Address Verification System (AVS)

Created by Richard Moore, Modified on Wed, 12 Apr, 2023 at 12:02 PM by Richard Moore

The oldest method of cardholder verification is the Address Verification System (AVS). AVS is now supported on US and CAD merchant accounts processing transaction for North American and some International cardholders. 

When setting up AVS you can choose to setup your system to have a positive or negative match. AVS works on a system of inclusion or exclusion. The AVS result should be treated as an indicator of whether or not to accept the authorization that was provided. This determination is to be made by the merchant. You either choose to approve or reject transactions with specific AVS Codes. Most clients like to approve all transactions except in case of N (which equals No match), therefore not limiting international cardholders.

Address verification is currently supported for customers with US or CAD based merchant accounts. Merchants who do not provide address information in their transactions may be subject to additional fees imposed by their acquiring institution or bank.

Address Verification String # is a number that is part of the AVS system. As a means of detecting fraudulent transactions, AVS matches the address sent with the transaction to the actual billing address of the cardholder. When address verification is requested, the field will contain the mailing address on the cardholder's monthly statement. This field cannot exceed 29 characters in length. The Address is provided in the “VerificationStr1” field and must be formatted as follows:

< street address >< apt no. >< zip code >
or < post office box number >< zip code >

or P.O.BOX2435655555

If any of the address fields are not available or not applicable, they may be omitted. If available, the last 5 or 9 digits, without embedded spaces, should be the zip code. Numbers are not spelled out. (“First Street” becomes “1ST Street”, “Second” becomes “2ND”, etc) “Spaces” are only required between a numeral and the ZIP code.

For instance:
1391 ELM STREET 40404
is equivalent to: 1391ELMSTREET40404

P.O. BOX 24356 55555
is not equivalent to: P.O.BOX2435655555

IMPORTANT: This information is provided to E-xact in property: VerificationStr1.

IMPORTANT: Addresses will not be verified for test transactions. This guide shows how to simulate an AVS response code in a demo/test environment.

NOTE: if using Chase Paymentech or Moneris as your processor, please use the format outlined here.

Property: VerificationStr2 is to support future verification strings being deployed by Visa and other
credit card companies. (i.e. EVV2).

The AVS result is a one character response that indicates the “degree” of match for the provided
address. Currently supported AVS responses are found in the AVS Response Codes table.

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