ACH Rules Changes Effective September 18, 2015

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ACH Rules Changes Effective September 18, 2015

September 18, 2015


We are required to keep our merchants/clients informed and educated on industry changes and this is to serve as notice of the NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) ACH rules changes going into effect September 18, 2015.

The following are the changes that will go into effect:

  1. A return rate threshold on Administrative Returns (R02, R03, and R04) of 3% will be established as well as a return rate threshold on Total Returns of 15%.
  2. The Unauthorized Returns (R05, R07, R10, R29, R51) threshold which is currently 1% will be reduced to 0.5%.
  3. There will be a new Entry Descriptor requirement when re-initiating transactions that have previously returned R01 or R09.  As of September 18th, 2015 any time you, as an Originator, re-initiate a transaction that has previously returned R01 or R09 they are required to put RETRY PYMT in the 10 character entry descriptor field.  For instance, if the original transaction had the words ACH DEBIT and that transaction returned, you are now required to change that field to RETRY PYMT.

We will likely contact you in the event you exceed the thresholds mentioned in 1 and 2 above, but you have the ability to monitor your own return rates by logging into your account on our website at . If you do not know your username and password you can request it by emailing your request to  The return rates are calculated by dividing the # of returns in a 60 day (2 month) period by the # of originated debit transactions in that same 60 day period.  Per the NACHA rules, Originators exceeding these thresholds will be required to take action to reduce their return rates below the newly established limits.

For those of you utilizing software vendors to enter your transactions, we have contacted a number of vendors to confirm that they are aware of the new change requirement to ensure they are putting the appropriate coding changes in place for you, but it is probably a good idea to follow-up with the vendor you are utilizing to confirm they have done so.  If you are using the SPS achXPRESS hosted platform we are in the process of making the necessary software changes.  If you are utilizing a host-to-host integration please contact us if you have implementation questions.

Please feel free to refer to the NACHA website at the following link to find a more lengthy discussion of these changes:

You can find detailed information within the Impact, Technical, Details, and FAQs tabs located on this page.

Also, if you would like to access the NACHA ACH Rules you can do so by doing the following:

  1. Go to
  2. Under New Account click Basic User
  3. On the next page fill in your Contact Information, Username and Password and then click the Basic Access bubble

If you have any questions please feel free to email the SPS Compliance Department at or call our office at 888-313-7842, during normal business hours 8am-5pm PST, and ask to be connected to the Compliance Department.