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FAQ: Combating Credit Card Fraud using the Address Verification System (AVS)

11 November 2009

In the first of a three-part series on combating fraud, we look at the address verification system (AVS). AVS assists in the authentication of a shopper claiming to own a credit card. It compares the shopper’s billing with the address(es) on file with the card company. AVS is not an exact science, however, because it only checks the numeric portions of a cardholders billing address.

An Example

Consider the following US billing address:

2495 Truxtun Rd,
Suite A,
San Diego, CA 92106
USA

The AVS system will see it as 2495 for the address numeric, and 92106 for the zip code.

Taking another example:

2495 Rosecrans St,
Suite E,
San Diego, CA 92106
USA

It will be read as 2495 for the address numeric and 92106 for the zip code.

As far as AVS is concerned, both addresses are the same! Normally, if the AVS check returns a negative result, the transaction will be declined. However, declines can result from common and legitimate issues. For example, a card holder may have moved address and not updated the details on file with the issuer.

Flexible AVS Options with NitroSell eCommerce

Techniques to combat fraud should be employed by every retailer and, where possible, we will continue to implement anti-fraud techniques in our payment gateway integrations. With AVS, NitroSell eCommerce provides you with as much information as possible, helping to minimize false positives and empower you to make informed decisions about fraud.

When configuring your payment gateway in the WebStore Manager, the following options are available:

If the AVS options above are not available for your payment gateway, please feel free to open a ticket on our Partner Portal, where we will be happy to discuss your payment gateway options with you.