To Process Credit Card Payments – It has become a necessity nowadays to possess a credit card. Whether it is just about monthly groceries or regular payments every month using a credit card, people prefer using their credit card. It also helps in establishing a good credit score and, building a good credit history.
Credit cards are different from debit cards. A debit card lets you take out money from your own bank account while a credit card lets you take out money that you borrow from the bank and has to be repaid. However, there are various advantages associated with credit cards such as building good credit and having better security options.
A debit card can be comprehended as a plastic cheque in other words. When you use it to buy goods, it draws money from your bank account. It means you can only spend less than or equal to the amount you have in your bank account, not more than that. Whereas, a credit card acts like a loan that you have to repay at the end of the month. There is a limit for a credit card known as a credit limit. It indicates how much you can spend using a credit card. Some known issuers of credit cards are Discover and American Express.
What is a Billing Address?
If you have ever had a credit card or made an online transaction, you must have come across two words that are ‘Billing Address’. It refers to the address which is linked to the account of your credit card. In other words, it is the address to which you would like all the billing information to be sent.
Credit card issuers require this billing information included in the account holder’s personal information so that they can verify as well as give authority to new credit cardholders and, mail the information regarding billing to this address.
Two terms are coinciding with each other when you are filling up your personal information, Shipping address, and billing address. Most people often get confused between these two. Both billing and shipping have different purposes. The billing address is required for sending the statements of your credit card and, other billing information. Whereas, the shipping address is where all the packages, online orders, and various other big materials are shipped.
Moreover, when we apply for a brand-new credit card, we are required to provide a billing address.
This is where the credit card itself is shipped.
Apart from these facts, a billing address also serves as a security measure. It is used to eliminate the risk of identity theft using the AVS. (AVS stands for Address Verification System). The credit card’s shipping address is compared to the billing address during the purchases of an item and, the Address Verification System is then used to prevent the charges of fraud while checking out. The business or retailer from whom you have made the purchase further receives a code from the Address Verification System to determine if both the addresses match.
Although, all the businesses do not use an Address Verification System in an ideal case if your credit card information is stolen and, is used by someone to purchase a cell phone for example. If he or she adds the shipping address to their home then the business will notice that the credit card holder’s billing and, shipping address are not the same. The business would hence decline the purchase and give the credit card issuer an alert.
Do You Need A Billing Address To Process Credit Card Payments?
It usually depends on which country or state you are in and also on the preference of the cardholder or merchant. In the USA, a billing address is usually required as it helps protect against fraud. Whereas in India, it is not usually required to process credit card payments and purchases. The billing address is just your home address where you would want the card’s monthly statements to be sent. However, there are various other options that you can use. To pay the bills for your credit cards without inquiring about your billing address.
For the USA there are options like Braintree and, Stripe which do not require Zip. However, although these options are available for processing credit card payment. You may be still required to add the address along with the card number, name of the cardholder, financial institution’s name. Name of the branch to complete the process of payment.
Your billing address is used as a way to verify your identity. For example, a credit cardholder wanted to get themselves picked by an LYFT car. They moved from their previous address and changed their address and Zip code. When they did so, the card was declined a couple of times. They tried to change it to another Zip code which made the card issuer and the business more suspicious. This is how it works.
The most popular PayPal verifies your address when you make payments
Even the most popular PayPal verifies your address when you make payments just like credit card issuers. In the USA, they would ask you secret answers to secret questions and, your social security’s last four-six digits. Although cardholders might not be very happy filling up these details all the time. However, this helps prevent fraud. And, when the cardholder comes across such a situation. He or she loves this verification process as it helps save them from big thefts.
Apart from this, there is not any harm in giving your billing address as a part of your personal information. What harm can it do? Unless you are doing something that you would get in trouble for providing your billing address.
The Address Verification Service can be switched on or off
For your additional knowledge, the Address Verification Service can be switched on or off, depending on your preference. It can also be adjusted whether cardholders are required to fill in the full details of the address or not. All this depends on your preference. Moreover, Address Verification Service uses only the portion of your billing address that has numerical. Some gateways let the businesses give permission to the Address Verification System to decline the purchase or transaction automatically or to flag it as suspicious when it fails to verify.
Various gateways of the credit card payment process ask you to add the billing address that you have added initially when you applied for the credit card whereas other gateways only ask for the Zip code. Gateways that require you to give the zip code also require the CVV code of the credit card. Some examples of companies that use such payment processes are T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and, metro pcs.
How does the Zip Code help?
