As a Merchant, you should be aware
that you can "screen out" orders based on whether the
billing address the customer gives you matches the billing
address that the card issuer has on file.
Make sure you are avoiding fraudulent transactions, unauthorized
activity, and costly chargebacks by properly using the
Address Verification Service (AVS). To use Address Verification
properly you should perform a credit card sale or an authorize-only
transaction that verifies the availability of funds. AVS
then compares the numeric portion of the customer's street
address and ZIP code entered in the point-of-sale terminal
or software with the address that the card-issuing bank
has on file. If both the ZIP code and street address match,
the AVS code will begin with a Y. If they do not match,
the AVS code will begin with an N.
A merchant typically receives an AVS code for approved
transactions only, regardless of whether the addresses
match. If an AVS code indicates that the address or ZIP
code does not match, it is then up to the merchant to
decide whether he or she will complete the sale. AVS works
only for US addresses.
Alert! If you are "keying" orders into a terminal and
the machine does NOT prompt you for an address and zip
code then you may be paying an excessive rate for those
keyed orders. Many credit card processing companies will
quote you very low "swiped" rate to gain your business
and then sting you with very high "Non Qual" add-on percentages
for your keyed business, especially if you are not checking
for AVS. Make sure your provider and terminal gives you
Business owners should use their own discretion when a
transaction's validity is in question. AVS is just another
tool to help them make sound business decisions.