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R81 ACH Return Code: Non-Participant in IAT Program

Read Time: 2 min

ACH return codes are a common part of processing ACH payments. Though, some are less common than others, like ACH Return Code R81. This code is part of a bigger group of ACH return codes that merchants receive when a transaction returns. These codes can happen for a number of reasons—system errors, unhappy customers, or something else completely.

Two people talking on the phone with an ACH return code R81 error message on the computer.

Under the governance of NACHA, financial institutions ODFIs and RDFIs use return codes for International ACH Transactions (IATs). Much as the name suggests, an IAT is an ACH payment that a foreign bank initiates on behalf of a customer.

Today, we’ll be looking at ACH Return Code R81 in detail, its formal definition, and how to fix the error message if you ever receive it.

What Does ACH Return Code R81 Mean?

ACH Return Code R81 occurs when the payment gateway being used lacks the necessary authorization to initiate international ACH transfers with the ODFI. In other words, the RDFI and the ODFI have not previously agreed that international ACH transactions will take place. According to ACH reversal rules, in order for the RDFI/ODFI to offer a product or service that involves IAT, it needs to first have an agreement with the ODFI/RDFI.

Note: This reason code is to be used only for payment gateways with outbound IAT entries.

An orange magnifying glass.

Formal definition

The formal definition for ACH Return Code R81: Non-Participant in IAT Program is as follows:

The IAT Entry will return as the Gateway does not have an agreement with the ODFI or the Gateway’s customer with transmitting Outbound IAT Entries.[1] Actum Processing. Understanding ACH Return Codes. Accessed on April 26, 2023.

Solutions to Fix R81 Return Code

If you’ve received ACH Return Code R81, the first thing you need to do is to get in touch with your RDFI’s operations group and tell them that you’ve received it. While they may be able to fix it for you, knowing the following information can help speed up the process:

  1. A financial institution can contact the Federal Reserve if they wish to enroll in their ACH international service, which will allow them to process IATs.
  2. A financial institution can contact a United States bank that offers IAT ACH services, which will allow them to process international transactions.
  3. The originator should arrange to speak with their financial institution about whether the service is available. They should also discuss the process of enrolling with the relationship officer at the institution.

Having this information on hand will be useful in helping the RDFI fix ACH Return Code R81. Once the problem resolves, you will be back to seamlessly accepting ACH payments at your business!

A dollar bill after an R81 ACH return code resolves.

Seamless ACH payments at your fingertips!

Article Sources

  1. Actum Processing. Understanding ACH Return Codes. Accessed on April 26, 2023.


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