Merchant Account Address Verification System Explained:
What is an Address Verification System? As the name implies, an Address Verification System (AVS) verifies that the billing address of the credit or debit card matches the address that was given by the customer. An AVS is an optional feature that can be enabled for e-commerce payment gateways and virtual terminal credit card sales. 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 is widely supported by Visa and MasterCard in the USA, Canada, and United Kingdom. American Express only supports AVS in the USA.
If enabled, merchants will incur a small AVS fee that usually costs between 5-25 cents per sale, but the fee varies by processor and can be more expensive. Merchants will only incur an AVS fee if the feature is enabled in the payment gateway and the customer’s address is entered. Using AVS adds security and can lower the overall transaction fee of the credit card sale.
AVS Video Explanation
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About The Author
Phillip Parker is an independent card payment expert specializing U.S. and Canadian point-of-sale, e-commerce, and mobile payment acceptance. He has nearly two decades of experience in credit card processing as a journalist and consultant. Phillip is the creator of this website and has written over 1,500 articles covering numerous payment acceptance topics. He has also published critical reviews about most merchant services providers currently in operation.
Phillip has consulted businesses of all sizes from mom-and-pop shops processing $10K per month to enterprise level organizations processing in excess of $300MM annually. His specialties include:
Phillip has researched and reviewed over 1,000 merchant services providers over the last 15 years. He also owns multiple businesses that accept credit card payments. If you are looking for an ethical credit card processor that doesn’t hide fees or lock you into expensive contracts, see Phillip’s merchant account picks here.
In The Media
In addition his contributions on CPO, Phillip has also been quoted in several major publications such as The Los Angeles Times, INC Magazine, Miami Herald, Computer World, and numerous others. If you would like to interview Phillip for your story or podcast, please reach out here.
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