• Laser Printing, Magnetism, and You: How Self-Printed Checks Affect MICR Readability

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    When magnetic ink came into widespread use on checks in the 1950s, it was more or less unthinkable that anyone would be trying to print their own. With no such thing as a personal or office computer, the learning curve was far too steep, and the equipment cost-prohibitive, to be worth your while unless you...

  • Battle of the MICR Fonts: Which Is Better, E13B or CMC7?

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    If you read the previous article in our series about magnetic printing on checks, then you’ve already got a basic understanding of how MICR reading works, and of the differences between the two main types of fonts used on checks. To recap briefly: MICR readers don’t “see” the characters; only the amount of magnetic signal...

  • Why does the magnetic MICR printing on checks use such a weird font?

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    Chances are that at least once in your life, you’ve looked at the bottom of a check and wondered, “What are those strange, alien-looking numbers? And why are they printed that way, with all the weird bulges?” It’s pretty common knowledge (in the industry, at least) that those are the routing number – in other...

  • Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance in Remote Deposit Capture: Helpful Tips

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    Navigating through the alphabet soup of RDC regulatory compliance can be a headache, but we’re here to help with that. Over the past few years, we’ve gotten a lot of questions from the banks and credit unions we serve about what we can do to help them comply with rules set down by various regulatory...

  • How Much Does Your Receipt Printer Cost You?

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    Adding up the money spent on consumable supplies Photo by Ben Charlton / Creative Commons license 2.0 When you buy a receipt printer, the original purchase price is only a small fraction of what you’re signing up for in the long run. For starters, there’s the paper: At about 40 cents for a 150-foot roll...

  • POS Encryption: Understanding the Basics

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    What is an Encrypting Read Head and What Does it Prevent? To the uninitiated, card security can be a daunting subject, but a basic understanding of a few simple principles goes a long way toward protecting yourself. Here we’ll clear up a few things about encryption, and take a step-by-step look at some of the...

  • All About Remote Deposit

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    Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) was created with the advent of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, or Check 21 Act, enacted by the United States Congress in 2003. This process allows businesses, and now consumers, to scan in check deposits using a specialized check scanner, a flatbed scanner, or even by using the...

  • Bank Resource Center

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    Check processing has come a long way in the past ten years. In 2003, the Fed began an initiative to reduce the number of locations processing paper checks, then 45. As of 2010 that number was reduced to one location in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2003, check scanners were rare and smartphones even rarer. Today, hundreds...

  • Check Fraud

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    Check fraud is a serious and costly issue around the world.  In fact, though the number of checks written has decreased 26% between 2009 and 2010, according to a recent article in The Green Sheet, citing 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study, the per-item cost due to check fraud has doubled from 2009 to 2011 from...

  • Exception Items

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    Check exception items are checks that for a number of reasons cannot be mechanically processed by a bank or financial institution.  These items include checks drawn on foreign banks, checks with no signature and sometimes no rear endorsement, stop payment items or items drawn on closed accounts, items with poor image quality, or for other...

  • MICR and OCR

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    The main challenge with check processing is to streamline and automate the process to reduce keystrokes.  Two technologies are used to automate this process.  The first has been used for over half a century; it is magnetic ink character recognition or MICR.  This process uses ink with magnetic resonance to print characters on the bottom...

  • How does MICR scanning work?

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    MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) capture has stood the test of time, having been printed on checks since 1959.  Not much has changed in the methods of printing the MICR ink on checks, however, a lot has changed in the technology to capture and read those characters more efficiently.  Technology has certainly improved in MICR read heads used...

  • Optimizing Check Images

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    It’s all about image. No, we’re not talking about Hollywood, although that statement would seem to apply there as well. We’re talking about the check and how important a good image is to achieving ROI in teller capture and branch capture. Why is image so important? Without a clear image produced by the scanner and...

  • Teller Capture vs. Branch Capture

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    Desktop check scanners have changed the face of check item image capture.  It used to take days to clear checks as the paper traveled from the bank of first deposit (BOFD) to the paying bank.  However, since the introduction of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21) was passed in 2004, the clearing process...

  • The History of Remote Deposit Capture

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    Remote deposit got its start in 2003 with the passage of the Check 21 Act, which gave scanned images of checks the same legal standing as the original paper documents. The primary reason for the Check 21 Act was to speed up the check clearing process between banks, by allowing them to exchange check images...