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Address Verification: How, Where, Why?

No matter what sort of business you are a part of, if your company asks customers for their address, there’s a good chance you will benefit from an address verification service. A postal address is a ubiquitously requested piece of information for online shopping, shipping, setting up accounts, and more. But how do you know whether or not the address your customer provided has a typo, or worse— is fraudulent? The solution is an address verification system.

e-Commerce and Address Verification

e-Commerce businesses have a lot to gain by using a reliable address verification service. After filling out a lengthy webform, it’s easy to mistype your address. Some sources say that a staggering 18% of addresses entered online contain a typo.

A simple little typo is all it takes for a customer’s package to be sent to the wrong address, causing strife for both the customer and the company.

Address Verification Services

Address verification becomes progressively more complicated when your business needs to ensure that a customer currently lives at the address they claim to. This verification is essential for many companies including those in the financial industry, delivery business, and sharing economy (think companies like Airbnb and TaskRabbit). One option for address verification is through document verification, where a customer submits a bill or a driver’s license that shows proof of address. Unfortunately, this process tends to be a poor user experience. The customer has to track down paperwork and wait through a slow authentication process.

Instead of documentary verification, many savvy address verification services check the information against online databases to match a name to an address. Unlike documentary verification, this method requires no further effort from the customer. This reduces friction for onboarding and increases conversion rates.

Address Verification to Combat Fraud

Regardless of what type of business you are a part of, if you collect customer’s addresses, you are at risk of being defrauded.

Many companies are changing their business models and providing delivery services for the first time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These companies would benefit from examining whether their recent changes warrant further measures to protect themselves from fraud. The total cost to U.S. organizations from web and mobile fraud transactions in 2018 was estimated to be 6.4 billion. Surprisingly, many banks approve financial transactions even if the address provided doesn’t match the data they have on file. Address verification was reported to be the most effective anti-fraud tool in a survey of eCommerce merchants. Follow the lead of industry experts to make sure your company is prepared to catch fraudsters trying to prey on your company.

Simple Address Verification with Cognito

Cognito makes address verification simple, saving your company (and your customers) time and money.

Validating addresses at the beginning of the onboarding process is crucial, to catch fraud and errors before they can even happen. Cognito’s secure API verifies a user's address in real-time using highly regulated data. Some services verify an address against _un_regulated data such as from social media. This information can be easily altered. Cognito’s simple address verification provides a secure verification process, using regulated data from official sources such as government records, credit files, and voter registration. We use data that you can trust. Cognito’s simple address verification provides your company with a rich data file of a person's address including their address history. Our user-friendly setup allows you to view up to the last 15 addresses associated with your customer and provides estimates for when they lived at those locations. This allows a company to tie a person to a place, which can be useful in combating fraud. With Cognito’s streamlined service, your customers no longer need to muddle through the process of uploading their driver’s license to verify their address. Cognito provides a significantly better user experience by making cumbersome documentary verification a thing of the past.

If your company is looking to increase conversion rates, create a smooth onboarding process, and reduce fraud, Cognito’s simple address verification can help.

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