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A Payment transaction represents a transfer of value from one account to another. (Depending on the path taken, this can involve additional exchanges of value, which occur atomically.) This transaction type can be used for several types of payments.

Payments are also the only way to create accounts.

Example Payment JSON

  "TransactionType" : "Payment",
  "Account" : "rf1BiGeXwwQoi8Z2ueFYTEXSwuJYfV2Jpn",
  "Destination" : "ra5nK24KXen9AHvsdFTKHSANinZseWnPcX",
  "Amount" : {
     "currency" : "USD",
     "value" : "1",
     "issuer" : "rf1BiGeXwwQoi8Z2ueFYTEXSwuJYfV2Jpn"
  "Fee": "12",
  "Flags": 2147483648,
  "Sequence": 2,

Query example transaction. >

Payment Fields

In addition to the common fields, Payment transactions use the following fields:

FieldJSON TypeInternal TypeDescription
AmountCurrency AmountAmountAPI v1: Only available in API v1. The maximum amount of currency to deliver. For non-XRP amounts, the nested field names MUST be lower-case. If the tfPartialPayment flag is set, deliver up to this amount instead.
DeliverMaxCurrency AmountAmountAPI v2: Only available in API v2. The maximum amount of currency to deliver. For non-XRP amounts, the nested field names MUST be lower-case. If the tfPartialPayment flag is set, deliver up to this amount instead. New in: rippled 2.0.0
DeliverMinCurrency AmountAmount(Optional) Minimum amount of destination currency this transaction should deliver. Only valid if this is a partial payment. For non-XRP amounts, the nested field names are lower-case.
DestinationStringAccountIDThe unique address of the account receiving the payment.
DestinationTagNumberUInt32(Optional) Arbitrary tag that identifies the reason for the payment to the destination, or a hosted recipient to pay.
InvoiceIDStringHash256(Optional) Arbitrary 256-bit hash representing a specific reason or identifier for this payment.
PathsArray of path arraysPathSet(Optional, auto-fillable) Array of payment paths to be used for this transaction. Must be omitted for XRP-to-XRP transactions.
SendMaxCurrency AmountAmount(Optional) Highest amount of source currency this transaction is allowed to cost, including transfer fees, exchange rates, and slippage. Does not include the XRP destroyed as a cost for submitting the transaction. For non-XRP amounts, the nested field names MUST be lower-case. Must be supplied for cross-currency/cross-issue payments. Must be omitted for XRP-to-XRP payments.

Types of Payments

The Payment transaction type functions differently depending on how you fill in the Payment fields:

Payment typeAmountSendMaxPathsAccount = Destination?Description
Direct XRP PaymentString (XRP)OmittedOmittedNoTransfers XRP directly from one account to another, using one transaction. Always delivers the exact amount. No fee applies other than the basic transaction cost.
Creating or redeeming tokensObjectObject (optional)OptionalNoIncreases or decreases the amount of a non-XRP currency or asset tracked in the XRP Ledger. Transfer fees and freezes do not apply when sending and redeeming directly.
Cross-currency PaymentObject (non-XRP) / String (XRP)Object (non-XRP) / String (XRP)Usually requiredNoSend tokens from one holder to another. The Amount or SendMax can be XRP or tokens, but can't both be XRP. These payments ripple through the issuer and can take longer paths through several intermediaries if the transaction specifies a path set. Transfer fees set by the issuer(s) apply to this type of transaction. These transactions consume offers in the decentralized exchange to connect different currencies, or currencies with the same currency code and different issuers.
Partial paymentObject (non-XRP) / String (XRP)Object (non-XRP) / String (XRP)Usually requiredNoSends up to a specific amount of any currency. Uses the tfPartialPayment flag. May include a DeliverMin amount specifying the minimum that the transaction must deliver to be successful; if the transaction does not specify DeliverMin, it can succeed by delivering any positive amount.
Currency conversionObject (non-XRP) / String (XRP)Object (non-XRP) / String (XRP)RequiredYesConsumes offers in the decentralized exchange to convert one currency to another, possibly taking arbitrage opportunities. The Amount and SendMax cannot both be XRP. Also called a circular payment because it delivers money to the sender. This type of transaction may be classified as an "exchange" and not a "payment".

Special issuer Values for SendMax and Amount

Most of the time, the issuer field of a non-XRP Currency Amount indicates the issuer of a token. However, when describing payments, there are special rules for the issuer field in the Amount and SendMax fields of a payment.

  • There is only ever one balance between two addresses for the same currency code. This means that, sometimes, the issuer field of an amount actually refers to a counterparty, instead of the address that issued the token.
  • When the issuer field of the destination Amount field matches the Destination address, it is treated as a special case meaning "any issuer that the destination accepts." This includes all addresses to which the destination has trust lines with a positive limit, as well as tokens with the same currency code issued by the destination.
  • When the issuer field of the SendMax field matches the source account's address, it is treated as a special case meaning "any issuer that the source can use." This includes creating new tokens on trust lines that other accounts have extended to the source account, and sending tokens the source account holds from other issuers.

