Customer Support | Free Rate Comparison VerePay Login
BankCard Central Logo
How can we help you?   
Can't find what your looking for? Click Here  
  Accept Credit Cards Today!  
Merchant Processing Solutions Credit Card Equipment Software
Credit Card Processing VerePay PrismPay Recurring Billing Customer Validation Payment Options Business Diversity Credits Payment Gateway PCI Compliance Check Services Loyalty Program Gift Cards Merchant Cash Advance Online Ordering System Bill Payment Suite Merchant Accounts
Domain Registration SSL Certificates Shopping Carts Web Hosting Website Security Search Engine Optimization Internet Marketing Email Marketing Mobile Marketing
Home >> Frequently Asked Questions >>
Share |

What is AVS?

AVS stands for Address Verification System, and is exactly what it sounds like. In order to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions and/or chargeback's, a credit card billing address is requested with any charge and verified before authorization is given for the transaction.

What is the Address Verification System (AVS)?

The Address Verification System (AVS) is an advanced level of credit card security to help thwart identity theft. When a user makes an online purchase with a credit card their billing address is required. The house number portion and postal code of the billing address they enter is compared to the billing address on file for the card.

If the address does not match then the transaction is declined. Thus, address verification failed and the chance that this is a fraudulent transaction is too high to allow the transaction to go through. When AVS first started being used, a merchant could still process a card with an AVS mismatch for a higher processing fee.

Some services still allow the merchant to do this but it does cost more money to process the un-verified card and it is not a good idea especially if you are selling hard goods. If you ship goods that are bought with a stolen credit card then you have not only lost the merchandise but you are also responsible for the chargeback to the card. In other words, you just lost double!

Legitimate Declines are Common

If the address entered by the user does not match the address on file with the card then the transaction will be declined. If something is misspelled or the customer has moved then the address will not verify. In the event a card fails the only choice you have is to contact the customer to verify their information and work with them to see where the problem is. They may have a bad address on file with the financial institution.

AVS Still not Enough - Watch Out for Foreign Orders

AVS is only going to verify the information submitted with the card. If the hacker has all of the pertinent information then the card is going to pass. This usually is common with orders generating from foreign countries. Foreign orders should always get a second look even if the information validates. There are a few things you can do here to help verify foreign orders.

  • Call or email foreign customers immediately after the order for verification. Always request the user’s phone number and use a service like to verify the number is for that person. Require foreign customers to submit a fax immediately after the order to verify the order. Then verify that the fax number is from that region. Look at the domain for the email address and verify it is an ISP in that user’s area. Be very cautious of orders from free mail accounts such as yahoo. Be suspicious of high dollar orders or multiple orders from the same people.
  • Require foreign customers to contact you before you allow them to order. Perhaps you can set-up a verification system where people outside the US need an access code to order.

Start Accepting Credit Cards Today!

Sign Up for the
Possibilities Newsletter

  Related Topics:
  • Merchant Accounts
  • eCommerce Software
  • Credit Card Processor
  • Business Financing
  • Industry News

      1321 Burlington Street, Suite B North Kansas City, MO 64116  
    BankCard Central is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank, South Jordan, UT
    All Content © 2013 Copyright | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | ROR
    Bottom Border
    Credit Card Processing | Merchant Cash Advance | eCommerce Solutions | Credit Card Processing Rates | PCI Compliance
    Residual Income Opportunities | Payment Gateways | Gift Card Program | Loyalty Card Programs | Shopping Cart Solutions | Blog
    Technical Support | Credit Card Processing FAQs | About BankCard Central | Partners | Merchant Testimonials | Contact Us
    * Applicable and monthly service charges still apply. No application Fees.

    Third-party marks and brands are the property of their respective owners.