Check Processing

R46 ACH Return Code: Invalid Representative Payee Indicator

Read Time: 2 min

graphic of an error symbol to show an ach r46 return code

The ACH Network offers a smooth, reliable payment processing method—that is, until ACH return code R46 stops a payment in its tracks. As one of the world’s largest payment networks, the ACH Network processed over two billion payments in 2021 alone.[1]NACHA. “ACH Network Sees 29.1 Billion Payments in 2021, Led by Major Gains in B2B and Same Day ACH“. Accessed November 4, 2022. Because of their security and affordability, ACH payments are one of the most popular payment methods in the United States. However, accepting ACH payments within your business operations may inevitably lead to unsuccessful payments.

Fortunately, universal ACH return codes are in place to effectively communicate the reasons for ACH payment failures. Below takes a closer look at ACH return code R46 and how you can resolve it.

What Does ACH Return Code R46 Mean?

ACH return code R46 signals an “invalid representative payee indicator.” This code typically generates for returned ACH payments associated with federal agencies utilizing Automated Enrollment (ENR) entries. ACH return codes R40 through R47 fall under this jurisdiction.

An ENR entry is a method of direct deposit enrollment during which a non-dollar entry is sent through the ACH Network by a Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI) to a federal government agency participating in the ENR program.[2]Treasurery Financial Experience. “Automated Enrollment (ENR)“. Accessed November 4, 2022. If there is an issue with the non-dollar entry, it can initiate a return code. However, in the case of ACH return code R46, it signals that the representative payee indicator code does not match United States federal government records.

graphic icon of a magnifying glass looking for answers to ACH return code R46

Formal definition

The formal definition for ACH return code R46 is: “Invalid Representative Payee Indicator.”

Solutions to Fix R46 Return Code

If you receive an ACH return code R46, the solution is simple: Contact the relevant government agency to clarify the problem. The agency should be able to identify the reason for the return code quickly, and they will likely ask you to resubmit the ENR via the ACH Network. Typically, this is not a significant problem for either stakeholder in the enrollment process. In other cases, the relevant government agency may also ask you to use other enrollment methods.

Remember that ACH return code R46 is quite rare, as is the general occurrence of returned ACH payments. Known for their reliability, security, and affordability, business owners accepting ACH payments unlock a trove of benefits, though said benefits do come with the possibility of returned payments.

graphic of a digital check used for echeck processing after receiving ach r46 return code

Offer your customers a simpler method to pay with the ACH Network.

Article Sources

  1. NACHA. “ACH Network Sees 29.1 Billion Payments in 2021, Led by Major Gains in B2B and Same Day ACH“. Accessed November 4, 2022.
  2. Treasurery Financial Experience. “Automated Enrollment (ENR)“. Accessed November 4, 2022.


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