent empty cartridge back to the OEM for remanufacturing. Cartridges are meticulously cleaned, tired parts are replaced, the toner hopper is refilled and the cartridge is tested prior to shipping.
Besides investing in the right laser printer and the right toner, you'll need to obtain the following: specific MICR font packages, a security cartridge (to make sure that nobody else can print your checks), the appropriate software, a quality control system. and a good supply of paper.