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Before loosening your AVS rules, you need to understand that most merchant account providers classify transactions that do not match for both street address and zip code as “non-qualified” transactions. These transactions usually get charged a higher discount rate than your normal discount rate. Depending on you merchant account agreement this penalty can add up to an additional 2% above your normal discount rate, so check with your merchant account provider before accepting “no match” transactions.
The solution to second problem take a little bit more work to implement, however it can significantly reduce number of AVS mismatches you receive. For this solution you can keep your AVS system set to reject “no match” transactions, however you need to modify your “Card Rejected” error page to include a brief educational statement, such as one below.
“We’re sorry, your credit card has been declined. This can happen for several reasons. Your billing address* should match address on your credit card statement. Please check your billing address, card number and expiration date and try again.
*NOTE: If you have recently moved, your credit card company may not have updated your billing address in their Address Verification Database. It can take up to 6 months or longer for some credit card companies to update your address, even if they send your bill to your new address. If you have recently moved, try using your previous billing address when you check out.”
By making just a few changes in way you use AVS at your web site and by educating your customers about address verification, you can boost your conversion rates and sales, while lowering your merchant account fees!
Want to improve your conversion rates? Eric Graham is the CEO of several successful online companies. Internationally recognized as a top authority on eCommerce & Website Conversion , he's an in-demand speaker & consultant.
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