Technology spotlight: MICR check matching

FTNI’s ETran solution offers a unique and time-saving MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) matching tool that can be used by any business that receives checks from the same payers on a monthly basis (examples include loan processors, insurance agencies, nonprofit agencies, etc.). MICR check matching collects account information and reduces manual processing time. So what is MICR and how does FTNI’s matching tool work?

MICR verifies the originality of checks and other paper documents. Characters in the MICR line on the bottom of the check are printed with special ink that is sensitive to magnetic fields. The characters on the MICR line usually include the bank code, account number, check number, check amount and a control indicator. MICR characters can be manually read, but the technology also allows software that can read MICR to scan the information directly.

Banks and retailers use MICR to enhance security since the magnetic line is hard to reproduce accurately. Color copied counterfeit checks will not produce a responsive line or will produce an incorrect code when scanned. Checks remain the most common method for attempted payment fraud. According to a recent report by the Association for Financial Professionals, 82% of organizations reporting attempted or actual fraud cited checks as the method. MICR check reading can help reduce instances of check fraud.

Companies can also use MICR technology to process checks faster. ETran wants to help companies process checks smarter and more reliably than ever before in one sophisticated platform. FTNI’s ETran solution offers an MICR check matching tool that automates check processing. On first pass through ETran, the MICR line is associated with a specific client and related unique account information. A drop down search feature allows the user to search information from the downloaded file. Once the match is made, the customer record is updated.

On any future processes, ETran automates the check processing, so the checks are automatically associated with the correct account. Processing payments with MICR matching can save up to 70% of a company’s check processing time. Payment posting is quick and easy when the posting file is exported.

Many FTNI clients have used the MICR check feature as part of their payment processing environment to save time and increase efficiency. You can read about MICR check matching in several of our customer success stories within our Resources section. 


Topics: check processing, electronic check imaging