We offer customizable Address Verification System (AVS) and Card Verification Value (CVV) rules as part of our Basic Fraud Tools. These rules will confirm that the address information or CVV included with a transaction matches what the issuing bank has on file for the associated card, ensuring that only authorized card users are able to make purchases from you.
When you submit a transaction or verification request for a new credit card, we pass the address and CVV information provided to the card-issuing bank. If the bank approves, their approval response will include AVS and CVV response codes; these codes indicate whether the numeric values for the address and CVV match their records.
If the issuing bank’s response triggers one of your AVS or CVV rules, we will reject the transaction or verification and send a void request to the issuing bank. Keep in mind that some banks don't recognize void requests immediately. If you do not have AVS or CVV rules enabled, we will ignore the response code.
To enable AVS and CVV rules:
- Log into the Control Panel
- Click on the gear icon in the top right corner
- Click Fraud Management from the drop-down menu
- Next to AVS or CVV, click the Options link
- Select your desired AVS or CVV rejection criteria
- You have the option to apply the rules to all transactions or only to specific card types, amounts, or merchant accounts
- Click the Save button
It's best practice for most merchants to collect CVV information — this can help lower the risk of fraudulent transactions and can be used as supporting evidence in your favor if the customer issues a dispute. Regardless of whether you choose to verify the CVV, selecting to reject transactions if CVV is not provided will at least ensure that your customers provide this information.
Because AVS rules only check the numeric values of an address, we typically don't recommend enabling the Street Address does not match or Street address not verified rules. If your customer lives at 12345 6th Street, depending on how they enter the information, it could confuse the system and cause false rejections.
By default, AVS and CVV rules only apply to first time transactions and will not be applied to recurring payments or any transactions created using credit cards stored in the Vault. If you'd like to verify that credit cards pass your AVS and CVV rules before storing them in the Vault, you must enable card verification in the Control Panel.
You can re-verify a customer’s address information for a card that is already stored in the Vault via the API. Learn more in our developer docs.
By default, AVS rules will only apply to transactions and verifications that:
- Have a billing address in the United States
- Don’t specify a country of origin
If you prefer to apply AVS rules to all transactions and verifications, set the Country Scope to Global when editing your AVS rules.
If your customers are located in a country where postal codes include both letters and numbers, the Postal Code AVS rules may not be enough to protect you from fraud. This is because our rules will only check the order of numbers in the postal code, and will not check letters or the placement of numbers.
For example, take the fictional postal code of 1ABCD2. The customer could provide any postal code that included the numbers 1 and 2 – as long as all other values were letters and the 1 always came before the 2 – and AVS rules would not reject the transaction. Successful postal codes could range from 1AB2CD to 12HIJK.
If you have CVV rules enabled in the Control Panel, you must pass CVV information with every submitted credit card transaction or verification. Because Maestro cards do not typically include a CVV, you may find that your CVV rules reject most attempted Maestro transactions and verifications. When this happens, Maestro recommends you have your customer contact their card-issuing bank to request a CVV (referred to as a security number) for their card.