Lexmark provides fraud protection with magnetic ink

Printer manufacturer Lexmark on Wednesday teamed up with Dataline, a Magnetic Ink Character Recognition specialist, to help companies automatically recognise fraudulent documents and more easily organise their financial paperworkThe earliest Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) systems were installed in the 1950s by banks and other financial institutions but Lexmark said smaller companies will now have access to the same technology at a fraction of the cost.

Printer manufacturer Lexmark on Wednesday teamed up with Dataline, a Magnetic Ink Character Recognition specialist, to help companies automatically recognise fraudulent documents and more easily organise their financial paperwork

The earliest Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) systems were installed in the 1950s by banks and other financial institutions but Lexmark said smaller companies will now have access to the same technology at a fraction of the cost.

Ken Swanson, managing director of Dataline, said the system is secured using a number of authentication systems combined with a proprietary toner, font, paper and hardware.

"This is not a true-type font that you can pick up off the net. The toner is micro chip controlled and it requires our application to authenticate it before printing. Also, users are issued with a password so they can access the font, which is stored on the printer itself," said Swanson.

Swanson said previous "affordable" solutions were less secure because so many different companies were providing consumables and hardware.

"This is a proprietary solution. Alternative products have been fairly insecure because there were various toner re-fillers and manufacturers getting involved," said Swanson.

According to Swanson, the combined Dataline and Lexmark products will allow smaller companies to benefit from a secure MICR technology.

"Previous solutions were typically adopted by large financial and corporate organisations. Now that technology is cheap enough for what we call tier-two and tier-three companies that may use lower-value ERP and accounting software," Swanson added.