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Unformatted text preview: use bar codes to identify and track each
packet. For example, Federal Express of USA uses a unique bar-coding system and their
employees can usually tell a customer within a matter of minutes the current location of
Magnetic-Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
MICR is similar to OCR and is used by the banking industry for faster processing of the
large volume of cheques being handled every day by this industry. Banks that employ
MICR technology use a special type of cheque. The bank's identification code (name,
branch, etc.), account number, and the cheque number are pre-printed (encoded) using
characters from a special character set on all these cheques with a special ink that
contains magnetizable particles of iron oxide before the cheques are given to the
customers for use. A sample cheque that employs MICR technology is shown in Figure
9.14. When a customer presents a filled-in cheque at a bank, a bank employee manually enters
(keys in) the amount written on the cheque in the lower right corner of the cheque using
an MICR inscriber, which prints the amount with the magnetic ink. The date of the
transaction is automatically recorded for all cheques processed that day. This cheque is
then processed using an MICR reader-sorter, which can recognize magnetic ink
characters. The MICR reader-sorter reads the data on the cheques and sorts the cheques
for distribution to other banks or for further processing.
The most commonly used character set by MICR devices is known as E13B font that
consists of the numerals 0 to 9 and four special characters as shown in Figure 9.15.
Coded data in the form of these fonts are transferred from cheques to the computer by an
MICR reader-sorter. As the cheques enter the reading unit, they pass through a magnetic
field, which causes the particles in the ink to become magnetized. Read heads then
interpret these characters by examining their shapes. The sorter is basically used to sort
the cheques into different pockets according to their identification code numbers.
MICR technology speeds up data input for the banking industry because cheques can be
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- Spring '14