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About automated E-commerce AVS (Address Verification System) services


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In our experience, using an automated E-commerce AVS (Address Verification System) Service for credit card approval is a potential source of frustration for E-commerce Vendors.


Most automated services submit a dummy order at $0.00, and compare the Customer's address on file returned by the credit card company against the address submitted by the Customer at shopping cart checkout, as a means of verifying the Customer as the account owner.


There are three fundamental problems with this:

* many credit card companies refuse transactions of less that $1.00 outright, causing the service to throw an error

* some credit card companies will return their address rather than their Customer's address, causing the service to throw an error

* a simple text difference between addresses... for example, upper case Vs lower case... may be sufficient to cause the AVS to post an alert


Any of these outcomes requires the Vendor to apply human intelligence to deal with the error or alert generated by the test, in addition to credit-approving the real order.  In other words, automated AVS can result in a doubling of the work actually required to approve a transaction.


When this becomes an issue for Tradepoint E-commerce Clients, one option is to request that we set all Customer orders to be received "Under Review" so they can be reviewed by a person using the AVS tools or other tools of choice with human intervention.  This amounts to "Manual" AVS, but cuts the real work in half.


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