AVS and CVV confusion

Does anybody know the details of this? I’m using Mercury Payment Systems.

I have heard that you get a better rate with AVS match, but CVV doesn’t change the rate at all, I have heard that neither affect the rates, and I have heard that as long as you attempt an AVS and CVV match that you will get the better rate, even if they come back no matched.

And what is the normal difference between rates with AVS and CVV? I’ve read it’s usually around 1%, which means I’m leaving a lot of money on the table by not doing it. We set our POS to implement in yesterday, but I would like to know exactly how it works.

And also, for any of you Point Of Success users with MPS, is there a way to require a match? I don’t see that option anywhere, and the system will still process a card with no match. It doesn’t even give a response back to the user that there was or was not a match, which I think would be helpful if the true intent is to avoid fraud. It could also enhance driver safety.


I’m not a POS user - but I might be able to help. Require which match?

I ran into a lot of issues with this a while back - and there can be some pitfalls.

With regard to CVV matching - if you send a CVV to your processor - and it is incorrect - the response from the will be a decline. With regard to AVS matching - if you send an address/zip code - and it doesn’t match - and everything else is okay - the authorization will succeed, although a flag will be set in the authorization response indicating an AVS mismatch.

You processor will tell you that it is then up to you to decide if you want to take the risk and actually process the transaction.

Well, this is all good - expect one thing. Your customer just had $XX held out of their checking account for the next 3 days - even if you decide to not process the transaction. “Sorry sir, but the billing information doesn’t match”. Then 10 minutes later the phone rings “Hey, you charged my card!”.

AVS is just another way for the processors to shakedown everyone.

Visa CNP fraud prevention tools (Card Not Present)

Appropriate preventive action can help reduce fraudulent transactions and potential customer disputes. Make use of these Visa tools and controls to verify the legitimacy of the Visa cardholder and the card in every card-not-present transaction.

Tool Description
Address Verification Service (AVS)

Allows card-not-present merchants to check a Visa cardholder’s billing address with the card Issuer. The merchant includes an AVS request as part of the authorization and receives a result code indicating whether the address given by the cardholder matches the address on file with the Issuer.
Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2)

Is a three-digit number imprinted on the signature panel of Visa cards to help card-not-present merchants verify that the customer has a legitimate card in hand at the time of the order. The merchant asks the customer for the CVV2 code and then sends it to the card Issuer as part of the authorization request. The card Issuer checks the CVV2 code to determine its validity, then sends a CVV2 result back to the merchant along with the authorization. CVV2 is required on all Visa cards.

To protect CVV2 data from being compromised, Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations prohibit merchants from keeping or storing CVV2 numbers once a transaction has been completed.
Verified by Visa (VbV)

Enables e-commerce merchants validate a cardholder’s ownership of an account in real-time during an online Visa card transaction. When the cardholder clicks “buy” at the checkout of a participating merchant, the merchant server recognizes the registered Visa card and the “Verified by Visa” screen automatically appears on the cardholder’s desktop. The cardholder enters a password to verify his or her identity and the Visa card. The Issuer then confirms the cardholder’s identity.

AVS Response Code


X – Match: (MasterCard only) Address and nine-digit ZIP code match – if the other fraud services raise no suspicions, you should process the transaction.

Y – Match : Address and five-digit ZIP code match – follow instructions above.

A – Partial Match : Address matches but ZIP code does not – a sign of a potential fraud. You may want to investigate further before making a decision.

Z – Partial Match: ZIP code matches but address does not – a sign of a potential fraud; follow instructions above.

N – No Match : Neither address nor ZIP code match – a strong sign of a fraud. You should take additional steps to investigate the transaction.

U – Unavailable : The card issuer system is unavailable and the address cannot be verified. You need to make a decision whether to process the transaction without AVS or not.

R – Retry : The card issuer system is unavailable – you should try again later.

S – No AVS Support :If the card issuer does not support AVS you will have to make a decision whether to process the transaction or not based on other criteria.

http://usa.visa.com/merchants/risk_mana … esent.html