MICR printing through smartforms
In my organization, business has decided to print checks from SAP instead of a third party application. i would like to share my experience and challenges while printing checks through smart forms ( especially MICR fonts ). MICR ( Magnetic ink character recognition code) is a special font used to print Check Number, Account Number & Routing Number in US & Canada.
- New printer setup in SAP and device specification.
- No print preview available in smart forms unlike ADS for NW 7.31 and higher release .
- Font position of MICR in accordance with bank specifications.
Technical Steps :
Since this is the first time we are trying to print checks from SAP, we had to go through lot of analysis and testing especially printing MICR fonts.
Challenge 1: Our physical printer model is Xerox Nuvera 100, same has been setup as a printer in SAP. i couldn’t able to find any suitable device type for this printer model.
How did we solve?
After researching multiple forums and external links , finally reached out to Xerox and they suggested to use any PCL5 device type in SAP.
Reason we chose HPLJ4 is we already printing some invoices using this device type in another Xerox printer .
Challenge 2:We didn’t have Adobe forms in our environment , we left with choice of using Scripts or Smart forms. we have decided to go with smart forms and build the check layout from scratch.
How did we solve?
- verified our font setup in SE73, New MICR font ZMICR1 was implemented in system by referring OSS note 94233 ( Support of MICR font ).
- verified if the new fonts were referenced in smart form preview ( OTF Display ), Use SP01 -> Preview the form -> Extras -> OTF Display.
- Usually the control sequence number plays a key role in printing any font properly, we reached out to Xerox to verify MICR control sequence number mapped in SE73.
- obviously we didn’t mapped correctly ( default entry doesn’t work ) , vendor specific control sequence number’s were provided and mapped in SE73.
- Above solved printing MICR fonts to certain extend , however escape sequence were not printed correctly.
- if you have noticed on OTF display preview, before printing Account Number special symbol “<,<:” has been seen. these are escape sequences to differentiate account number , routing number etc. according to bank specification.
- I have gone through the manual of Xerox Nuvera printer and identified which symbol represents escape sequence for E-13B ( Standard MICR representation) like below and mapped the same.
Challenge 3: Alignment and testing of MICR fonts for different banks ( CITI Bank for US Checks and Bank of Montreal for Canada Checks ).
Positioning and escape sequence in MICR fonts is key to make check pass through automatic.
users will be depositing the checks through mobile or manual methods as we do.
we had to issue multiple sample checks to pass bank’s verification process.
How did we solve?
- we used a special tool to verify the position and font of each bank checks according to their specification.
- usually bank’s will give the position details and tolerance level of each fonts.
- of course i have wasted bunch of papers to test this alignment 🙂
- Control Sequence Number setup in SAP plays a major role in printing MICR font.
- Escape Sequence Number can be obtained from product’s manual for proper mapping.
- Always search in SAP Support Launchpad, you will get some insight like guided answers.in this case i have used OSS note 1623930 (Trouble-shoot MICR Printing ).