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For the merchants using Authorize.Net as your gateway you might find this useful. If your customer’s street address or postal code contains a letter rather than a number, Authorize.Net AVS will return an AVS mismatch.

I use Authorize.Net and I’ve recently started shipping to Canada. I immediately started encountering problems with the Canadian postal codes (which contain letters) being shown as an AVS mismatch by Authorize.Net. Upon contacting Authorize.Net support, I was told that the customers were providing the wrong information. All of them? None of them know or used their proper postal code? That got me thinking.

I remembered a similar problem I was having with US street addresses that contain a letter rather than all numbers. Wisconsin is a good example of where this occurs. Every single one of those transactions returned an AVS mismatch by Authorize.Net. When I contacted Authorize.Net support when I first noticed this (was years ago) I was told that they do not support the use of letters in the street address. To double check, I went back over transactions submitted this year and sure enough, every single one that had a letter in the street address was returns as an AVS mismatch by Authorize.Net.

Now I don’t know where the problem lies. But there is a problem that does not lie with the merchants, and the response I got from Authorize.Net was completely unacceptable. More and more the onus of verifying information to help protect consumers from the potential misuse of their credit card information falls directly into the laps of merchants. At the very least, the AVS system should be able to be counted on by merchants as a tool to help them protect their customers from the potential misuse of their credit cards and themselves from potential fraud. I don’t know if the failure is solely that of Authorize.Net. But at the very least, as a merchant, a customer of Authorize.Net, I deserved an honest answer and some support for a problem that has existed for years.

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