Magnetic Ink Character Recognition

Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) is a character recognition system that uses special ink and characters. MICR technology is generally used by banks to facilitate the processing and clearance of cheques.

MICR definition

Magnetic ink character recognition is a technology used to verify the legitimacy or originality of paper documents using special ink which is sensitive to magnetic fields.

The MICR encoding, called the MICR line, is typically located at the bottom of a cheque and usually includes the bank code, bank account number, cheque number, document type indicator etc. When such a document that contains this special ink encoding needs to be read, it is passed through a machine, which magnetizes the ink and then converts the magnetic information into characters.

The MICR E-13B font has been adopted as the international standard in ISO 1004:1995. Though CMC-7 font is used in many European countries.

MICR line example in E-13B font