Understanding ACH Return Codes
All things considered, ACH payments can return for one of 85 reasons. By the same token, Actum can help automate the processing and notification of returns for merchants to avoid returns due to manual errors. Also, Actum can eliminate the stress that comes with managing returns on your own by understanding these codes.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled all of the 2020 return codes, including the revisions to R10 and R11 per NACHA. In particular, we provided helpful suggestions on how a merchant can proceed.
ACH Return Code R01 – Insufficient Funds
Description: The available and/or cash reserve balance is not sufficient in covering the dollar value of the debit Entry.
Suggestion: This transaction may be attempted for a maximum of two attempts within 180 days of the original authorization date.
ACH Return Code R02 – Account Closed
Description: The customer or the Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI) closed a previously active account.
Suggestion: First, contact the customer to obtain updated bank information. If the goods or services have not been provided with the payment, wait until there is confirmation of a settled payment.
ACH Return Code R03 – No Account/Unable to Locate Account
Description: While the account number structure proves valid and passes the check digit validation, the account number does not correspond to the individual named in the Entry. Alternatively, the designated account number is not an existing account.
Suggestion: Contact the customer to confirm the exact name and routing and account numbers with the bank account in question. If this information does not match the initial entry, make the required changes to submit a new payment.
ACH Return Code R04 – Invalid Account Number
Description: The account number is not valid.
Suggestion: Contact the customer and obtain the correct bank account number to submit a new payment with this corrected bank information.
ACH Return Code R05 – Unauthorized Debit to Consumer Account Using Corporate SEC Code
Description: The CCD or CTX debit Entry previously Transmitted to a Consumer Account of the Receiver but was not authorized by the Receiver.
Suggestion: Contact the customer and resolve any issues with the disputed transaction.
ACH Return Code R06 – Returned per ODFI’s Request
Description: The Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI) requested that the RDFI return an Erroneous Entry. Alternatively, a credit Entry originated without the Originator’s authorization.
Suggestion: Contact Actum for further information and clarification.
ACH Return Code R07 – Authorization Revoked by Customer
Description: The RDFI’s customer (Receiver) canceled the authorization previously provided to the Originator for the debit Entry.
Suggestion: First, suspend any recurring payments for this bank account to prevent additional returned transactions. Next, contact the customer and resolve any issues with the cancelled transaction. Then, ask the customer to provide a different bank account. However, the customer can call their bank to remove blocks on transactions if the same bank account will be debited.
ACH Return Code R08 – Payment Stopped
Description: The Receiver placed a stop payment order on a debit Entry.
Suggestion: First, contact the customer to resolve any issues causing this stopped transaction. Then, re-enter the returned transaction with proper authorization from the customer.
ACH Return Code R09 – Uncollected Funds
Description: A sufficient ledger balance exists to satisfy the transaction’s dollar amount. In this case, the available balance is below the debit Entry’s dollar value.
Suggestion: This transaction can be re-attempted twice within 30 days of the original authorization date. However, the merchant must re-enter this as a new transaction.
ACH Return Code R10 – Customer Advises Originator is Not Known to Receiver and/or Originator is Not Authorized by Receiver to Debit Receiver’s Account
Description: The Receiver does not know the Originator’s identity, has no relationship with the Originator, and/or has not authorized the Originator to debit the account. Alternatively, for ARC and BOC entries, the signature on the source document is not authorized or proven valid or authentic.
Suggestion: The Originator and customer or Receiver can correct the error versus terminating the origination authorization. However, attempt another return debit.
ACH Return Code R11 – Customer Advises Entry Not in Accordance with the Terms of the Authorization
Description: The debit Entry was for an incorrect amount, debited earlier than authorized, part of an Incomplete Transaction, or improperly reinitiated. Alternatively, in particular for ARC, BOC, or POP entries, the source document was ineligible, a Notice was not provided to the Receiver, and/or the entry’s amount was not accurately obtained from the source document.
Suggestion: The Originator may correct the error or Transmit a new Entry conforming to the original authorization’s terms without re-authorization by the Receiver. In fact, transmit the new Entry within 60 days from the Return Entry’s Settlement Date. If the corrected error in the prior Entry conforms to the original authorization’s terms, it is not a Reinitiated Entry.
