DEFINITION of 'Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Line - MICR'

The information that appears at the bottom of a check that includes the bank's routing number, the customer's account number, and the check number. The magnetic ink character recognition line is printed using technology that allows computers to read the printed information. Using MICR, computers can quickly read routing numbers, account numbers and other information from printed documents including checks. MICR numbers, letters and symbols are printed with magnetic ink or toner, usually in one of two major MICR fonts. The magnetic ink allows the computer to read the characters even if they have been covered with signatures, cancellation marks or other marks.

BREAKING DOWN 'Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Line - MICR'

MICR (often pronounced micker) is used mainly by the banking industry. A benefit of MICR over other computer-readable information such as bar codes is that humans are able to read MICR. The two MICR fonts that are used worldwide are E-13B and CMC-7. These unique fonts are used to help computers recognize the characters and limit check fraud.

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