Payment Submission Process


Submitting Pre-Authorized Debit payments

If you choose direct access to Pre-Authorized Debit through a bank, you will need to learn about how to submit PAD payments that you collect for processing. Accessing Pre-Authorized through a payment provider normally means they will take on the submission process for you.

The submission process

You can submit payment requests to your bank by creating and uploading an Automated Funds Transfer (AFT) file, using the following process:

  • Create an AFT file with the required structure (details provided in next section)
  • Upload file to your bank according to their procedures
  • Wait for bank’s initial check to ensure required information is included before sending file to ACSS
  • Bank processes AFT file contents

Your bank will generally provide you with the required format to create the file. It's still useful to understand its structure, so we’ll explain this in more detail here.

Using the AFT file to submit payments

The AFT file contains payment instructions, in a format specified by your sponsor bank. We’ve outlined the main points below for Pre-Authorized Debit payments. Your bank may also have proprietary standards for file submissions, so we recommend you check these with them before submitting any files.

Each file will include at least 3 records:

  • Header record. Contains identifying information of the originator and date of file
  • Payment record. Lists pre-authorized debit payment item data
  • Trailer record. Provides totals for the preceding records in the file

Each payment item has a transaction code. Located on the customer statement line, these codes help identify what the payment is for. Transaction codes have no formal requirements, with most Pre-Authorized Debit payments using the ‘Miscellaneous’ code.

Here are some of the most commonly used transaction codes:

Code Name Description
700 Business PAD For B2B payments (i.e. to suppliers)
701–749 Commercial bill payment For the payment of bills by businesses (e.g. utilities or taxes)
430-450 Bill payments For bill payments by individuals (e.g. utilities or taxes)
470 Fees/Dues For payments from individuals to associations or other organisations (e.g. sports clubs)
480 Donations For payments from individuals to charities or non-profit associations

Bank messages

Bank files sent through ACSS will contain notifications about circumstances such as payment failures. For example, you could receive a notification when a Pre-Authorized Debit is dishonoured, or to let you know about a Notice of Change (NOC). The latter provides updated information on a customer’s account details, so the originator can adjust records for future payments.

Your bank will forward any messages to you each working day. For returned or dishonoured items, you’ll be able to identify the reason by looking at the transaction code. Here are some of the most commonly used transaction codes for returned or dishonoured payments, and for customer initiated returns:

Transaction Codes for returned or dishonoured payments

Code Description
901 Non-sufficient funds
903 Payment stopped/recalled
905 Account Closed
907 No Debit Allowed
908 Funds not cleared
910 Payer deceased
911 Account Frozen
912 Invalid/Incorrect Account No.
914 Incorrect Payer name

Transaction Codes for Customer Initiated Returns

Code Description
915 No Agreement Existed
916 Not According to Agreement - personal
917 Agreement Revoked - personal
918 No Confirmation/Pre-notification - personal
919 Not According to Agreeement - business
920 Agreement revoked - business
921 No Confirmation/Pre-notification - business
‹ View table of contents Next page ›

Latest features

Get your invoices paid before Christmas

The Christmas period is nearly upon us and it’s the season to be jolly. But will you be feeling as full of festive cheer at the end of December when you find that your outstanding invoices haven’t been paid?

What I wish I'd known: Free e-Guide for bookkeepers and accountants

GoCardless talked to practice owners, advisors and accounting tech specialists to ask: if they could go back in time, what words of advice would they give to their younger selves?

How Direct Debit can drive key subscription metrics

How can Direct Debit impact the numbers you care about most? Find out as we explain the relationship between Direct Debit and three key subscription success metrics.

View all


Reference guides

View all