ACH Return Code R12 – Account Sold to Another DFI
Description: A financial institution received an Entry to an account sold to another financial institution.
Suggestion: Contact the customer to obtain new bank information. Then, enter a new transaction with the new bank information. However, if this transaction was part of a recurring payment schedule, this will need to be updated with the new bank information.
ACH Return Code R13 – Invalid ACH Routing Number
Description: The Entry has a Receiving DFI Identification or Gateway Identification that is not a valid ACH routing number.
Suggestion: First, the submitted routing number must be verified and confirmed. Then, the merchant will contact the customer for confirmation. Next, submit a new payment with the correct routing number.
ACH Return Code R14 – Representative Payee Deceased or Unable to Continue in That Capacity
Description: The representative payee passed away or cannot continue in that capacity. However, the beneficiary has not passed away.
ACH Return Code R15 – Beneficiary or Account Holder (Other than a Representative Payee) Deceased
Description: The beneficiary or account holder passed away.
ACH Return Code R16 – Account Frozen/Entry Returned Per OFAC Instruction
Description: Account access has been restricted because of legal action or the RDFI taking action. Alternatively, the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) instructed the RDFI or Gateway to return the Entry.
Suggestion: In other words, transactions cannot be processed using the bank account until it is un-frozen. With this mind, obtain a different form of payment.
ACH Return Code R17 – File Record Edit Criteria
Description: In some cases, there are fields deemed uneditable by the ACH Operator. Instead, the RDFI edits these entries. In this case, if this entry cannot be processed by the RDFI, identify the field(s) prompting this processing error in the Addenda Information field of the Return. Ultimately, the field(s) cannot be processed by the RDFI.
ACH Return Code R18 – Improper Effective Entry Date
Description: The Effective Entry Date for a credit Entry is more than two Banking Days following the Banking Day of process as established by the Originating ACH Operator. Alternatively, the Effective Entry Date for a debit Entry is more than one Banking Day following the processing date.
ACH Return Code R19 – Amount Field Error
Description: The amount field is non-numeric, zero, or exceeds $25,000.00.
ACH Return Code R20 – Non-Transaction Account
Description: The ACH Entry will go to a non-transaction account. For instance, this considers an account prohibiting or limiting transactions.
Suggestion: Contact the customer with obtaining their authorization so that you can debit a different bank account.
ACH Return Code R21 – Invalid Company Identification
Description: The Identification Number used in the Company Identification Field is not valid.
ACH Return Code R22 – Invalid Individual ID Number
Description: The Receiver indicated to the RDFI that the number in which the Originator was, in fact, identified incorrectly.
ACH Return Code R23 – Credit Entry Refused by Receiver
Description: Any credit Entry refused by the Receiver may be returned by the RDFI.
Suggestion: First, contact the customer so that the problem may be resolved. With this in mind, ask them to resolve the problem with their bank. Then, the customer can confirm that the refund will be accepted for another refund transacton.
ACH Return Code R24 – Duplicate Entry
Description: Namely, the RDFI received an apparent duplicate Entry. This includes a trace number, date, dollar amount, and/or other data matching another transaction.
Suggestion: For this reason, please contact Actum for further information and clarification.
ACH Return Code R25 – Addenda Error
Description: The Addenda Record Indicator value is incorrect. Namely, the Addenda Type Code is invalid, out of sequence, or missing. Alternatively, the Number of Addenda Records exceeds the allowable maximum, or the Addenda Sequence Number is invalid.
ACH Return Code R26 – Mandatory Field Error
Description: The data is erroneous or missing in a mandatory field.
ACH Return Code R27 – Trace Number Error
Description: The Original Entry Trace Number is not present in the Addenda Record on a Return or Notification of Change Entry. Alternatively, the Trace Number of an Addenda Record is not the same as the Trace Number of a preceding Entry Detail Record.
ACH Return Code R28 – Routing Number Check Digit Error
Description: The check digit for a routing number is invalid.
ACH Return Code R29 – Corporate Customer Advises Not Authorized
Description: The RDFI received notification from the Receiver (Non-Consumer) that a specific Entry has not been authorized by the Receiver.
