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R73 ACH Return Code: Timely Original Return

Read Time: 2 min

If you’re a business owner who accepts ACH payments in today’s market, you may have run into return code R73 once or twice. ACH payments are undoubtedly one of the more practiced payment methods today, with 7.6 billion payments processed just in the third quarter of 2022. While processing ACH payments, you may encounter errors that can either cancel a transaction or return it back to the original cardholder. ACH return codes are generated when transactions are returned. This can be helpful to both merchants and customers because it provides reasons for why each error occurred.

A merchant calling the RDFI for assistance with fixing the R73 return code.

The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) oversees and regulates the entire ACH network. Within the ACH network, there are several different types of electronic funds transfers (ETF), ACH payments being one of them. ACH payments are virtual transactions that transfer funds between the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI) and the Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI). These ODFI and RDFI transfers occur with payment methods like eChecks, wire transfers direct deposits, ATMs, and more. EChecks operate most similarly to ACH payments, but the main difference between the two is that ACH transactions typically have lower fees than eChecks.

An ACH return code can occur if you accept a transaction and the funds don’t transfer into your account. In this case, a return code will appear with an explanation of why the transaction didn’t complete. Usually, return codes can resolve by following the correct steps put in place by your financial institution. In this article, we’ll focus our attention on ACH return code R73 by uncovering what it means, its formal definition, and how to fix the error. Let’s jump in!

What Does ACH Return Code R73 Mean?

ACH return code R73 simply means that the RDFI is in the process of confirming that the original return of a transaction was sent within the ACH reversal rules specified timeframe.

Note: You cannot use R73 for International ACH Transactions (IAT).

An orange magnifying glass.

Formal definition

Formally, we define the R73 Return Code — Timely Original Return as:

The RDFI is certifying that the original Return entry was sent within the time frame designated by the rules.

Solutions to Fix R73 Return Code

When encountering the R73 return code, it’s best to contact the RDFI and ask why the transaction is delayed. Since this code goes through a confirmation process, there are two possible outcomes. The first is that the transaction will eventually transmit if it was sent within the timeframe established by the rules. The second is that the transaction won’t process and you’ll likely receive return code R68 which indicates an untimely return. If you receive R68, it can also be fixed by contacting the RDFI. First, call the RDFI’s ACH operations group, then ask if they can reverse the return based on the information provided to them. You’ll need to make sure you initiate a new return within the specified timeframe to receive the funds and continue processing ACH transactions.

A check in a cloud to represent ACH return code R73.

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