Check Processing

R18 ACH Return Code: Improper Effective Entry Date

There are a couple of definitions to note before going into the R18 return code and how to resolve it. Processing ACH payments is typically a smooth process for you and your customer. ACH payments, or Automated Clearing House payments, are a type of EFT (electronic funds transfer). This specific EFT is a bank-to-bank payment method that U.S. businesses can use.

In some frustrating instances, you may come across an ACH return. This is when, for whatever reason, the transaction wasn’t able to collect the funds from the customer’s account. As a response, you receive a three-character code, called an ACH return code. The specific return code will give you more information as to why the ACH attempt was unsuccessful.

It’s important that merchants accepting ACH payments have an understanding of ACH returns. This includes the reasons they occur, as well as how to approach handling these situations. With 85 ACH return codes, it’s unlikely you’ll have them all memorized. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with an extensive guide explaining every ACH return code. In this section, we cover the ACH return code R18. Below is everything you need to know about this return code.

What Does ACH Return Code R18 Mean?

Woman looking at digital calendar because she received ACH return code R18

The R18 ACH return code is not very common. That said, you’re unlikely to come across this return code very often. When you do come across the R18 return code, however, it’s imperative to know why you’ve received this code so you can correct the error.

When you receive the R18 ACH return code, it means that the date that was entered into the transaction record is invalid, thus the transaction can’t be processed.

The ACH operator is the entity that initiates the ACH return code. The return type of the R18 ACH return code is a reject/return. This can occur for a consumer or non-consumer account type. The time frame of the R18 return code is the next delivery time following processing.

Formal definition

The official definition of the ACH return code R18 is that the effective entry date for a credit entry is over two banking days after the processing banking day as established by the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI) or the effective entry date for a debit entry is more than one banking day after the processing date.

Solutions to Fix R18 Return Code

Depending on the code you receive, you may have various options available to correct the situation. However, the R18 return code is typically not a return code that you should be seeing. This is because electronic invoicing and payments systems are designed to only submit scheduled transactions on the exact date they are scheduled to happen. If you receive the ACH return code R18, that means that there is a problem existing beneath the surface. You should contact the customer care team at your financial institution. They will have the ability to investigate the return code further to find a viable solution.

As a merchant, this is the best solution for you to consider in the case that you encounter an ACH return code R18.

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