Suggestion: Suspend any recurring payments with this bank account to prevent additional returns. Then, contact the customer to resolve any issues with the revoked transactions. Then, ask the customer to debit a different bank account. Otherwise, if the same bank account needs to be debited, the customer will contact their bank with removing the block on transactions. Ultimately, obtain a new authorization for debiting the account again.
ACH Return Code R30 – RDFI Not Participant in Check Truncation Program
Description: The RDFI does not participate in a Check Truncation Program.
ACH Return Code R31 – Permissible Return Entry (CCD and CTX only)
Description: The RDFI may return a CCD or CTX entry that the ODFI agrees to accept.
Suggestion: Contact the customer with obtaining their authorization for debiting a different bank account.
ACH Return Code R32 – RDFI Non-Settlement
Description: The RDFI is unable to settle the Entry.
ACH Return Code R33 – Return of XCK Entry
Description: This Return Reason Code may only e used to return XCK Entries and is at the sole discretion of the RDFI.
ACH Return Code R34 – Limited Participation DFI
Description: Ultimately, a federal or state supervisor limited the RDFI’s participation.
ACH Return Code R35 – Return of Improper Debit Entry
Description: Debit Entries, with the exception for Reversing Entries, are not permitted for CIE Entries or to loan accounts.
ACH Return Code R36 – Return of Improper Credit Entry
Description: ACH credit Entries, except for Reversing Entries, are not permitted for use with ARC, BOC, POP, RCK, TEL, and XCX.
ACH Return Code R37 – Source Document Presented for Payment
Description: The source document in which an ARC, BOC, or POP Entry relates has been presented for payment.
Next, the following are codes not applicable for SEC codes that Actum supports.
ACH Return Code R38 – Stop Payment on Source Document
Description: The RDFI determines that a stop payment order has been placed on the source document to which the ARC or BOC Entry relates.
ACH Return Code R39 – Improper Source Document/Source Document Presented for Payment
Description: The RDFI determines that the source document used for an ARC, BOC, or POP Entry to its Receiver’s account is improper or an ARC, BOC, or POP Entry. Furthermore, the source document to which the Entry relates, have been presented for payment and posted to the Receiver’s account.
ACH Return Code R40 – Return of ENR entry by Federal Government Agency
Description: Returning ENR Entries use this Return Reason Code. Therefore, it is at the sole discretion of the Federal Government Agency.
ACH Return Code R41 – Invalid Transaction Code
Description: Notably, the Transaction Code included in Field 3 of the Addenda Record does not conform to the ACH Record Format Specifications contained in the Appendix Three (ACH Record Format Specifications). Also, it is not appropriate with regards to an Automated Enrollment Entry.
ACH Return Code R42 – Routing Number/Check Digit Error
Description: The Routing Number and Check Digit in Field 3 of the Addenda Record are not valid. Similarly, it does not conform to the Modulus 10 formula.
ACH Return Code R43 – Invalid DFI Account Number
Description: The Receiver’s account number included in Field 3 of the Addenda Record must include at least one alphanumeric character.
ACH Return Code R44 – Invalid Individual ID Number/Identification Number
Description: In essence, the Individual ID Number/Identification Number indicated in Field 3 of the Addenda Record does not match a corresponding ID number in the Federal Government Agency’s records.
ACH Return Code R45 – Invalid Individual Name/Company Name
Description: The consumer or company’s name provided in Field 3 of the Addenda Record does not match a corresponding name in the Federal Government Agency’s records. In addition, it fails to include at least one alphanumeric character.
ACH Return Code R46 – Invalid Representative Payee Indicator
Description: The Representative Payee Indicator Code omitted in Field 3 is not consistent with the records of the Federal Government Agency.
ACH Return Code R47 – Duplicate Enrollment
Description: This Entry is a duplicate or an Automated Enrollment Entry previously initiated by a DFI.
ACH Return Code R50 – State Law Affecting RCK Acceptance
Description: In essence, the RDFI presides over a state that has not adopted to Revised Article 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code (1990 Official Text). Moreover, it has not revised its customer agreements allowing for Electronic presentment. Otherwise, the RDFI is within a state requiring all cancelled Checks to a specific account type to returned by the Receiver within the periodic statement.
