Before computers were invented, handling bank checks was labor intensive and time consuming because all the data had to be recorded by hand. Now, people who work at banks record check information with computers, called "data input". Depending on what kinds of computers are available to the bank, the workers may use one of several methods of data input for the bank checks.
Input and Output
First, it is important to understand what the terms "input" and "output" mean in order to understand what you'll be doing during data input. Usually when a bank worker or teller receives a check she queries the computer by typing in the customer's account number, which is input. Depending on the computer program the bank is using to record the data, the computer usually responds by showing the customer's balance on the account. There is usually a field in which the teller can choose to enter a deposit amount (the amount of the check), and when the teller does this, it is called input. The screen then shows the customer's new balance, which is output.
Instead of having a computer that requires you to type in all of the customer's information, most banks now have a MICR reader to assist in data input, according to Elfring. MICR stands for magnetic ink character recognition. According to the University of Rhode Island, the characters on the bottom of almost all bank checks are now made of magnetized particles that the MICR machines can read. The magnetized numbers identify the check number, the bank or institution that issued the check and the customer's account number. The machine reads these numbers and eliminates the need to spend a lot of time typing in information about the bank check being deposited. Now, a teller can use MICR to read the check, then type in the amount of the check in order to provide the customer with his new balance.
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