Best Practices for Card Acceptance: Match Billing and Shipping Zip Codes

If you are shipping an item, check whether the billing and shipping ZIP codes match. If they don’t match, ask your customer why. Their answer should make practical sense. If it doesn’t, do not accept the payment. If you have any questions about accepting a payment, always feel free to contact us.


Virtual terminals have a safety net in place called AVS (Address Verification Service) where if the billing address entered does not match the billing address on file with the issuing bank you will receive an Street address and postal code do not match error. This error is to protect you against fraudulent transactions. While you aren’t required to decline transactions based on the AVS result, it’s a good idea to look into the transaction further if you receive a mismatch.


Aside from acting as a fraud deterrent, saving you the hassles of processing a fraudulent transaction and dealing with the repercussions, one of the biggest reasons to use the Address Verification Service is that it’s part of the required qualifications for lower cost interchange categories.


Please note that these types of error messages are from the issuing bank. If you are receiving this error have your client/guest contact their bank for more information.


Be sure to familiarize yourself with zip codes that are more fraud prone, and check those orders carefully.

This infographic from Experian gives some of the zip codes associated with high fraud levels. Click image to enlarge.

You can also download Experian’s list of the 100 zipcodes most prone to fraud:

Download list of shipping zip codes.

Download list of billing zip codes.



For more information on best practices when accepting cards please go here.