Address Verification System (AVS)

Address Verification System (AVS) is a useful fraud prevention tool for merchants.

If your business depends primarily on online orders,then perhaps you’ve come across the acronym AVS. AVS stands for “AddressVerification System” and it is a fraud prevention tool used to verify thebilling address provided by the customer with the address on file with thecredit card issuing bank. AVS checks the numeric portions of the address—likestreet number and zip code—in order to return a verification. Sometimes thisresults in false positives or negatives which may result in having to do amanual override, but overall it is a good means of preventing fraud.

Additionally, making sure to use AVS can also affectyour interchange rate! Credit card companies like to see merchants taking theinitiative to protect against fraud, and merchants who capture AVS data canreceive lower interchange rates. Overall, it is a good idea to institute apolicy of AVS, especially if you’re a merchant that relies on card-not-presenttransactions.

The codes for AVS are alphabetical, and some are cardbrand-specific. The codes are:

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