The Address Verification Service (AVS) and Card Verification Value or Card Verification Code (CVV2, CVC) provide a mechanism for checking the authenticity of a transaction by comparing information entered by the shopper during the payment process, with details held by the card issuer.

Both services are available to all of our merchants as standard at no extra cost.

We support these services in conjunction with banks and card issuers. We pass the information entered by the shopper to our banking partners who pass it to the card issuer for comparison with their records. The results of the comparison are then passed back to you. The card issuer must support AVS (and/or CVC/CVV2) in order that the comparison can take place.

You can examine the results of these checks in the Merchant Interface and the confirmation email. The results are also fed into the Fraud Screening service, which may generate an alert if one or more of the checks fail.

Where the card issuer does not provide AVS (and/or CVC/CVV2) support, a 'not checked' response is returned.

Address Verification Service

AVS enables elements of the billing address and postcode, entered by the shopper, to be compared against the card issuer's records during the payment process. The billing address must be the address to which the card statement is currently sent, and must match the address held by the Card Issuer. Results for the address and postcode are returned separately. Note that AVS is not widely used outside the UK and USA.

Security Code Verification

The Security Code Verification service enables the card security code entered by the shopper to be compared against the card issuer's records during the payment process.

The card security code is a number printed on the card. The number is not embossed on the card, nor is it encoded in the magnetic stripe; it is not printed on receipts etc, making it harder for anyone other than the person reading from the card to know what the code is. This helps prevent 'cardholder not present' fraud. Security codes are now printed on the vast majority of credit/debit cards.

The format and position of the security code varies across card-schemes. Some cards have a three-digit number printed at the end of the cardsí signature strip. Some cards (AMEX, for example) have a four digit number on the front of the card.

Some card issuers refer to this number as the 'Security Code', others as the 'personal security code' and others as 'Card Verification Value'. In addition, it may also go by the name of 'CVV2' for Visa Cards, 'Card Verification Code' (CVC) for Mastercard/Eurocard and 'Security Code' for AMEX cards. Our payment page offers guidance to the shopper as to which number is the Security Code.

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