ACH Return Code R51 – Item Related to RCK Entry is Ineligible or RCK Entry is Improper
Description: In effect, an RCK Entry is ineligible or improper.
ACH Return Code R52 – Stop Payment on Item Related to RCK Entry
Description: A stop payment order is placed on an item corresponding to an RCK Entry.
ACH Return Code R53 – Item and RCK Entry Presented for Payment
Description: In addition to an RCK Entry, the item in which the RCK Entry relates has also been presented for payment.
ACH Return Code R61 – Misrouted Return
Description: The financial institution preparing the Return Entry, the RDFI of the original Entry, placed the incorrect Routing Number in the Receiving DFI Identification field.
ACH Return Code R62 – Return of Erroneous or Reversing Debt
Description: The Originator’s/ODFI’s use of the reversal process resulted in, or failed to correct, an unintended credit to the Receiver.
ACH Return Code R67 – Duplicate Return
Description: Notably, the ODFI received more than one Return for the same Entry.
ACH Return Code R68 – Untimely Return
Description: The Return Entry has not been sent within the Rules’ established time frame.
ACH Return Code R69 – Field Error(s)
Description: One or more of the field requirements are incorrect.
ACH Return Code R70 – Permissible Return Entry Not Accepted/Return Not Requested by ODFI
Description: Specifically, the ODFI received a Return Entry identified by the RDFI as returned with the permission of, or at the request of, the ODFI. However, the ODFI did not agree to accept the Entry or has yet to request the return of the Entry.
ACH Return Code R71 – Misrouted Dishonored Return
Description: The financial institution preparing the dishonored Return Entry, the ODFI of the original Entry, placed the incorrect Routing Number in the Receiving DFI Identification field.
ACH Return Code R72 – Untimely Dishonored Return
Description: The dishonored Return Entry has not been sent within the designated time frame.
ACH Return Code R73 – Timely Original Return
Description: The RDFI certifies that the original Return Entry sent within the time frame designated within these Rules.
ACH Return Code R74 – Corrected Return
Description: The RDFI corrected a Return Entry previously dishonored using Return Reason Code R69 (Field Error(s)). In brief, it contained incomplete or incorrect information.
ACH Return Code R75 – Return Not a Duplicate
Description: A duplicate of previously returned Entry by the RDFI is not a Return Entry.
ACH Return Code R76 – No Errors Found
Description: The original Return Entry did not contain errors indicated by the ODFI in the dishonored Return Entry.
ACH Return Code R77 – Non-Acceptance of R62 Dishonored Return
Description: The RDFI returned the Erroneous Entry and the related Reversing Entry. Alternatively, the funds relating to the R62 dishonored Return are not recoverably from the Receiver.
Lastly, the following are international codes not applicable to an Actum transaction.
ACH Return Code R80 – IAT Entry Coding Errors
Description: The IAT Entry will return because of an invalid DFI/Bank Branch Country Code, invalid DFI/Bank Identification Number Qualifier, invalid Foreign Exchange Indicator, invalid ISO Originating Currency Code, invalid ISO Destination Currency Code, invalid ISO Destination Country Code, or invalid Transaction Type Code.
ACH Return Code R81 – Non-Participant in IAT Program
Description: The IAT Entry will return as the Gateway does not have an agreement with the ODFI or the Gateway’s customer with transmitting Outbound IAT Entries.
ACH Return Code R82 – Invalid Foreign Receiving DFI Identification
Description: Consequently, the reference identifying the Foreign Receiving DFI of an Outbound IAT Entry is invalid.
ACH Return Code R83 – Foreign Receiving DFI Unable to Settle
Description: The IAT Entry is returning because of settlement problems in the foreign payment system.
ACH Return Code R84 – Entry Not Processed by Gateway
Description: For Outbound IAT Entries, the Entry will not process and will return at the Gateway’s discretion. Consequently, the processing of such Entry may expose the Gateway to excessive risk. Alternatively, it will return as the foreign payment system does not support the functions needed to process the transaction.
ACH Return Code R85 – Incorrectly Coded Outbound International Payment
Description: Accordingly, the RDFI/Gateway identified the Entry as an Outbound international payment. Ultimately, the payment will return as it bears an SEC Code lacking information required by the Gateway for OFAC compliance.