Missing outgoing ACH payment to US bank account


Last September, I needed to send a small amount of USD to the US. Ideally I would have sent it to my US bank account, but my US bank unreasonably charges $15 to receive an incoming international SWIFT payment and @AndreasK advised in another thread that Revolut sends USD payments from a Lloyds USD account in the UK (as opposed to by ACH from US-based account). Therefore I instead sent the payment from my Revolut account to my US-based American Express card. This involved sending USD to Amex’s bank account at JPMorgan Chase in New York and quoting my Amex card number in the beneficiary reference field. The payment was received in Amex’s account at JPMorgan Chase and credited to my US Amex card only one day after I sent it from Revolut - all perfect.

I then needed to send another USD payment to the US this month, so I reused the saved payee details in Revolut to send the payment to my US Amex card. The payment was never received, and JPMorgan Chase confirmed to Amex US that no payments for my specific amount had been received into the bank account, irrespective of any beneficiary reference. I therefore raised the issue with Revolut in a support chat, where I was told that the payment was sent via “SWIFT international transfer”, concurring with @AndreasK’s previous advice.

In the same support chat, I was later told by someone else that the payment was in fact sent via ACH from an account in the name of Currencycloud held at Community Federal Savings Bank in New York, ABA clearing code 026073150. It appears that this was also the case last September, contrary to what @AndreasK had said. Revolut have given me a trace number to give to the beneficiary, but seem unwilling to ask Community Federal Savings Bank to investigate the loss of the payment at their end, except for providing the trace number. Obviously I have given the trace number to Amex US, but it could take weeks to resolve.

I find it extraordinary that, using the same saved payee details in Revolut, one payment is received the next day and the other is lost without explanation. Furthermore, the lack of product knowledge by Revolut staff about the method of transfer for USD doesn’t inspire confidence.

If @AndreasK had told me correctly that USD payments are sent via ACH to US bank accounts from Community Federal Savings Bank in New York instead of incorrectly from Lloyds Bank in the UK, then I would have instead sent the payment to my own US bank account, which would have given me much more control over investigating any problems. So it’s a double failure by Revolut.

Unable to send USD to US Bank Account

Revolut seems unable to provide any evidence that Community Federal Savings Bank sent the payment to the correct beneficiary. All they can provide is confirmation that the account holder (Currencycloud) instructed Community Federal Savings Bank to make the payment. The onus is on Revolut to provide evidence that the payment was made, not merely that the payment was instructed to be made.


American Express have located the payment using the trace number given by Revolut. I had correctly populated my Amex card number followed by my name into the beneficiary reference field, but Amex received only a partial card number without any name. Therefore they could not assign the payment to my Amex card account. It appears that some truncation was erroneously introduced between September 2017 and August 2018, which could be a bug, possibly with Currencycloud.

This is contradicted by JPMorgan Chase having previously told Amex that no payments for my specific amount had been received into the bank account, irrespective of any beneficiary reference. I suspect that this was an oversight by JPMorgan Chase, albeit not the cause of the error.

Revolut have resolved the matter to my total satisfaction, and I would urge anyone with similar problems to follow Revolut’s complaints procedure. You will get a much better resolution doing that than by continuing with support chats or voicing your frustration in these forums.


A further update. Currencycloud have told Revolut that they now support only 10 characters in the beneficiary reference field for ACH payments, which is why my Amex card number was truncated on the payment, even though Currencycloud misleadingly displays the full reference on its payment confirmations. Revolut, having already resolved my complaint to my total satisfaction, are now trying to get to the bottom of the reason for the truncation, not least with a diligent view to preventing such errors in future. Currencycloud can’t explain how the full beneficiary reference was sent in September 2017 if only 10 characters are supported. Currencycloud have told Revolut that there might have been a reduction in the number of supported characters but they have no record of when or why. There doesn’t seem to be proper change control at Currencycloud, which is worrying.

Does anyone know the maximum number of characters supported in the ACH beneficiary reference field?

I can’t find an ACH specification on NACHA’s web site, but I did find one on PNC’s web site. Currencycloud have told Revolut that the beneficiary reference goes into the “Company Entry Description field” (see field 7 on page 7), which is only 10 characters, but this is implausible in terms of both field name and field length. NACHA would not reduce the supported length of the beneficiary reference to less than a typical 16-digit credit card number. My own research suggests that the relevant field might be “Payment Related Information” in the “addenda record” (see field 3 on page 12), which supports 80 characters.