Although, the Zip code is not always needed by all gateways to proceed with the payment process entering them lets you enhance the rate of success of the credit card transaction. It helps eliminate the risks of declines and, chargebacks. The Address Verification Service uses the Zip code to take security measures to protect you from theft.
What happens when businesses do not require billing address or Zip code to process Credit Card Payments?
Many businesses do not require credit cardholders to give billing address or zip code to process payments. However, in some countries and by some processors such businesses are charged some extra fees by the card processors. This is because of the increased risk.
To save these charges, businesses require a billing address or zip code to process payments. This works the same as how businesses charge an extra two to three percent to process credit card payments. When we pay through our credit card for the items we purchase, the retailer or business has to pay the bank some fees or pay the rent for the swipe machine. These charges or fees are to be paid from their pocket. It is the cost that the business owner has to pay for running their business with the advantage of accepting card payments. The availability of paying through credit cards is considered to be a competitive advantage for the business as it would bring more customers.
These charges depend on how big or small the purchase is. If the transaction is small, the fee the business has to pay the bank is small but in terms of a bigger purchase like a laptop or a mobile phone, the fees can be heavy. This is the reason why businesses are not very keen to accept debit or credit card payments.
Businesses often encourage customers to pay in terms of cash
Businesses often encourage customers to pay in terms of cash and they are not carrying any they led them towards a nearby ATM. Customers on the other hand are in a position where they cannot refuse to buy the item and eventually end up either paying in cash or letting them charge an extra 2-3%.
According to the Reserve Bank of India, charging this 2-3 percent extra is not fair as the retailer has agreed with the card swiping machine bank that they would not charge any extra fees from the consumers.
The extra charges on credit and debit cards were illegal in almost 10 states of the USA including Puerto Rico. But recently a case in the court of New York lifted the ban on these surcharges and allowed businesses to include these extra charges in the bill of your purchases. This made other states such as Oklahoma, Florida, California, Maine, and Texas also lift the ban.
The only states in the U.S. where these surcharges are still illegal are Colorado, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, Kansas, and Massachusetts. In all the other states it is legal for businesses to charge 2-3% extra on credit or debit card purchases.
How to Check your Billing Address?
By now, you must know how important is your billing address for credit card issuers to get in contact with you and save you from identity theft and fraud. However, you may have forgotten what you have added as your billing address. It is very likely as we are humans and we tend to forget. If this is the case with you, then you do not have to worry about it.
What you need to check first is that whether you are receiving your credit card statements in your mail. If yes, then you can be sure that your current address is your billing address which you had given to the credit card issuer. If this is the case with you then you can easily confirm your address by looking at the stub version of your payment bill. Your billing address would be written there. However, if you have chosen the option for billing that is paperless, then you can also find your billing address written on your credit card statements that are electronic.
Your billing address is by signing into your online banking account
Another way of checking on your billing address is by signing into your online banking account and going to your personal information section. That is where you are going to find your billing address. If you find difficulty operating an online banking account then feel free to contact the virtual assistants. Most of the issuers have virtual assistants on their applications so those cardholders can be easily guided. If all these methods of checking on your billing address do not work then you can always call the customer service representative of your credit card issuer and ask for help. There are several advanced methods provided by cred card issuers to help credit cardholders. Some credit card issuers provide an automated voice system that helps you find your billing address.
How can you change your billing address?
If you are a frequent mover, you would likely need to change your billing address. You can easily do this by following some easy ways. If you are comfortable using your online credit card account, sign in or log into it. Go to your profile and edit your address.
In case you are not very comfortable using your online account or cannot find where you can edit your billing address, you can always feel free to call your card issuer’s customer representative. In most cases, the customer service number is written at the back of your credit card. You can simply call on that number and ask them to change your billing address.
In some rare cases, cardholders are more comfortable with the old school mailing system. There is a space at the back of the payment coupon available for billing address changes. You can write down your new billing address on it and put a check on the box available on the front of the coupon which says that you are changing your billing address.
To change your billing address in person which is not difficult at all
You can always choose to change your billing address in person which is not difficult at all. Where you can simply visit your credit card issuer while choosing from a location of their branch nearby. You can find a customer representative there who will be more than happy to guide you towards the procedure of changing your billing address.
On an end note, you must keep your billing address updated and provide it to the credit card issuers. It would help your credit card account be prevented from identity thefts and frauds. It will also help your card issuer be connected with you and keep you updated with your monthly payment bills. In many cases, cardholders often get annoyed by the unlimited mails from card issuers regarding additional information. However, when a case of fraud or theft occurs, these emails and communication comes in handy and helps you. So, even if you have an option of not providing your billing information, do provide it to keep your credit card account safe.