Use AWS Lambda to parse a NACHA-formatted string to JSON

This walkthrough provides instructions on how to use the Go library to parse a NACHA-formatted string in a Lambda event and return the resulting JSON response.

The Lambda event could be triggered by a variety of sources: upload to S3 bucket, API Gateway HTTP request, SQS message, another Lambda, etc. Likewise, the response can be sent to a variety of destinations. This walkthrough doesn’t demonstrate a particular trigger or destination, but it can easily be adapted for the use cases mentioned.

Make sure you’ve built your project for AWS Lambda.

1. Create the Go file

Create a new Go file named main.go and replace it’s contents with the following:

package main

import (


type NachaParseEvent struct {
	Nacha string `json:"data"`

type NachaParseResponse struct {
	File ach.File `json:"file"`

func main() {

// logic to be executed when lambda starts goes here
func HandleRequest(ctx context.Context, event NachaParseEvent) (NachaParseResponse, error) {

	// get NACHA file text from lambda event
	rd := strings.NewReader(event.Nacha)

	// create file from NACHA text
	file, err := ach.NewReader(rd).Read()
	if err != nil {
		return NachaParseResponse{File: file}, err

	// set file ID
	file.ID = base.ID()

	// validate parsed file
	if err := file.Validate(); err != nil {
		return NachaParseResponse{File: file}, err

	//create response object
	parseRes := NachaParseResponse{File: file}

	return parseRes, err

main() is invoked when the lambda is triggered
HandleRequest() is the callback containing the business logic and accepts a lambda event as a parameter with the shape:

    "data": " ...NACHA formatted string "

NachaParseEvent mirrors this shape and makes the contents accessible in HandleRequest(). This event can be changed to fit your needs, all you need to do is update the NachaParseEvent struct and make sure the trigger for this lambda is passing in the expected event.

2. Build your file for AWS Lambda

Now that you’ve saved your Go file, you need to build it for use with AWS Lambdas. See Build a Go file for AWS Lambda for more details.

3. Create the Lambda function in AWS console

Sign into the AWS Console and head over to the Lambdas section and create a new function.

Select Author From Scratch

Authorship Details

Under Basic Information, enter a name for your function (e.g. parse-nacha-to-json) and select Go as the Runtime

Basic Info

By default, AWS will create a new permissions role for your function with all lambda permissions. This is adequate for this tutorial, but if you plan to access other AWS services from this function you will need to add permissions. Click Create Function in the bottom right after you’ve selected your desired role.

Permissions Role Selection

4. Configure function and upload executable

AWS Lambdas don’t currently support inline editing of Go files so you will need to upload the zip file you created in step 2. Click the Actions dropdown in the Function Code section, select Upload a .zip file, upload your zip and click Save.

Upload Zip

Now scroll down to the Basic Settings section. Handler needs to be set to the name of your executable file from step 2. In our case, the executable name is main. Click Edit and change the Handler from hello to main.

Edit Basic Settings

Finally, we will create two test events to confirm our function is working as expected.

The first event will be used to confirm the NACHA-formatted string is parsed correctly. Click the dropdown to the left of the Test button at the top of the page and select Configure test events.

Create parseEvent

Leave the hello-world template selected and enter a name for your event (e.g. parseEvent).

Configure parseEvent

Replace the contents of the code editor with the following:

  "data": "101 03130001202313801041908161055A094101Federal Reserve Bank   My Bank Name           12345678\n5225Name on Account                     231380104 PPDREG.SALARY      190816   1121042880000001\n627231380104123456789        0200000000               Debit Account           0121042880000001\n82250000010023138010000200000000000000000000231380104                          121042880000001\n9000001000001000000010023138010000200000000000000000000                                       \n9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999\n9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999\n9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999\n9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999\n9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999"

This JSON will be handled by HandleRequest(). Note the top level data field which matches the shape we covered in step 1. Click Create at the bottom when you’re finished making changes.

Now create your second event, which is designed to cause an error while parsing so you can see how the function returns errors from Go code. Create a new event with a different name (e.g. parseEventError) and modify the NACHA string.

You can change the string above by putting a ‘1’ in position 4 (1011...). This should result in an error stating that the immediateDestination should be 9 numeric digits.

  "data": "101103130001202313801041908161055A094101Federal Reserve..."

5. Run/Test your function

Now you can finally test your function.

Go to the top of the page, select your successful test event (e.g. parseEvent) and click Test. You should receive a succcessful response similar to the following:

Test parseEvent

Now test your error event (e.g. parseEventError). You should receive an error response similar to the following:

Test parseEventError

And that’s it! You’ve successfully created and tested a lambda function that parses a NACHA-formatted string into JSON.