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November 21, 2022
by David Goodale

Always enter the customers billing address when processing credit cards

(Slightly edited from video transcript for greater readability)

Hello David here at Today I'm going to give you a very quick tip: Always enter the customer's billing address when submitting credit card transactions. I'll explain why in one second.

The reason you should always enter the customer's full billing address, including the street address and the postal or zip code is because you statistically increase your likelihood of the transaction being approved.

Even though it's inconvenient ...

Many businesses don't type in the billing address when processing a credit card transaction. For example, if you have a virtual terminal and you're keying the customer's credit card information into your computer, it can be inconvenient to type in the customer's billing address.

Anti-fraud Algorithm

Every card issuer has an anti-fraud algorithm. Unfortunately there are fraudulant stores out there and the customer's card issuing bank is trying to prevent the fraudsters from illegitimately using a card. What we don't know is how the anti-fraud algorithm works. The reason that we can never know how it works, is if banks exposed exactly how their anti-fraud algorithms worked, they could be abused or exploited.

For example it's similar to how Google does not disclose its Search Engine Ranking algorithm. Google doesn't explain exactly how to be number one for search keywords, because if everybody knew how the algorithm worked, it would be exploited and be rendered useless.

What we do know is the card issuers are looking at many indicators and the more good information that you give to the issuer, the more likely you are to get an approval.

Declines are a problem for every merchant, particularly if you do your transactions cross-border, because cross-border transactions get a higher incidence of declines.


If you have the ability to type in a customer's credit card when you're using a virtual terminal, or if you're setting up an e-commerce website, always collect the billing address of the cardholder. It will improve your authorization rates. I hope this information was helpful and have a good day. Thanks for watching.

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David Goodale About the Author

My name is David Goodale, CEO at Merchant I launched our business in 2001 and have over 20 years of expertise in the field of online payments. If you have a payments related question or project, and especially if it relates to multi-currency or international e-commerce don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always happy to help with an honest opinion, and enjoy chatting with folks from interesting businesses.

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