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4 Min. Read

What Is AVS Mismatch Error & How to Fix It

What Is AVS Mismatch Error & How to Fix It

Transaction declined.

Two words to strike fear into any cardholder.

There’s no doubt that declined transactions can be stressful. It’s a difficult and often tense position for any person or a business owner.

There can be a number of reasons for your payment being declined. One such reason is through an AVS mismatch.

But what is an AVS mismatch and how can you fix it? We’ll give you a breakdown of what AVS is and how you can fix any errors.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is AVS?

What Is an AVS Mismatch Error?

How Do AVS Mismatch Errors Work?

How to Fix an Avs Mismatch Error

Key Takeaways

What Is AVS?

Address Verification System, or AVS, is a fraud-prevention measure implemented on card-not-present transactions. This tends to be in e-commerce or phone order transactions.

AVS requires the cardholder to provide their full billing information and billing address. This is then checked against the account holder’s card information.

AVS is one of the many steps that merchants and banks use to try and prevent credit card fraud.

What Is an AVS Mismatch Error?

An AVS mismatch error can occur during the payment process. It is when the billing information entered in the checkout process does not match the information that the bank has on file for that card.

Your bank can confirm that you have sufficient funds, but the client-side will reject the payment.

This is done to prevent any fraudulent orders from taking place through theft of a card or theft of banking information.

How Do AVS Mismatch Errors Work?

When a merchant receives an AVS mismatch alert, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the purchase is in fact fraudulent.

The filters used to pick up on these issues are complicated to understand as there isn’t one blanket rule. The rules put in place to pick up on AVS errors vary by the issuer and the card type.

When an order is placed online, the payment processor sends a request for an AVS approval. This is to determine if there is a billing address that matches with what the user has on file.

If the billing address does match, the payment process will be authorized and the transaction can take place. If the billing address does not match, then the payment process will be denied and no funds will leave the user’s account.

When an online payment is initiated, the merchant will receive one of three AVS codes that signal the type of match. These codes include a match, a partial match and a mismatch.

Depending on the level of risk, a merchant can decide which type of AVS code they want to accept or reject.

How to Fix an Avs Mismatch Error

Business owners will want to make sure that they aren’t turning away legitimate customers. There are a number of steps you can take to manage an AVS mismatch. These include:

1. Trust

Customers can become unhappy if a transaction is flagged. So if it is a recurring customer who is trying to purchase something, you can decide to trust them and allow the payment to continue. This would be at your discretion as it could well be a fraudulent transaction.

2. Reach Out

When in doubt, it is sometimes worth simply reaching out to a customer to verify their details and determine whether or not it was a simple mistake. This can show that you are trying to protect your customer as well as your business.

3. Try Again

In the same vein of “turning it off and on again”, sometimes simply retrying the transaction can solve an AVS error.

4. Rework Your Filters

It is certainly possible that legitimate charges can get flagged by an AVS filter.

By working with a payment processor that has strong AVS filters, you can ensure that they are properly screening orders.

Key Takeaways

Online fraud is something that has to be taken seriously.

If your customers experience fraud through your website, your business can take a huge reputation hit from which it may not recover.

By properly managing your AVS filters, you can do your best to ensure that your customers experience a safe and seamless experience.

Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices?


Then check out the FreshBooks resource hub.


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