Address Verification System

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The Address Verification System (AVS) is a system used to verify the address of a person claiming to own a credit card,[1] the system will check the billing address of the credit card provided by the user with the address on file at the credit card company. The other security features for the credit card include the CVV2 number.

AVS is used when the merchant verifies credit card data, such as billing address and ZIP code, against the Visa/MasterCard billing information of the cardholder.[1] AVS verifies that the billing address of the credit or debit card matches the address that was given by the customer, because AVS only verifies the numeric portion of the address, certain anomalies like apartment numbers can cause false declines; however, it is reported to be a rare occurrence.

AVS verifies the numeric portions of a cardholder's billing address, for example, if the address is 101 Main Street, Highland, CA 92346, in the United States, AVS will check 101 and 92346. Cardholders may receive false negatives, or partial declines for AVS from e-commerce verification systems, which may require manual overrides, voice authorization, or reprogramming of the AVS entries by the card issuing bank.

AVS support[edit]

AVS is a service to combat fraudulent activity for non-face-to-face transactions by cross-referencing the cardholder’s address information with the card issuer’s records.[2] AVS is widely supported by Visa, MasterCard and American Express in the USA, Canada and United Kingdom.

Cardholders with a bank that does not support AVS may receive an error from Internet stores due to the lack of data.

Besides the automated verification, some banks do provide merchants with a manual verification system. Usually this is done for foreign credit card accounts as the AVS only works in the same country, this facility helps the merchants to prevent fraud arising from other countries. The merchant's bank calls the customer banks (or send a fax for banks that request them), some countries like Denmark however prevent banks from verifying customer data.

Address Verification Service (AVS) codes[3][4][edit]

Code Visa Mastercard Discover American Express
A Street address matches, ZIP does not Street address and 5-digit ZIP match Address only Matches Address and ZIP match
B Street address matches, but ZIP not verified. Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
C Street address and ZIP not verified Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
D Street address and ZIP match (International Only) Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
E AVS data is invalid or AVS is not allowed for this card type. Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
F Street address and postal code match (UK Only) Not applicable Not applicable Street address matches, card member name does not match
G Non-U.S. issuing bank does not support AVS. Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
I Address information not verified for international transaction Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
K Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Card member name matches
L Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Card member name and ZIP match
M Street address and postal code match (International Only) Not applicable Not applicable Card member name, street address, and ZIP code match
N Street address and ZIP code do not match Street address and ZIP code do not match Street address and ZIP code do not match Street address and ZIP code do not match
O Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Card member name and street address match
P Zip code matches, street address unverifiable due to incompatible formats (International Only) Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
R System unavailable, retry System unavailable, retry System unavailable, retry System unavailable, retry
S AVS not supported AVS not supported AVS not supported AVS not supported
T Not applicable Not applicable 9-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not Not applicable
U Address information unavailable. Returned if the U.S. bank does not support non-U.S. AVS or if the AVS in a U.S. bank is not functioning properly. Address information unavailable Address information unavailable Address information unavailable
W 9-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not 9-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not 9-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not Card member name, ZIP, and street address do NOT match
X 9-Digit ZIP and street address match 9-Digit ZIP and street address match 9-Digit ZIP and street address match Not applicable
Y 5-Digit ZIP and street address match 5-Digit ZIP and street address match 5-Digit ZIP and street address match 5-Digit ZIP and street address match
Z 5-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not 5-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not 5-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not 5-Digit ZIP matches, street address does not

Declines due to Address Verification System[edit]

"Declined due to AVS mismatch", the authorization code, along with the hold on the authorized funds, will remain on the customer's card until the card issuing bank removes the authorization. As a result, the held funds may be subtracted from the customer's available balance, and an online statement may reflect the authorization request which might be mistaken for an actual charge. Most card issuing banks will remove authorizations within 1–2 days if they are not claimed for settlement.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Address Verification System (AVS)". VirtualTrak technologies. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Glossary A, AVS". Electronic Merchant Systems. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Address Verification Service (AVS) Response Codes | Chase Merchant Services". www.chasepaymentech.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17. 
  4. ^ "AVS, CVV2, and payment advice response codes - PayPal Developer". developer.paypal.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.