Your daughter is off at college.
Your son is at his stepfather’s house for the weekend.
Your family moved recently.
Your youngster hasn’t learned your street address or zip code.
You may soon be hearing:
“Dad, my card doesn’t work!”
The address verification system used by VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Kids need to know that almost every debit or credit card has an associated address on file. It’s typically the home address of the legal cardholder collected at the time of issuance.
Kids need to know that most online sites will request a billing address during checkout for a purchase. Alternatively, the site may use a billing address stored in a billing profile from an earlier transaction.
To complete the purchase successfully, the billing address supplied on the site must match the address associated with the card. If the two don’t match, the purchase will fail.
That’s address verification.
The point is to reduce fraud. Address verification thwarts those thieves who get a hold of sensitive card info, but can’t cough up the correct address of the cardholder.
So, if your kid shops online and supplies a temporary college address, another parent’s home address, an old home address, or simply doesn’t know her address, she’ll be thwarted just like the thief.
I know this happens frequently. At 21.7% in the last 30 days, address verification failure is the second most common decline reason for kids on our family finance site — right behind insufficient funds (62.4%).
Teach your child:
- What the cardholder address is, and how to update it.
- What a billing address is, and how to update it on websites that store it.
- How to match the two during checkout to prevent address verification declines.
In other words, teach your kids where the address verification dots are, and how to connect them.
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