Avoiding check fraud is serious business for any company. Advanced technology has been able to mitigate the occurrence of fraudulent checks, thanks in part to MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) printing. So, what makes this type of printing so unique?
How Does MICR Printing Work?
The role of MICR printing in check production focuses on a special toner and unique fonts. MICR fonts include E-13B and CMC-7.
The ink prints on the MICR line at the bottom of checks, with numbers and characters. It consists of the check, account, and bank routing numbers. The check amount can also be part of these numbers. Because it’s specially made for this line of numbers, it’s extremely difficult to recreate.
With the combination of ink and font, the finished product is the magnetic readability of the MICR line. It’s the most effective way to reduce the chance of check fraud.
Check Fraud Is Still a Considerable Threat
According to a recent study, check fraud is the most common type of fraudulent activity, with 66% of businesses saying they had an incident. While technology keeps improving, so do the efforts of criminals. Secure check printing involves many safety features, and MICR is critical to reducing risk in this category.
Why Does MICR Printing Matter?
The Federal Reserve requires that all checks have MICR toner to ensure ease of processing. A special process is necessary to be compliant with these regulations. Failure to include this and using traditional laser printers could expose you to fraud issues or bank rejection fees.
In addition to this, MICR solutions offer other benefits for secure check printing, including:
- The ability to eliminate pre-printed check stock, which can increase costs.
- Providing a secure, reliable method for on-demand production.
- Increasing the speed of the entire printing process.
- Streamlining check printing workflows.
The MICR and the printing equipment are crucial to protecting your checks. However, you want to be very discriminating in choosing a print provider to produce these documents.
MICR Printing with a Transactional Print and Mail Company
MICR is just one component of check security. When choosing to outsource check printing, you’ll want to select a transactional print and mail company. With such a partner, the security of checks increases while risk decreases. Here’s why.
Print Security Features
In addition to MICR, there are more security features to include on checks. You’ll want the provider to have:
- HALO Feature to thwart counterfeits, as a decoder lens will confirm its authenticity.
- Prismatic Print blends two or more colors in the pantograph and is nearly impossible to recreate.
- Customizable digital void pantograph (DVP) and authentication features.
- Digital verification grid (DVG) to verify that the document is not a copy.
- Microprint signature line (MP), which is the practice of using micro-text for the signature line. Should the document be copied, it would just show a dotted line, not the signature.
- Digitally printed security features that incorporate variable data.
Data Security Parameters
The data relating to your check printing must also have robust security parameters. Ask questions about the printer’s processes regarding data security. You’ll want to hear about their use of firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), data encryption, and permission provisioning.
Compliance Measures for Checking Printing
As noted above, the Federal Reserve requires MICR. In addition, the printer you work with should comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). This isn’t optional, so do your due diligence on compliance.
Accuracy Is Critical in Check Printing
Even if you have all the security features in the process, you could still need help with accuracy. The right check needs to meet the correct envelope. It’s not as easy as it seems and requires smart technology at the insertion point, which also provides a “record” of each check’s handling. A high-tech transactional check printer will have the equipment and processes to maintain a high level of accuracy.
Get MICR Printed Secure Checks with PCI Group
As a trusted transactional print and mail provider, we print secure and compliant checks for many industries. Our commitment to security, compliance, and accuracy is a top priority. If you’re in need of secure check printing services, you can count on our team to deliver. Learn about our solutions and protocols by getting in touch today.