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May 22, 2022
by David Goodale

What is AVS (Address Verification Service) for credit card processing?

(Slightly edited from video transcript for greater readability)

Key Takeaways

1
What is AVS?
AVS stands for address verification service. It is a security check done during the checkout stage of an e-commerce transaction.
2
There are two AVS checks.
The first check is done on the street and the other is done on the postal code.
3
AVS is not a complete security solution.
It is only a one key indicator that a transaction is valid.
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Hello, David here Merchant-Accounts.ca. I'm tackling a very simple question today. What is AVS? Stay tuned. We're going to dig in, in a second.

What is AVS?

address

AVS stands for address verification service. It is a security check done during the checkout stage of an e-commerce transaction where the card issuing bank tells you if the address that the customers provided matches the address that they have on file. When you submit an e-commerce transaction, you include things like the customer's name and credit card number and one of the options that you can include is their address. Specifically, there are two AVS checks, one is done on the street and the other is done on the postal code. If you submit the billing address with the order, it comes back as a match if the addresses you've submitted match what the bank has on file. It's a strong indicator of a legitimate transaction.

AVS is only a positive indicator

Now, it's not a perfect service because people could type in a billing address, but they could choose a different shipping address. That's a tip if you ever see a different shipping address than a billing address, it's not an indicator of fraud, but it is something to consider, that you're not delivering it to the address that the bank has on file.

Also, AVS isn't a perfect science. Sometimes people move, sometimes they might own two houses and you get mismatches sometimes when it's a legitimate customer and also in some countries developing nations. Most often AVS is not perfectly supported, but it is really by and large, a very good indicator of a legitimate transaction.

Conclusion

That was a very simple question and a simple answer. If you have any questions about e-commerce or security, reach out to us Merchant-Accounts.ca. We don't think there are any silly questions. Thanks for watching. Have a great day There.

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David Goodale About the Author

My name is David Goodale, CEO at Merchant Accounts.ca. 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.

Toll free: 888-414-7111 ext. 5
Direct: (905) 901-2254
david.goodale@merchant-accounts.ca