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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Equipment leasing has its place


Industry Update

PayPal's Discover deal makes room for acquirers

Square reaching beyond micro-merchants with flat rate

MCX - it's about more than the wallet


Research Rundown

A new strategy for health-care payments

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Campus card fees – fair or foul?

International provider with local focus


Opening gateways to AVS

Chandan Mukherjee
PayCube Inc.


Street SmartsSM:
Perry Mason and the post mortem

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

How to help merchants counter fraudulent orders

Bill Hoidas
Matrix Payment Systems

Tips for managing remote sales teams

Alan Kleinman
Meritus Payment Solutions

The smart way to sell POS systems - Part 1

Joe Porco

Ignite revenue with a sales incentive program

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Company Profile

My Clear Reports

New Products

Online loyalty builder for merchants

Simpli Marketing
Tecmark Inc.

POS software delivers optimum control

Syspro Point of Sale


Oasis in the workplace


2012 events Calendar


Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 10, 2012  •  Issue 12:09:01

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Opening gateways to AVS

By Chandan Mukherjee

While Address Verification Service (AVS) has been available for most networks and processors for a long time now, there are still significant pitfalls to integrating AVS into a payment gateway. As a result, many implementers have ignored AVS. But a carefully implemented AVS can reduce transaction fraud to a great extent.

AVS varies from network to network and between processors. There are also variations in AVS in the United States as opposed to international AVS. This article addresses basics that a gateway provider must be familiar with to implement a robust AVS.

Keep in mind that this is a general discussion; it is strongly urged that developers reference processor specifications.

Furthermore, please note there may be differences in processor support for AVS. Hence, if a gateway supports multiple processors, it is conceivable the AVS must be tailored to each processor.

Address verification basics

Conceptually, AVS validates that the individual holding a payment card and conducting a transaction - in either a card-not-present environment, such as online, or in a brick-and-mortar location - is indeed the person issued the card. It is assumed that if someone stole a card or card number, it is unlikely the thief would know the actual billing address tied to the cardholder's stolen card.

So, the billing address, or part of the billing address information, is sent along with the card authorization request for the network and the card issuer to validate. If the billing address information matches the billing address on file for the card, then a match is returned. Otherwise error codes are returned.

Address verification options

Fundamentally, three kinds of address verification services are available:

Best practices

Here are high-level best practices for implementing AVS at the gateway's application protocol interface or card entry web page.

A fraud deterrent

Given the amount of fraud associated with credit and debit cards, it is imperative that AVS be implemented by all reputable gateway operators. While the implementation of AVS can be time consuming, it can be successfully implemented if basic rules are followed. The benefits of implementing AVS are huge and go a long way toward reducing fraud.

Chandan Mukherjee is the co-founder of PayCube Inc., a San Francisco Bay Area-based payment consulting and IT services company providing custom software solutions and custom gateways for acquirers, ISOs, retailers and varied organizations in the world of payments and consumer transactions, including prepaid and gift card program, loyalty and promotion, payment start-up, POS solution, mobile payment and e-commerce players. PayCube uses a blend of on-site and offshore delivery capabilities, with a staff of retail and payments-focused software engineers, systems architects, project managers, tech leads and systems analysts. For more information, email, call 510-545-6854 or visit

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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