Creating Accounts

The Payment transaction type can create new accounts in the XRP Ledger by sending enough XRP to an unfunded address. Other transactions to unfunded addresses always fail.

For more information, see Accounts.


If present, the Paths field must contain a path set - an array of path arrays. Each individual path represents one way value can flow from the sender to receiver through various intermediary accounts, order books, and automated market makers. A single transaction can potentially use multiple paths, for example if the transaction exchanges currency using several different order books to achieve the best rate.

You must omit the Paths field for direct payments, including:

  • An XRP-to-XRP transfer.
  • A direct transfer on a trust line that connects the sender and receiver.

If the Paths field is provided, the server decides at transaction processing time which paths to use, from the provided set plus a default path (the most direct way possible to connect the specified accounts). This decision is deterministic and attempts to minimize costs, but it is not guaranteed to be perfect.

The Paths field must not be an empty array, nor an array whose members are all empty arrays.

For more information, see Paths.

Payment Flags

Transactions of the Payment type support additional values in the Flags field, as follows:

Flag NameHex ValueDecimal ValueDescription
tfNoRippleDirect0x0001000065536Do not use the default path; only use paths included in the Paths field. This is intended to force the transaction to take arbitrage opportunities. Most clients do not need this.
tfPartialPayment0x00020000131072If the specified Amount cannot be sent without spending more than SendMax, reduce the received amount instead of failing outright. See Partial Payments for more details.
tfLimitQuality0x00040000262144Only take paths where all the conversions have an input:output ratio that is equal or better than the ratio of Amount:SendMax. See Limit Quality for details.

Partial Payments

A partial payment allows a payment to succeed by reducing the amount received. Partial payments are useful for returning payments without incurring additional costs to oneself. However, partial payments can also be used to exploit integrations that naively assume the Amount field of a successful transaction always describes the exact amount delivered.

A partial payment is any Payment transaction with the tfPartialPayment flag enabled. A partial payment can be successful if it delivers any positive amount greater than or equal to its DeliverMin field (or any positive amount at all if DeliverMin is not specified) without sending more than the SendMax value.

The delivered_amount field of a payment's metadata indicates the amount of currency actually received by the destination account.

For more information, see the full article on Partial Payments.

Limit Quality

The XRP Ledger defines the "quality" of a currency exchange as the ratio of the numeric amount in to the numeric amount out. For example, if you spend $2 USD to receive £1 GBP, then the "quality" of that exchange is 0.5.

The tfLimitQuality flag allows you to set a minimum quality of conversions that you are willing to take. This limit quality is defined as the destination Amount divided by the SendMax amount (the numeric amounts only, regardless of currency). When set, the payment processing engine avoids using any paths whose quality (conversion rate) is worse (numerically lower) than the limit quality.

By itself, the tfLimitQuality flag reduces the number of situations in which a transaction can succeed. Specifically, it rejects payments where some part of the payment uses an unfavorable conversion, even if the overall average quality of conversions in the payment is equal or better than the limit quality. If a payment is rejected in this way, the transaction result is tecPATH_DRY.

Consider the following example. If I am trying to send you 100 Chinese Yuan (Amount = 100 CNY) for 20 United States dollars (SendMax = 20 USD) or less, then the limit quality is 5. Imagine one trader is offering ¥95 for $15 (a ratio of about 6.3 CNY per USD), but the next best offer in the market is ¥5 for $2 (a ratio of 2.5 CNY per USD). If I were to take both offers to send you 100 CNY, then it would cost me 17 USD, for an average quality of about 5.9.

Without the tfLimitQuality flag set, this transaction would succeed, because the $17 it costs me is within my specified SendMax. However, with the tfLimitQuality flag enabled, the transaction would fail instead, because the path to take the second offer has a quality of 2.5, which is worse than the limit quality of 5.

The tfLimitQuality flag is most useful when combined with partial payments. When both tfPartialPayment and tfLimitQuality are set on a transaction, then the transaction delivers as much of the destination Amount as it can, without using any conversions that are worse than the limit quality.

In the above example with a ¥95/$15 offer and a ¥5/$2 offer, the situation is different if my transaction has both tfPartialPayment and tfLimitQuality enabled. If we keep my SendMax of 20 USD and a destination Amount of 100 CNY, then the limit quality is still 5. However, because I am doing a partial payment, the transaction sends as much as it can instead of failing if the full destination amount cannot be sent. This means that my transaction consumes the ¥95/$15 offer, whose quality is about 6.3, but it rejects the ¥5/$2 offer because that offer's quality of 2.5 is worse than the quality limit of 5. In the end, my transaction only delivers ¥95 instead of the full ¥100, but it avoids wasting money on poor exchange rates.