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R42 ACH Return Code: Routing Number or Check Digit Error

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As a business owner today, an understanding of Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments is essential, especially as they continue to rise in popularity. In 2021, the ACH Network’s payment volume rose 17.4 percent, marking the ninth straight year in which the volume of ACH payments grew by at least one trillion dollars. If you want a piece of that trillion-dollar pie, you need to understand how ACH payments work. This article explains how ACH payments process, why ACH returns happen, and how to specifically troubleshoot ACH return code R42.

What Is an ACH Transfer?

An ACH transfer, or ACH payment, is a type of bank-to-bank electronic funds transfer (EFT). These transfers transmit through the Automated Clearing House Network, which is only available to United States-based financial institutions. Additionally, this payment method is entirely electronic, with no necessary physical transaction. As contact-free payment methods increase in popularity, due to their ease of use and public health concerns related to COVID-19, so too does the popularity of ACH payments.

What Does ACH Return Code R42 Mean?

All ACH payments must meet certain criteria as defined by the National Automatic Clearing House Association (NACHA), which governs the ACH Network. Payments that do not meet NACHA’s criteria are rejected with an accompanying ACH return code. Currently, there are over 80 unique ACH return codes, each of which represents a specific reason the ACH payment was rejected. All of the codes have varying methods for resolution and timeframes for the conclusion of the process.

white numbers representing the digit error in ACH return code R42

That said, ACH return code R42 indicates an error within the provided routing number or check digit. Return code R42 may be the result of something as simple as a typo, incorrect number sequence, or your customer accidentally providing the wrong information. Additionally, ACH return code R42 may occur when the routing number or check digit doesn’t conform to the proper format. Either way, if you’ve received ACH return code R42, this means the routing number or check digit experienced an error, resulting in the inability to complete the ACH transfer.

Finally, ACH return code R42 only occurs in Automated Enrollment Entries (ENR). This entry method for ACH payments is specific to federal government agencies, so it’s most likely you’d receive this return code while processing a B2G transaction.

Formal definition

The formal definition for ACH return code R42 is as follows: “Routing number or check digit error.”

Solutions to Fix R42 Return Code

In the event of ACH return code R42, there is no defined timeline for resolution. If you receive ACH return code R42, you may resolve it simply by informing the other party of the return. In doing so, you can prompt said party to correct any incorrect information. If you require any additional assistance, contact your associated bank to request support in the matter.

While ACH return codes can be frustrating, they rarely occur. Typically, ACH payments are a cost-effective, reliable, and secure payment method. As such, many merchants have adopted ACH payments into their daily business operations. If you’re not already reaping the many benefits, consider implementing ACH payments into your business practices today.



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