If I have a bank account from which money is automatically withdrawn via "automatic withdrawals" is it possible to identify which payments are automatic vs manually initiated ACH debits?


Certain payments I have automatically scheduled: Loans, subscriptions, etc.

Others I do periodically: ACH debit transfer of funds to other accounts, one-time electronic bill payments

Would I be able to tell? Would I be able to call my bank up and ask?

  • I'm not sure they'll be able to tell either. You can check the list of automatic transfers (somewhere around the bill-pay or the transfer page), and match.
    – littleadv
    Jan 17, 2012 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


Short answer: No.

Some of those 'automatic' payments you've agreed to (presumably by signing a PAD form) are initiated in batch by the company whom you're buying from (phone company, cable company etc). So no, the bank has no indication from one day to the next what is coming through. And the request goes from say, your cable company to THEIR merchant bank to YOUR bank.

Typically you have a monthly bill date which is fixed, and they should have terms established when it is due. If a payment comes back NSF they can retry once - but only for the same amount and I believe it is 14 days from the initial payment attempt. It makes it predictable, and you'd figure banks would clue in and start to predict for you when things may come out - but strictly speaking your bank doesn't know when or how much.


When setting these up for my own bill payment, I was surprised, after the fact, to see that a couple I thought would be a mailed check were actually instant transfers, and for others, vice versa. On line banking typically asks you for the due date and they handle from there. If you need this detail before the payment, I'd ask the bank. Else, it's easy to see after the fact for a given payee.


For WEB and TEL entries in ACH, there is a field specifying whether the payment is recurring:

9 Payment Type Code 77-78 2 Y alphanumeric For recurring TEL and WEB entries, this field must contain the value "R".
For Single-Entry TEL, this field must either be the value "S" or space-filed.
For Single-Entry WEB, this field must contain the value "S."

Beginning on Sept. 17, 2021, this field will allow Originators to include codes, of significance to them, to enable specialized handling of the entry. There is no standardized interpretation for the value of this field.

It does not appear that other SEC codes like PPD or CCD include this field, although only certain SEC codes are used with recurring entries (see: Application Use)

Source: National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) which manages the development, administration, and governance of the United States ACH Network. https://achdevguide.nacha.org/ach-file-details

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