Announcing new features for real-time, AI-assisted reconciliation. Learn more →

Learn

ACH Return Codes

Welcome to Learn, where we provide straightforward, easy-to-understand definitions of the payments industry.

Follow us

ACH return codes identify the reason an ACH payment was returned by the recipient's bank. They make it easier for originating and receiving financial institutions to spot and communicate payment failures.

Each code begins with 'R' followed by a two digit number. For example, 'R04' indicates that an invalid account number was provided. In response, the ACH network returns a payment to the originating party if it fails to complete the request. Payments returned in this way are typically referred to as ACH Returns. ACH return codes are standardized and maintained by NACHA, the governing body for the ACH network.

How do ACH Return Codes work in practice?

NACHA prescribes separate rules for handling each return code since each one represents a unique scenario. ODFIs (Originating Depository Financial Institutions) and RDFIs (Receiving Depository Financial Institutions) are responsible for handling ACH return codes according to these rules.

For example, let’s say a consumer's account is debited for a streaming service subscription without their authorization. In that scenario, the consumer's bank has up to 60 days after the payment has settled to return the payment to the company's bank with the ACH return code R05.

Now, let’s take a different example. Let's say the consumer has provided the streaming service with debit authorization but doesn't have enough funds in their account to cover the transaction. In this case, their bank has up to 2 days after settlement to return the payment to the streaming service with the code R01. Failure to do so within 2 days will make the consumer's bank liable for the funds.

ACH Return codes are constantly evolving, with NACHA clarifying and updating existing codes and adding new ones on a regular basis. At the time of writing, the most recent update involved repurposing the return code, R11. Now, R11 will be used when there's an error with a received payment. In this case, the error would be reported by someone who has received a payment for an incorrect amount of money or received a payment on the wrong date.

ACH Return Codes

There are currently 85 distinct ACH return codes. The most common of which are:

CodeTitleAccount TypeTime Frame

R01

Insufficient Funds

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R02

Account Closed

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R03

No Account / Unable to Locate Account

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R04

Invalid Account Number Structure

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R05

Unauthorized Consumer Debit using Corporate SEC Code

Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R06

ODFI Requested Return

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Undefined

R07

Customer Revoked Authorization

Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R08

Payment Stopped

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R09

Uncollected Funds

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R10

Originator not known and/or not authorized to Debit Receiver’s Account

Consumer; Non-Consumer for ARC, BOC, IAT, or POP.

60 Calendar Days

The other return codes, which are less common, include:

CodeTitleAccount TypeTime Frame

R11

Customer advises not within Authorization Terms

Consumer; Non-Consumer for ARC, BOC, POP, and IAT

60 Calendar Days

R12

Account Sold to Another DFI

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R13

Invalid ACH Routing No.

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R14

Representative Payee Deceased

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R15

Beneficiary / Account Holder Deceased

Consumer

2 Banking Days

R16

Account Frozen / Returned per OFAC

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R17

File Record Edit Criteria / Suspicious Entry with Invalid Account No. / Return of Improperly-Initiated Reversal

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R18

Improper Effective Date

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R19

Amount Field Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R20

Non-Transaction Account

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R21

Invalid Company ID

Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R22

Invalid Individual ID

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R23

Receiver Refused Credit

Consumer or Non-Consumer

RDFI must transmit Return upon receipt of Refusal

R24

Duplicate Entry

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R25

Addenda Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R26

Mandatory Field Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R27

Trace Number Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R28

Routing No. Check Digit Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following ProcessingNext File Delivery Time Following Processing

R29

Not Authorized by Corporate Customer

Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R30

RDFI not in Check Truncation Program

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R31

Permissible Return (CCD and CTX only)

Non-Consumer

Undefined

R32

RDFI Non-Settlement

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R33

Return of XCK

Consumer or Non-Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R34

Limited Participation DFI

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R35

Improper Debit

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R36

Improper Credit

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Next File Delivery Time Following Processing

R37

Source Document Presented

Consumer or Non-Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R38

Stop Payment on Source Document

Consumer or Non-Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R39

Improper Source Document

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

R40

Return of ENR

R41

Invalid Transaction Code

N/A

N/A

R42

Routing No. / Check Digit Error

N/A

N/A

R43

Invalid DFI Account No.

N/A

N/A

R44

Invalid Individual ID No.

