ADVANCED ADDRESS VERIFACATION (AAV+) TECHNIQUE OVERVIEW
Advanced Address Verification (AAV+) goes beyond AVS and checking the billing address on file with what the cardholder provided to also check the shipping address, email and phone number. This service is only available on American Express and due to its recent changes in March 2009 may or may not be supported by your gateway. Key considerations when implementing or buying this functionality include:
It only works for American Express transactions.
If a merchant doesn’t have a direct connection to American Express, they need to make sure their payment processor can handle the new data fields required for this service.
It does not guarantee customer service charge-backs, only fraudulent charge-backs.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
To use the service a merchant needs to make sure their payment processor supports the service. If a merchant has a direct connection to American Express they can immediately start looking at how to implement this solution.
Once a merchant has decided to implement the AAV+ solution they will have to notify American Express to get a copy of the AAV+ specifications. American Express will conduct a walkthrough of the specifications if they desire it.
With the specifications a merchant can begin to modify their authorization format. Once a merchant has made the modifications, American Express will have to certify their format and review their ordering system script, and/or checkout page for their website. Then a merchant can begin to send orders.
With AAV+ a merchant will be sending the following new data in their authorization feed:
Card member Billing Information: Card member Billing Address,
Zip code and Phone Number, Card member Name as it appears on the card
Alternate Address Information: Ship to Street Address, Zip
Code and Phone Number, Ship to First and Last Name, Ship to
Country Code (ISO Numeric)
Email and IP address
HOW DO YOU USE THE RESULTS?
A merchant will get a response from American Express indicating if the data was a match. If it is and a merchant has purchased the guarantee, they can immediately accept the order. If they don’t have the guarantee then they have to decide on the order. If it is a match on the name, phone and address, the merchant’s risk is greatly reduced.
DID YOU KNOW?
Advanced Address Verification, or AAV+, is a service offered only by American Express that goes beyond AVS checking the shipping address, email and phone number of the cardholder in addition to their billing address.
AAV+ is a real-time solution for merchants doing e-commerce, mail order or phone orders. AAV+ is not the same as AVS. AVS is checking the billing address on file with the Issuing Bank, AAV+ is checking the shipping address, email and phone number on file. The service is provided exclusively by American Express and is intended to check the billing and shipping address when the two addresses are different. This service does offer an optional guarantee.
AAV+ allows merchants to take orders that may have been deemed too risky before. It reduces the costs for manual reviews when the transaction is from American Express and a merchant has done the AAV+ check. Merchants can be covered for charge-backs on American Express transactions run through the service.
In addition to checking billing and shipping addresses, AAV+ also checks the email and phone number. Email address verification reduces fraud by verifying that the email provided by the customer matches the addresses on file with American Express and phone number verification checks the phone number provided by the customer against the phone number on file with American Express. Both of these services can operate in batch mode or real time environments and can help identify high-risk transactions.
Alternative Solutions - Many vendors provide address verification services ranging from delivery address verification to full verification based on credit bureau and government record checks.
Building this In-House - A merchant can purchase data volumes that give them yellow page-type information that they can do checks against.
Estimated Costs - There are different fees for using the service and getting the charge-back guarantee. The new email and phone number verification systems are offered through AMEX's free electronic verification program.