AVS stands for Address Verification System and is exactly what it sounds like it is. It is a service that issuing banks use during the authorization process. The goal of AVS is to verify the address of the cardholder claimant in order to securely process a payment. This type of security process is especially useful for card-not-present transactions.
AVS is done during the merchant’s request for authorization. The consumer enters an address and it is checked against the address that the issuing bank has on file. Merchants then receive a code indicting specifically what matched such as: no match, partial zip code match, partial address, full match, and etc.
But why would a merchant only want half of the information?
If merchants decide to implement full match only, their business will be frowned upon. The reason for this is people forget to change their addresses with their issuing bank or there could be other underlying reasons why the customer may not be able to enter the full address. However, for merchants, adopting this rule would make disputing charges much harder.
Between the business owner, employees, and customers, it saves time and is the easy way to avoiding basic fraud activity. While using AVS is a method to assist with fraud, relying only on AVS can be dangerous. This is why every merchant should follow every method of security protection possible.