MICR Background

The MICR market deals specifically with the printing of cheques and other financial documents. Via the MICR font located at the bottom of the financial document, the financial institution is able to electronically capture the transaction detail for posting.

Established in 1956, the use of MICR has remained the preferred process over other forms of electronic capturing due to its reliability, durability and cost effectiveness. Presently, some 3 to 4 million documents per say are processed within the Australian marketplace accounting for billions of dollars in transactions. Strictly monitored by the by the Australian marketplace accounting for billions of dollars in transactions. Strictly monitored by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) in conjunction with the Australian Banker's Association, printing of financial documents require high quality, secure printing methods.

Traditionally, this standard has only been available to specialist security printing companies and banking institutions.

Technology required to reproduce the E13B MICR font needs to be capable of creating exact character formations. The magnetic properties in the ink or toner used in printing the E13B font can generate electronic signwave signatures when passed through the high speed reader/sorter  equipment installed within banking clearance houses. The electronic signature  generated by each character is translated into the numeric values representing the Bank/State/Branch ID, Client account number and Auxiliary number, ie cheque number. The amount of the document is captured via optical character recognition methods which can translate both machine printed and handwritten values. This information is then used by the banking institution to exchange the amount of the document from the issuer's account to the payee's account or vice versa in the case of billing items.

A MICR document may be processed up to 20 times before it is correctly sorted for disbursement. All financial documents are returned to the issuer's branch for reconciliation and archiving. The rigorous demands put on both the MICR line and its carrier (the paper) apply additional standards to the overall printing specification beyond those required for the MICR font itself. The permanency of the MICR ink or toner to the paper is crucial. If the toner falls off the document it will clog the read head and reject following documents.

Out of the daily 3-4 million documents being processed, around 2% of this volume (approximately 48,000) will reject (up from .5% in the past). Rejected documents require manual processing. The high cost of this process has prompted the bank to recover costs up to $10 per item.

The increase in use of Desktop printing systems for cheques and other financial documents can be attributed to this. Individuals and suppliers of technology being unaware of market requirements have implemented systems which work well below market acceptance. Please read "toner only product comparison".

Today, the HP LaserJet "MICR Enabled" printing solution provides high quality and secure printing within central and decentralized environments to all issuers of cheques and other financial documents.

The jointly engineered "MICR Enabled" solution calibrates the print engine with the toner and the E13B font to meet and maintain market standards.

There is more to MICR than just font and toner. You need Quality, Security, Reliability and Simplicity.

Contact Information

Marinter Systems Pty. Ltd.


61 2 9533 1044


61 2 9533 1921

Postal address:

P.O. Box 393 Riverwood NSW 2210, Australia

Electronic mail: 








Copyright 1999
All features and specifications subject to change without notice, Hewlett-Packard, HP, Support Pack  and LaserJet are registered trademarks of Hewlett-Packard Company.  Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Jetmobile is a registered trademark of Jetmobile Europe.  TROY is a registered trademark of TROY Group Inc. All other trademarks and references are the rightful property of their respective owners. Marinter Systems is an authorized MICR and Barcode/MICR distributor for Jetmobile.