Address Verification Service (AVS) is a means of security that checks to see if the billing address of a credit card used in a transaction is the same as the one provided by the credit card holder at the time of purchase. The AVS system used often depends on the type of credit card that is chosen in the transaction. The numbers that AVS systems verify depend on the credit card, but may include the street address, zip code or both. If the numbers match, the transaction is processed. Cards may be denied if the numbers are different or incomplete. The purpose of AVS is to deter fraud or prevent a purchase from taking place if a credit card has been stolen.
Examples of when AVS systems may be utilized are at gas stations when paying at the pump, via the internet or over the phone.