Everyone knows that when buying online, high risk merchants ask for a billing address.
In the merchant processing world, this is called address verification service (AVS). AVS is a method used to determine whether or not the purchase is legitimate.
It makes financial sense for you to use AVS. Without AVS, you are surcharged on credit card transaction fees. The banks consider lack of AVS an additional risk.
If there is no AVS match, you can decide what to do. For a large ticket order, you may find it is worthwhile to make a call or contact the consumer and ask for alternative proof of identity.
For smaller ticket purchases, you may decide not to get additional information and simply allow the transaction to be completed. You may decide that the cost of verifying an order by phone does not justify the amount of the purchase.
AVS has limitations.
It works only with US addresses, not internationally.
Even in the US the system is not always reliable. For example, there may not be an AVS match because the consumer has moved and did not report a change of address to the issuing bank. Or the consumer may simply make a mistake in entering a street number or zip code.
AVS should be used in conjunction with other fraud protection protocols offered on a payment gateway. The goal for any ecommerce merchant is to get as many orders as possible with the least risk. AVS gives you one more way to verify the sale.
Are you using AVS?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today.