AVS Checks

January 17, 2023

AVS Checks

Address Verification Service Checks, also known as AVS Checks, is one of the most widely used fraud prevention tools when a card-not-present transaction occurs.

How Do AVS Checks Work?

AVS Checks are used to see if both the Address Line and the Postcode linked to a payment card are the same as the address provided at checkout. However, the check will only verify the numeric portion of an address. Therefore any other characters should not cause an issue with the AVS.

For example, for the following example address:

Flat 6 Primrose Rise 347 Lavender Road Northampton NN17 8YG

the following numbers are used for the AVS check:

6 3 4 7 1 7 8

Why Use AVS Checks?

  • By a customer entering the billing address, AVS ensures that it is the same address associated with the payment card.
  • AVS allows Merchants to be able to detect suspicious debit or credit card transactions and prevent credit card fraud.
  • When Gateways use AVS alongside other fraud detection methods such as; biometric analysis; EMV 3-D Secure; CVV codes; device authentication; and IP address verification.
  • The Merchant receives a notification whether the AVS Check has succeeded or failed. This will allow the Merchant to decide the next steps for transaction. They could either approve, decline, or make an exception.

Potential Issues

With AVS Checks, there are very few issues that can arise when a genuine customer is making a payment. The only real problem would be when there is a difference between the billing address provided and the address associated with the payment card.

Legitimate reasons for a failure could occur if the cardholder has recently moved address and hasn’t updated their bank records, or if there are minor differences in the address and address registered such as:

Customer Entered: Flat 1a, Rosemary Mansions, Drove Road, BN15 3TH

Registered Address: Flat 1a, Rosemary Mansions, 45 Drove Road, BN15 3TH

To learn more about how Cardstream can help you maximise your payments, click here for more information.

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