Fraud affects businesses in a variety of ways, none of which are positive. Dealing with fraud can cost businesses valuable time, money, and resources, leading to a financial and logistical nightmare. Depending on how extensive the damage is, fraud can damage a company’s image and stakeholder relations.
Besides directly affecting companies, fraud also harms customers. This is especially true in the case of identity fraud, which can have serious financial repercussions that follow customers for years to come. Whether or not they have their identity stolen, customers may also lose faith in businesses that are affected by fraud.
To avoid any and all of this, companies need to take preventative measures to stop fraud before it happens.Postal address validation (PAV) is just one tool that can be used to accomplish this. Whether used alone or combined with other methods, PAV ensures both businesses and customers are protected against fraud.
How Address Verification Works
Address verification uses three steps to ensure bulk addresses are correct and currently in use: standardization, correction, and validation. Along with the additional data address verification APIs return, companies can easily separate correct addresses from fake information. This prevents identity fraud and identifies false customer information.
- Standardization updates addresses to meet the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) standards, matching all formatting requirements.
- Correction identifies incorrect address information and updates it, pulling the correct information from the USPS database of current addresses. If users input false information, this step will identify it and try to correct it.
- Validation compares addresses against the official USPS database to find a match and ensure the address is valid, deliverable, and still in use.
These three steps make up the address validation process. However, they are not the only components of PAV that can help prevent fraud. Other aspects that can help companies protect themselves and their customers include:
- Geolocation data returns the address location and classification, identifying whether the address is a rural business, urban residential, etc.
- Built-in tools like LACSLink Processing allow businesses to update old rural route addresses or USPS SuiteLINK to correct business records with updated and accurate suite information.
With all of these processes and tools in place, companies will be able to easily able to verify addresses and prevent fraud. Businesses can guarantee that they are servicing the correct customers, at the correct address. This is especially important for industries that deal with sensitive information, such as medicine or finances, and businesses that include shipping services.
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Preventing Fraud With Address Verification
When it comes to fraud, there are a few scenarios that can involve addresses. The addresses may fabricated and entirely false; addresses may be valid, but don’t belong to the user trying to steal them; or the addresses may even be outdated and linked with false customer information.
Almost all of the processes above involved in address verification can be used to prevent fraud:
- Standardization – Fraudulent addresses may be able to pass through this first step, since this process only formats according to USPS standards, rather than comparing it to a current address database. Despite this, standardization is a crucial step in address verification since it provides the basis for comparison that the next steps use.
- Address Correction – This step compares standardized addresses against the USPS database, so invalid addresses that are entirely fabricated will be flagged and removed from mailing lists. Fake addresses aren’t able to pass this step, but stolen or outdated addresses may be able to.
- Validation – Validation or verification compares standardized and corrected addresses to ensure they have a current match in the USPS database. Addresses without a match are re-run through the correction process; if they still return no match, they’re flagged and the business is alerted.
- Geolocation data – The data returned from each address includes a variety of information, all of which is the most up to date and can be compared against the information originally provided with the address. Companies are better able to service customers with more current data, especially if any of the services or products are customized.
- Built-in tools – Similar to geolocation data, LACSLink Processing and USPS SuiteLINK allow businesses to have the most current information on each address and ensure it stays up to date for future reference.
If customers have provided false information, it will be quickly identified and removed. Outdated addresses will be updated by the end of the process.
Addresses can also be cross-referenced with other customer information to ensure there aren’t multiple addresses registered to one user. Similarly, businesses can check to see if there is a single address registered to multiple customers.
In addition to all this, addresses can be used to verify a customer’s identify as part of multi-factor authentication. In addition to providing a password or SMS code, customers can verify their address. At this point, any stolen address can be identified. This protects them and provides more security than single-factor authentication.
Signing Up for Address Verification
To sign up for address verification and start preventing fraud, research validation services to find the one that’s right for you. It should be able to meet your company’s current and future needs, deliver bulk validation results in seconds, and offer an intuitive interface so that you can revolutionize your communication and marketing strategy with the click of a button.
Esendex’s Postal Address Verification (PAV) API standardizes, corrects, and validates addresses in bulk across the U.S. and Canada. As experts in address validation, we’ve been helping businesses reduce fraud, save money, and better connect with customers since 1999. Our volume-based pricing and custom plan packages ensure PAV fits every company’s budget, while our completely programmable and scalable API meets every need. Customers appreciate our easy-to-use API, which seamlessly integrates into websites and applications, as proven by our 5-star rating.
Unlike other address validation services, we offer pay-as-you-go subscription option, dedicated account managers, 24/7 emergency support, and 250 free address verification tokens for new customers. We provide flexible pricing, extensive customer support, and quality services— that’s the Esendex difference.
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