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Authorize.Net Drops the Ball on International AVS

For merchants who use Authorize.Net to process their online orders if you accept orders from Canada and the UK you may be losing sales due to a flaw in how Authorize.Net handles Address Verification (AVS). (Read the blog entry The AVS Game to learn more about AVS). Apparently if the card issuing bank for a Canadian or UK credit card supports AVS Authorize.Net will treat the response as an “AVS MISMATCH”. This will cause the transaction to be declined.

The proper way to handle this would be to either fully support AVS and honor the merchant’s settings for handling AVS responses. If they can’t do that, in the meantime they should be marking the transactions as either “AVS NOT AVAILABLE” or “AVS ERROR” so the transaction can continue normally.

Unfortunately Authorize.Net’s response to this has been less then acceptable so far. Their proposed “solutions” are turning off AVS completely (e.g. turn off an important piece of fraud detection) or just accept that orders from Canada and the UK are going to be declined (e.g. accept that you are going to lose business). Naturally if this was business being affected I’d be very unhappy with that response.

So what do you do? Call Authorize.Net and let them know that your business is important to you and thus it should be important to them. There is no reason for this bug to remain unfixed and no excuse for them to expect merchants to expose themselves to fraud or lose sales just because Authorize.Net does not consider this a priority.

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One Response to “Authorize.Net Drops the Ball on International AVS”

  1. Fitch

    The transaction isn’t necessarily declined.

    http://www.authorize.net/support/csfaqs/#142136
    http://www.authorize.net/support/csfaqs/#144636
    “It’s important to note that a transaction declined for AVS or CCV within the Authorize.Net system has still been approved by the card issuing bank and the requested funds will be placed on hold, thereby reducing the customer’s available credit. This is not an actual charge to the credit card and the bank will release the funds back to the card after the authorization expires (between two weeks and a month depending on the bank). If requested, a hold can potentially be voided by contacting the customer’s credit card issuing bank. You may also choose to accept and process the transaction anyway by submitting a Capture Only transaction.”

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