ACH payments can be returned (i.e., fail to process or get reversed) during (or even after) settlement periods for one of 85 reasons. (If you’re new to working with ACH, this post contains an introductory overview.)

Thankfully, Actum can help you automate the processing and notification of returns, so you can both avoid returns due to manual errors and eliminate the hassle of getting stuck managing returns on your own.

To make your life even easier, we’ve compiled all ACH return codes (as of 2019), and have included some helpful suggestions from Actum on what to do if you receive a return code while processing with us.

ACH Return Codes (as of 2019)

ACH Return Code R01 – Insufficient funds
Description: The available and/or cash reserve balance is not sufficient to cover the dollar value of the debit Entry.
Suggestion: Try the transaction again up to two times within 180 days of the original authorization date.

If you are using the API, you can submit a retry using a trans_modifier flag containing Y. To submit a retry, submit a trans_modifier flag containing Y.  To submit a NSF Fee along with the retry, add the parameter called retry_fee_amt with the amount of the NSF fee: &retry_fee_amt=$10.00&...

ACH Return Code R02 – Account Closed
Description: A previously active account has been closed by action of the customer or the RDFI.
Suggestion: Contact your customer for a different bank account. If you have not yet provided the goods or provided the services covered by the payment, you may want to wait to do so until you have confirmation of a settled payment.

ACH Return Code R03 – No Account/Unable to Locate Account
Description: The account number structure is valid and it passes the check digit validation, but the account number does not correspond to the individual identified in the Entry, or the account number designated is not an open account.
Suggestion: Contact your customer and confirm the routing and account numbers, as well as their exact name on their bank account. If this information is not an exact match to what you initially entered, make the needed changes and submit a new payment.

ACH Return Code R04 – Invalid Account Number
Description: The account number structure is not valid. The Entry may fail the check digit validation or may contain an incorrect number of digits.
Suggestion: Contact your customer and obtain the correct bank account number. Submit a new payment using the corrected bank account number.

ACH Return Code R05 – Unauthorized Debit to Consumer Account Using Corporate SEC Code
Description: A business debit Entry was transmitted to a member’s Consumer account, and the receiving member had not authorized the Entry.
Suggestion: Contact your customer and resolve any issues that caused the transaction to be disputed.

ACH Return Code R06 – Returned per ODFI’s Request
Description: The ODFI has requested that the RDFI return the ACH Entry as an Erroneous Entry, or a credit Entry originated without the authorization of the Originator. If the RDFI agrees to return the Entry, the ODFI must indemnify the RDFI in accordance with guidelines.
Suggestion: Please contact Actum.

ACH Return Code R07 – Authorization Revoked by Customer
Description: The Receiver who previously authorized an Entry has revoked authorization with the Originator for this debit Entry.
Suggestion: First, suspend any recurring payments scheduled with this bank account. This will prevent additional transactions from being returned. Second, contact your customer and resolve any issues that caused the authorization to be revoked. You can ask the customer to debit a different bank account. If you need to debit the same bank account, instruct the customer to call the bank and remove the block on transactions.

ACH Return Code R08 – Payment Stopped
Description: The Receiver has placed a stop payment order on this debit Entry, which may be placed on one or more debit Entries.
Suggestion: Contact your customer and resolve any issues that caused the transaction to be stopped. You can re-enter the returned transaction again with proper authorization from your customer.

ACH Return Code R09 – Uncollected Funds
Description: A sufficient ledger balance exists to satisfy the dollar value of the transaction (i.e., uncollected checks), but the available balance is below the dollar value of the debit Entry.
Suggestion: You can try the transaction again (you will need to re-enter it as a new transaction) up to two times within 30 days of the original authorization date.

ACH Return Code R10 – Customer Advises Unauthorized, Improper, Ineligible, or Part of an Incomplete Transaction
Description: The RDFI has been notified by the Receiver that the Entry is unauthorized, improper, ineligible, or part of an incomplete transaction.
Suggestion: Note that the Receiver may request immediate credit from the RDFI for an unauthorized debit (this request must be made within 60 days after the RDFI sends or makes available to the Receiver information pertaining to that debit Entry). There needs to be a new authorization given to debit the account again.

