In what countries can credit card merchants use address verification?

Usually when you pay with a Visa or MasterCard online you have to provide a billing address. Many online shops, especially from the United States, will only send purchases to the cardholders billing address, to prevent someone fraudulently using someone else’s card.

In what countries is there actually a system that allows the merchant to verify the address the customer entered online – if it matches with the credit card billing address?

I suspect such systems (Address Verification System), for Visa and MasterCard cards, only exists for cards issued by banks from:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

In all other countries the customer can enter any address during the credit card purchase, and the merchant has absolutely no way of verifying if it matches the cardholder billing address (and if they claim to verify it – its just a bluff).

Are there any other countries where an Address Verification System for Visa/MasterCard exists?

Has anyone ever observed that his online purchase with a Visa or MasterCard from any other country was rejected because of address (on name) mismatch?

4 thoughts on “In what countries can credit card merchants use address verification?

  1. Dheer

    In India, all credit card transaction on the Internet require an additional “password” (different from the CVV or cash withdrawal PIN) to be entered. After you enter your card details, you are taken to your bank’s website where the additional password known only to your bank is to be entered. Only after this is the transaction authorized.

    Thus it is not necessary to match the address or ship it to a particular address.

  2. intoxicated.roamer

    A possible way-around (deviation from original question, but perhaps helpful for those facing this issue):-

    The organization that rejected my transaction for inability to perform AVS suggested me to take a pre-paid VISA or Master card.

  3. littleadv

    The merchant has a way to verify your address in any country. While the system may not necessarily be automated, there’s always the fall-back of calling the local Visa/MC call center and doing it over the phone.

    Working in a banking institution I’ve dealt with this particular process, and yes, I’ve seen cases where purchases were refused because the verification couldn’t be performed (some card issuers refuse performing the verification over the phone) or failed.

    Whether the on-line merchants in other countries actually do that – is a different issue. I expect that it depends on how many times they’ve been burned with charge-backs on “fraudulent” purchases from the given area you want to ship to.

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