Check Processing

R04 ACH Return Code: Invalid Account Number

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If you process ACH payments, you may eventually come across ACH Return Code R04. Every payment system has an order of checks and balances that can result in an error in payment. This helps ensure safe and accurate payment for both merchants and customers. For ACH payments, return codes appear when account details do not pass through the system. These return codes have numbers that indicate the reason for the return. There are 85 different ACH return codes. As a merchant, understanding these codes and what they mean ensures a much smoother ACH process for both you and your customers. One of the most common ACH return codes is R04.

What does ACH Return Code R04 Mean?

ach return code r04

Return code R04 indicates that there is an error with the account number. This could mean that there are incorrect digits within the account number or that the account number did not pass digital validation. This means the receiving bank was unable to find an account number matching the one provided for the transfer.

The R04 ACH return code may also appear if the wrong number of digits appear for the account number, whether that’s too many or too few. When it comes to ACH payments, paying attention to detail is vital and extra care can save both customers and merchants a lot of hassle. Regardless of the reason for ACH return code R04, you should be aware the payment did not go through.

Formal Definition

Formally, NACHA says the return code 04 means the account number structure is not valid.

Solutions to Fix R04 Return Code

An R04 ACH return code may be the result of a simple typo in the bank account number. It may also mean that the wrong bank account type was selected. As a merchant, double-check the account number and account type to verify they’re correct.

You can also run the payment again, making sure to input the account and routing numbers correctly. Once the correct bank account number and routing numbers are verified, you can submit a new ACH payment with that information.

If the problem persists, reach out to the customer for their accurate bank account number. Then, you can try to run the transaction again. However, it’s important to understand ACH reversal rules if you’re attempting payments multiple times. If the payment still results in a return code, the customer should contact their account-holding bank for further instruction. The return time for this issue is typically two banking days.

If the issue persists, you may also request the customer provide an alternative account number. If they cannot do this, you may need to ask for an entirely different form of payment. To reduce the likelihood of return code R04 appearing, double-check the customer’s routing and account number before submitting the payment. Missing a digit or clicking the wrong key is a common mistake that happens to even the most computer-savvy individuals. Therefore double-checking entry is always advised.