OR

First, suspend any recurring payments scheduled with this bank account. This will prevent additional transactions from being returned. Second, contact your customer and resolve any issues that caused the authorization to be revoked. You can ask the customer to debit a different bank account. If you need to debit the same bank account, instruct the customer to call the bank and remove the block on transactions.

ACH Return Code R11 – Check Truncation Entry Return
Description: To be used when returning a check truncation Entry. This reason for return should be used only if no other return code is applicable.
Suggestion: First, suspend any recurring payments scheduled with this bank account. This will prevent additional transactions from being returned. Second, contact your customer and resolve any issues that caused the authorization to be revoked. You can ask the customer to debit a different bank account. If you need to debit the same bank account, instruct the customer to call the bank and remove the block on transactions.

ACH Return Code R12 – Branch Sold to Another DFI
Description: A financial institution received an entry to an account that was sold to another financial institution.
Suggestion: Obtain new routing number and account information, then enter a new transaction using the updated account numbers. If the transaction was part of a recurring payment schedule, make sure that the schedule is updated with the new account information.

ACH Return Code R13 – Invalid ACH Routing Number
Description: Entry contains a receiving DRI identification or Gateway Identification that is not a valid ACH routing number.
Suggestion: Double-check that you entered the routing number correctly, and contact your customer to confirm it if necessary. Then, submit a new payment using the correct routing number.

ACH Return Code R14 – Representative Payee Deceased or Unable to Continue in that Capacity
Description: The representative payee is a person either deceased or no longer able to continue in original capacity (ie. legally incapacitated adults or minors), while the beneficiary is not deceased.

ACH Return Code R15 – Beneficiary or Account Holder Deceased
Description: (1) The beneficiary is deceased. The beneficiary may or may not be the account holder; (2) The account holder (acting in a non-representative payee capacity) is an owner of the account and is deceased.

ACH Return Code R16 – Account Frozen/Entry Returned per OFAC Instruction
Description: 1) Access to account is restricted due to specific action taken by the RDFI or by legal action 2) OFAC has instructed the RDFI or Gateway to return the Entry.
Suggestion: Obtain a different form of payment. You will not be able to process transactions using this bank account until it is un-frozen.

ACH Return Code R17 – File Record Edit Criteria
Description: Fields can’t be processed by RDFI.

ACH Return Code R18 – Improper Effective Entry Date
Description: The effective Entry date for a credit Entry is more than two banking days after the banking day of processing as established by the originating ACH operator or the effective date is after window of processing.

ACH Return Code R19 – Amount Field Error
Description: Amount field is non-numeric, zero, or exceeding $25,000.

ACH Return Code R20 – Non-Transaction Account
Description: The ACH Entry destined for a non-transaction account, for example, an account against which transactions are prohibited or limited.
Suggestion: Contact your customer to obtain authorization to charge a different bank account.

ACH Return Code R21 – Invalid Company Identification
Description: The company identification information not valid.

ACH Return Code R22 – Invalid Individual ID number
Description: In CIE and MET Entries, when the original ID number isn’t used, the receiver has indicated to the RDFI that the number with which the Originator was identified is not correct.

ACH Return Code R23 – Credit Entry Refused by Receiver
Description: Receiver returned Entry because, for instance, minimum or exact amount not remitted. Any credit Entry that is refused by the Receiver may be returned by the RDFI.
Suggestion: Contact your customer to work out the problem, or ask them to work the problem out with their bank. Have your customer confirm that the refund will be accepted, then attempt to refund the transaction again.

ACH Return Code R24 – Duplicate Entry
Description: The RDFI has received what appears to be a duplicate Entry; i.e., the trace number, date, dollar amount and/or other data matches another transaction.
Suggestion: Contact Actum.

ACH Return Code R25 – Addenda Error
Description: Addenda record indicator value is incorrect due to one of the following reasons: Addenda type is invalid, out of sequence, or missing; Number of addenda records exceeds allowable maximum; Addenda sequence number is invalid.

