10 Facts You Need to Know About Laser Check Printing on Your IBM i

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Let's look at the truth and bust the myths.


Editor's note: This article introduces the white paper "10 Facts You Need to Know About Laser Check Printing on Your IBM i" available free from the MC White Paper Center.


The first thing you need to know is that laser check printing is secure and easier to maintain than traditional pre-printed check printing.


The second thing to know is that, with a few quick steps, setup is simple. You do not need to purchase special equipment, and it is very easy to update bank account numbers, signatures, and logos.


The third thing you should know is that laser check printing can save thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of dollars in supplies and labor, depending on the size of your company.


In this guide you will find:

• A supply list

• What to look for in laser check software

• How to get bank approval of your checks

• Fact vs. fiction about laser check printing

Shopping List


Shop for laser check software that includes:

• A check register that logs every check printed, including the ID of the person who printed the check, the check number, the amount, and the payee

• Customized approval thresholds to set and monitor user access

• Capability to position the MICR line to the thousandths of an inch to meet bank requirements for MICR placement

• Ability to print from multiple bank accounts

• Excellent customer support for quick setup and response to any questions


MICR Toner

MICR toner uses magnetically chargeable toner that allows routing numbers and account numbers to be read by bank scanners. It's readily available in multiple places.

Insider Tips:

• Always keep a spare

• We recommend that re-manufactured cartridges be avoided because of unreliable performance

No need to purchase an expensive MICR-enhanced printer. Most regular laser printers handle MICR ink cartridges.


Safety Check Stock

Safety check stock is significantly less expensive than preprinted checks. A variety of security features are available to help combat fraud by preventing checks from being photocopied or altered in any way. Ask your check provider what they recommend for the specific needs of your company.

6 Steps to Getting Bank Approval and Preventing Fraud

1. Ask your bank for its check printing requirements prior to implementation.

2. Use quality MICR toner (do not use refurbished MICR toner cartridges). Low quality toner and check stock will result in toner flaking and may lead to complaints from your bank.

3. Submit laser check samples to your bank for approval well in advance of your "go live" date to allow for changes and resubmissions for approval. Continue to communicate with your bank about any future changes in check design.

4. Use safety check stock and store it in a climate-controlled environment, according to storage guidelines that you can get from your check provider.

5. Use a MICR gauge to verify MICR line placement, and check MICR placement quarterly.

6. Rotate staff and vary duties of employees involved in laser check printing. Conduct surprise audits, and train employees to recognize check fraud.

Laser Check Printing: Fiction vs. Facts

Are you considering moving to laser checks but having doubts about the process? It could be that the doubts keeping you on the fence about moving forward are based on fiction, not facts. Here is the real dealfiction vs. factsabout replacing preprinted checks with laser check printing.


Fiction #1: You'll have to get out your wallet to pay for a special printer.


There is a persistent myth that in order to use laser check printing software, you have to purchase a proprietary and expensive "MICR-enhanced" printer. The myth promotes the falsehood that regular laser printers cannot print checks that pass the bank certification process.


The Facts

We have many clients using a readily available and inexpensive laser printer to print their checks without any issues with any bank. As long as you purchase good software that contains a good MICR font and you use good MICR toner (not refurbished cartridges), you should have no problems getting your checks passed through your bank certification process.


Fiction #2: You'll have to chase down "special" and hard-to-find MICR toner and safety check stock.


The Facts

We have been selling laser check software for over 10 years, and all of our customers use readily available MICR toner and blank safety check stock to print their checks without having any issues with any bank.

Want to Know More?

Download the free white paper "10 Facts You Need to Know About Laser Check Printing on Your IBM i" from the MC White Paper Center.