What are AVS and CVV2?

What are AVS and CVV2

What is AVS?

The Address Verification System (AVS) is a service by payment gateway providers to check that the billing address in an order matches the one on file for the credit card. It is not supported by all credit card providers. Mainly the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom will use the AVS for credit card transaction verifications.

What is CVV2?

Call it the Card Verification Value (CVV2) or Card Security Code (CSC) or Card Verification Code (CVC). They are basically referring to the same thing. It’s a printed number on the back of your credit card (Visa & MasterCard) or on the front of the card (American Express). This verification number is used for Card-Not-Present (CNP) transactions such as when you buy things online.

NOTE: There is also a CVV1 code which is encoded on the credit card magnetic strip but it’s used for Card-Present transaction when the card is swiped at the payment terminal.

How does AVS work?

Both the AVS and CVV2 can be used to determine if a credit card payment is potentially a fraud order. The AVS will check for billing street address and ZIP/postal code versus the original data registered with that credit card. The results can tell you if either the street address or the ZIP/postal code don’t match the stored record.

How does CVV2 work?

CVV2 also plays a part in reducing credit card fraud. As this number is not encoded in the credit card magnetic strip, any cloned card will not have access to this number. Merchants who process orders containing CVV2 are also required to NOT store this value once the transaction has been completed. This reduces the likelihood of a stolen card info being used for other CNP transactions.

How to get the AVS and CVV2 results whenever a payment in made?

For this example, we’ll take a look at the payment flow in the Braintree payment gateway.

  1. A credit card transaction or card verification request is made.
  2. The address and CVV2 are sent to the card issuing bank.
  3. If the transaction was not rejected by the bank, you will receive the AVS and CVV2 response codes. Learn more about the codes.

You should be able to view the AVS and CVV2 responses in the Braintree dashboard or via the results returned by the payment processing API.

What do I do with the AVS and CVV response codes?

The AVS and CVV response codes can be sent to the FraudLabs Pro order screening API to be processed along with other order details such as IP address, shipping address, order amount, quantity, etc. The FraudLabs Pro API can then return the fraud detection results which will help the merchant to decide whether to approve, reject or manually review the order.

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