ACH Return Code R26 – Mandatory Field Error
Description: Erroneous data or missing data in a mandatory field.

ACH Return Code R27 – Trace Number Error
Description: (1) Original Entry trace number is not present in the addenda record on a return or notification of change entry; or (2) trace number of an addenda record is not the same as the trace number of the preceding Entry detail record.

ACH Return Code R28 – Routing Number Check Digit Error
Description: The check digit for the routing number is not valid.

ACH Return Code R29 – Corporate Customer Advises Not Authorized
Description: The RDFI has been notified by Receiver (non-Consumer) that a specific entry has not been authorized by the receiver.
Suggestion: First, suspend any recurring payments scheduled with this bank account. This will prevent additional transactions from being returned. Second, contact your customer and resolve any issues that caused the authorization to be revoked. You can ask the customer to debit a different bank account. If you need to debit the same bank account, instruct the customer to call the bank and remove the block on transactions. There needs to be a new authorization given to debit 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 your customer to obtain authorization to charge a different bank account.

ACH Return Code R32 – RDFI Non-Settlement
Description: The RDFI is not able to settle the Entry.

ACH Return Code R33 – Return of XCK Entry
Description: The Return Reason Code may only be used to return XCK entries and is at the RDFI’s sole discretion.

ACH Return Code R34 – Limited Participation DFI
Description: The RDFI participation has been limited by a federal or state supervisor.

ACH Return Code R35 – Return of Improper Debit Entry
Description: Debit Entries (with the exception of 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 (with the exception of reversing entries) are not permitted for use with ARC, BOC, POP, RCK, TEL, and XCK.

ACH Return Code R37 – Source Document Presented for Payment
Description: The source document to which an ARC, BOC, or POP entry relates has been presented for payment.

The following return codes are less common and will not be seen for the SEC codes Actum supports, but we’ve listed them for reference.

ACH Return Code R38 – Stop Payment on Source Document
ACH Return Code R39 – Improper Source Document/Source Document Presented for Payment
ACH Return Code R40 – Return of ENR entry by Federal Government Agency
ACH Return Code R41 – Invalid Transaction Code
ACH Return Code R42 – Routing Number/Check Digit Error
ACH Return Code R43 – Invalid DFI Account Number
ACH Return Code R44 – Invalid Individual ID Number/Identification Number
ACH Return Code R45 – Invalid Individual Name/Company Name
ACH Return Code R46 – Invalid Representative Payee Indicator
ACH Return Code R47 – Duplicate Enrollment
ACH Return Code R50 – State Law Affecting RCK Acceptance
ACH Return Code R51 – Item Related to RCK Entry is Ineligible or RCK Entry is Improper
ACH Return Code R52 – Stop Payment on Item Related to RCK Entry
ACH Return Code R53 – Item and RCK Entry Presented for Payment
ACH Return Code R61 – Misrouted Return
ACH Return Code R62 – Return of Erroneous or Reversing Debt
ACH Return Code R67 – Duplicate Return
ACH Return Code R68 – Untimely Return
ACH Return Code R69 – Field Error(s)
ACH Return Code R70 – Permissible Return Entry Not Accepted/Return Not Requested by ODFI
ACH Return Code R71 – Misrouted Dishonored Return
ACH Return Code R72 – Untimely Dishonored Return
ACH Return Code R73 – Timely Original Return
ACH Return Code R74 – Corrected Return
ACH Return Code R75 – Return Not a Duplicate
ACH Return Code R76 – No Errors Found
ACH Return Code R77 – Non-Acceptance of R62 Dishonored Return

The following are international ACH return codes. They are not applicable to an Actum transaction.

ACH Return Code R80 – IAT Entry Coding Errors
ACH Return Code R81 – Non-Participant in IAT Program
ACH Return Code R82 – Invalid Foreign Receiving DFI Identification
ACH Return Code R83 – Foreign Receiving DFI Unable to Settle
ACH Return Code R84 – Entry Not Processed by Gateway
ACH Return Code R85 – Incorrectly Coded Outbound International Payment

For more information about processing with Actum, we invite you to contact us.

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