Address verification means acquiring and maintaining verified customer addresses for digital platforms. This ensures that the address recorded is up-to-date, normalized, and belongs to the same person claiming its ownership.
The need for address verification is rising to stop fraud, fast and correct deliveries, and giving seamless services to customers. Shipment companies need to have the accurate address of the customer so that they can deliver to the right door at the right time. E-commerce websites use third-party shipment companies for delivery purposes. In this case, the address data is collected by e-commerce and used by the delivery company.
Both businesses have a stake in providing services to customers. For example, if the customer does not receive his order at the right time, the e-commerce will lose credibility and ultimately the delivery company. The problem is in the synchronization of address data between both businesses. It means that the company which needs the address does not gather it and vice versa. So it becomes very difficult for the cargo businesses to understand the address. Freight companies should restrict online shopping companies to acquire accurate and standardized customer addresses. They should also set a format and standard of addresses.
Geolocation: Is it Useful for E-commerce Companies
There has always been a debate on the usage of geolocation for verifying customer addresses. Geolocation plays a significant role in the mitigation of frauds and scams. It tells the live location of the person. Financial service providers demand absolute customer addresses under regulatory compliance. The risks of crimes in the financial channels drop greatly if the address of a customer is verified. This builds trust between the customer and the business. It also helps businesses in uniquely identifying their customers.
But for cargo companies, retrieving addresses from geolocation is not very useful. Because there could be a scenario where a customer is in the office or some other place but wants the delivery at his home. Geolocation will restrain the acquisition of only live locations. So there is a call for some other methods of address verification.
What are the Advanced Ways of Address Verification?
Zip Code Verification
The sorted postal codes assigned to cities that can consist of numbers, characters, or the combination are known as Zip Codes. Every city has a unique zip code that is used by postal services.
The zip code can be used for address verification. The customer just types in the zip code during checkout and the city and state field automatically populates. The customer still has to manually enter the home, street, and block field.
Most customers are not familiar with the zip codes of their cities, also this method is only useful for a local business without any international trade. Hence, the benefits of zip code address verification have become very limited.
Pop Up Verification
The customer has to manually enter his address and when he has finished a pop-up will appear. This pop-up has possible alternatives to the typed address from the database. The customer has to mark or re-select the correct address, taking more effort and time for verifying an address.
This method is beneficial if the address database is updated, normalized, and standardized. The customer also has to be trained on this method, how to enter, find and select his accurate address. The retrieving of address data from the database will take longer if the customer’s internet connection is not good. Studies show that this method leaves a bad customer experience.
Verification by Documents
The address of the customer is verified in the documents. The document should be issued by some reliable authority like a utility bill, employee letter, bank statement, or an insurance certificate. The customer can select which type of document he wants and also it must have the updated address of the customer. For this purpose, address documents with the issuance date of the last three months are accepted only.
The customer just has to upload an image of the document to the online website. I will extract data from it using OCR and fill out the address field.
- Among all the methods, verification by documents has refined the customer experience
- It takes a little effort from the customer side
- More fast and cost-efficient method contrary to others
- Easily adaptable and implementable