Do you remember where you were in 1972? For the millions of merchants who rely on magnetic stripe card readers and writers as well as high-accuracy MICR check readers and scanners, that was the year MagTek first brought its advanced technology to the electronic payment processing industry.
In the 32 years since, MagTek has become the leader in electronic transaction technology. Today, its products and components are utilized at point-of-sale and back-office locations in millions of businesses worldwide. They are incorporated into kiosks and ATMs, banking customer service terminals, custom retail POS terminals as well as restaurant and hospitality equipment.
How has MagTek achieved this level of success? By adopting a steadfast commitment to innovation and manufacturing cutting-edge technologies. Recent MagTek offerings include MICR check readers/scanners for meeting the growing demand for check conversion, encrypting PIN pads with magstripe and smart card capability, high-reliability motorized card encoding technology, hybrid magnetic-stripe/smart card reader/writer technology, USB-enabled interface readers and PIN pads, and integrated customer PIN selection and card management systems.
MagTek attributes much of its success to its late founder and visionary, Thomas C. McGeary and the other members of MagTek's senior management for their guidance. After Mr. McGeary's passing in December 2002, Annemarie D. "Mimi" Hart joined MagTek as the President & CEO. With more than 25 years experience and her effective leadership and management styles, MagTek's sales have grown and manufacturing costs have declined, resulting in a strengthening of MagTek and the design and delivery of better products to the marketplace.
"Our message is clear," says John Arato, Business Unit Manger for Retail Products at MagTek. "We are a well-positioned company with over 30 years of experience and manufacture the most reliable check reading and scanning products in the industry."
Continuing in its commitment to set the standard, MagTek recently introduced two new products to meet the demands of changing transactional regulations. The first is Excella, a check reader/imager specifically designed to meet the needs created by Check 21.
"We are very excited about Excella," says Arato. "This product offers the industry a tremendous opportunity for utilizing extraordinary technology at a competitive price."
As a state-of-the-art check reader and dual-sided scanner specifically designed to meet the check processing requirements created as a result of Check 21, Excella endorses checks, reads MICR data and scans both sides of the check in a single pass. Excella supports high-quality grayscale or black and white images using the most common file formats. It reads E13B or CMC7 MICR fonts using MICR data formats compatible with previous MagTek MICR check readers. Its small footprint and striking design make it an ideal desktop device to provide reliable implementation of early-image capture while affording the merchant the most savings in check processing costs.
Needless to say, Excella is generating lots of excitement.. While it is not a typical ISO product, those ISOs who focus on ARC applications will find it a perfect fit.
MagTek's second recent offering to the ISO community is the MICRImage check reader. This unit connects easily with all major POS terminals, including Hypercom, VeriFone, Lipman and others and has been embraced across the board. It allows for check conversion as well as check imaging for POS applications. MICRImage is nationally utilized and implemented.
"The sales growth and demand for MICRImage is overwhelming," says Arato. "Last year, we saw a 70% growth for this product. Like all MagTek products, it is priced competitively and built with quality."
Another MagTek product that ISOs are very familiar with is the Mini MICR. Since its introduction over twelve years ago, MagTek has shipped more than 1 million units. That's a smashing success for MagTek and they owe it all to ISOs and Retailers across the country.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank the ISO community for their amazing support of the Mini MICR," says Arato. "Now is the time to use MagTek's next generation products. The MICR data format compatibility that MICRImage and Excella offer eases the migration effort to implement the latest in MagTek check reading technology. With the demand for new applications such as Electronic Check Conversion and advantages created as a result of Check 21, it is time to take advantage of upselling merchants with our new products."
One of MagTek's key strengths is its core departments are contained under one roof in Carson, California. Research & Development, Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Support, and Training-all these departments are in-house and staffed with over 200 dedicated employees.
"Last August, we realigned the company into vertical channels," says Arato. "Now we have sales managers devoted just to the ISO and Processor channel and they are fully engaged. They are responsible for sales and training for their respective accounts, and as an added level of support, our Help desk is also readily available to assist on the more involved customer inquiries."
With newly hired talent, new products and new restructuring comes new challenges. What is confronting MagTek and how are they responding?
"One of the biggest challenges is staying ahead of the ever growing demand for our products, but MagTek's management, infrastructure and manufacturing capability are poised for this challenge" says Arato. "We refuse to substitute quantity for quality. We are laser focused on manufacturing our products in a timely manner with the highest standards of quality. This speaks volumes to the credibility of the company and the quality of the products."
What does the future hold for MagTek? High on their list is getting more certifications with MICRImage and Excella at the processor level. The team at MagTek is actively pursuing product certifications and considers this effort a number one priority.
"Our sales people are aggressively working with the major bankcard and check processors to secure the product certifications required", says Arato. Our strategy is to grow the business and remain profitable for all our partners and customers. That is our key objective."
Another equally important objective for MagTek is its concentration on the part of the "payment processing pie" that offers great promise for growth and profitability-namely acquirers and ISOs.
"The industry is well aware that we have brought on some talented people to help us grow," says Arato. "We are focused on pursuing the acquirer/ISO market. My goal is to penetrate that channel and work profitably to strengthen our relationships with the ISOs and acquirers."
How will MagTek achieve that goal? By actively and aggressively meeting with acquirers, ISOs and MLS across the country to showcase the MICRImage and Excella check readers/imagers.
"We are now attending all of the national industry tradeshows and many of the regional shows," says Arato. "MagTek is clearly an industry leader and we are known for our proven and reliable 'money mover' products, namely our magstripe readers, check readers, check scanning products, smart card readers and PIN issuing and cardholder verification products. We have a full array of offerings to meet all the needs of the POS and electronic transaction."
You can reach MagTek at
1-800-788-6835 or at