N/A

N/A

R45

Invalid Individual / Company Name

N/A

N/A

R46

Invalid Representative Payee Indicator

N/A

N/A

R47

Duplicate Enrollment

N/A

N/A

R50

State Law Affecting RCK Acceptance

N/A

N/A

R51

Ineligible / Improper Item Related to RCK

R52

Stop Payment on Item Related to RCK

Consumer

60 Banking Days

R53

Item and RCK Presented for Payment

Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R61

Misrouted Return

Consumer

60 Calendar Days

R62

Erroneous / Reversing Debit

Consumer

5 business days of return entry

R67

Duplicate Return

R68

Untimely Return

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R69

Field Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R70

Permissible Return Not Accepted / Not Requested by ODFI

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R71

Misrouted Dishonored Return

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R72

Untimely Dishonored Return

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R73

Timely Original Return

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R74

Corrected Return

R75

Return Not Duplicate

Consumer or Non-Consumer

ODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days

R76

No Errors Found

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Contested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days

R77

Non-Acceptance of R62

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Contested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days

R80

IAT Coding Error

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Contested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days

R81

Non-Participant in IAT Program

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Contested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days

R82

Invalid Foreign RDFI Identification

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Contested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days

R83

Foreign RDFI Unable to Settle

Consumer or Non-Consumer

Contested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days

R84

Not Processed by Gateway

R85

Incorrectly Coded Outbound Int’l Payment

Consumer or Non-Consumer

2 Banking Days

This list will be continually updated as NACHA updates their operating rules.

Modern Treasury makes it really easy to initiate a return with the appropriate return code and automates linking the return to the original payment. Learn how to return a payment using our API with this guide.

Try Modern Treasury

See how smooth payment operations can be.

Talk to sales
More from

Learn

Learn topic image

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a payment processing network that’s used to send money electronically between banks in the United States.

ACH APIs enable companies with high transaction volumes to write software that automates payments over the ACH network.

Read more

An ACH credit refers to the process of electronically depositing, or “pushing,” funds into a bank account using ACH.

Read more

In an ACH debit, funds are electronically withdrawn, or “pulled,” from a bank account using ACH.

Read more

A Notification of Change (NOC) is used to notify the sender of an ACH payment to correct or change information related to a customer’s bank account.

Read more

A return is a credit or debit entry initiated by the Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI) that returns a previously originated payment to the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI).

Read more

ACH return codes identify the reason an ACH payment was returned by the recipient's bank. They make it easier to spot and resolve payment failures.

Read more

An ACH reversal refers to an erroneous ACH payment that a payment originator requests to take back, or reverse.

Read more

Credits and debits are two kinds of ACH transactions. Whereas a credit involves depositing, or “pushing,” funds into a bank account, for a debit, funds are withdrawn, or “pulled,” from an account.

Read more

FedACH is the automated clearing house (ACH) service of the Federal Reserve Banks.

Read more

Part of the FedACH system, FedGlobal ACH offers low-cost and efficient cross-border ACH payments.

Read more

The two kinds of financial institutions in the ACH network are ODFIs (Originating Depository Financial Institution) and RDFIs (Receiving Depository Financial Institutions).

Read more

A Standard Entry Class or SEC code is a three letter code that describes how a payment was authorized by the consumer or business receiving an ACH transaction.

Read more

US companies moving money internationally will likely weigh the pros and cons of SWIFT vs. Global ACH when it comes to attributes like speed and cost.

Read more

Payment rails are the underlying systems and networks that facilitate the movement of funds between parties in financial transactions.

Read more

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a payment processing network that’s used to send money electronically between banks and financial institutions in the United States.

Read more

An electronic funds transfer (EFT), also known as a direct deposit, is the digital transfer of money between bank accounts. As digital transfers, they reduce the need for manual input and paper documents.

Read more

Global ACH can help companies move money from US-domiciled accounts across borders using local rails. Learn how and when to use this payment rail.

Read more

A Request for Payment (RFP) is an ACH Network message that can be used by businesses to send electronic invoices to their customers.

Read more

Same-Day ACH is an improvement to the ACH network that allows the processing of credit, debit, and return transactions several times a day.

Read more

A pre note or prenotification is a zero dollar payment to validate the account and routing details of a bank account before debiting or crediting it.

Read more

An International ACH Transfer—also known as Global ACH—is an ACH payment made cross-border from a US-domiciled account.

Read more

Subscribe to Journal updates

Discover product features and get primers on the payments industry.

Subscribe

Products

Platform

Modern Treasury For

Case Studies

Insights

Documentation

Company

Legal


Popular Integrations

© Modern Treasury Corp.