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"Issuing Bank Phone Number"
What reactions do you get from the bank?

 6:07 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Another thread has prompted a question I've had for quite a while. I've seen larger companies do this, and we (optionally) request it in the final page of our checkout:

"To speed the processing of your order, enter the issuing bank's phone number on the back of your credit card."

To date, we've had zero fraud or chargebacks, and only one (weak) attempt from Giana. Customer complaints are few and far between, and it becomes obvious those complaints are based out of paranoia and not fact.

When we call these institutions, we 1) identify ourself (legitimate business with license and location), 2) indicate we would like to compare the information we have been provided to avoid credit card fraud.

I've seen this mentioned many times as an addition to fight fraud, but nearly every bank we call absolutely refuses to cooperate. All we want to do is read them the info and have them give a yeah or nay. But they refuse.

So those of you that do this, how do you get the issuing banks to cooperate?



 6:30 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some merchant account providers will do this check for you, some will charge you.

There might also be specialized companies that provide this manual AVS check service at an affordable price.

Issuing banks will not want to deal with you directly, as you will only take up their time and effort. There are also the privacy issues and laws. At best you might be able to get a US bank to say 'match' or 'no match'. But that's about it.

Search for 'manual avs check'.


 7:30 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have never had a bank refuse to do this? But...It is always for international orders, more specifically Canadian banks.

When I call I simply ask to verify name and address. I then give them each piece of information and they either say match or no match. They wont give out any other info. Its pretty standard any they always know what I am talking about without transfering me around etc.

Perhaps you need to rephrase the question when you call.


 11:31 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I call the issuing bank on every order and have never had a problem. When I call I say "I am a merchant and I want to verify a card member's information."

Some banks will not verify phone numbers, but they always verify or acknowledge "no match" for the address and for zip, most also do phone numbers.

Mine are all in the US, no international.


 8:47 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

When I was a bank clerk 30 years ago in England I could have been dismissed for even giving a match/no match answer. Of course the pace of things was a bit slower with cheques.


 12:57 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow. Thats quite a risky approach. If I wanted to scam you, I would simply set up a phone number with "Skype In" for example and wait for you to call so I could verify the stolen credit card myself.


 3:43 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

The first rule of security that I learned was to always use the number in the phone book.


 10:26 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

At best you might be able to get a US bank to say 'match' or 'no match'.

This is all we ever ask for, and yes we verify it's a real number before calling. A bogus number puts up red flags and we don't bother calling it.

But still, they just say NO! even when we tell them it's to benefit the customer, all we're asking is to verify the address and name info we have in hand.


 1:48 pm on Aug 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I used to request the bank phone number from people using international cards. I think I called a few times and actually did get verification, but I mostly just wanted to hinder thieves by asking for the number. I quit doing this some years ago, though, because generally I have had good luck with international charges and can usually tell by what is ordered if it is dicey or not. I've had US banks refuse to divulge whether a customer had sufficient funds in their account to cover a check, so I quit calling on those a long time ago too.


 2:49 pm on Aug 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I haven't done this in a while, but whenever I would call the issuing bank, they would always be willing to at least confirm if the info matches or not.
I just tell them that I'm with a merchant, and need to verify the info.
They'll never tell you any customer info, but if you read it to them, they can say match or no.

You can also find the issuing bank's phone number from your processor (maybe not always from the gateway, but always from the processor).
So there is no need to ask people to fill out one extra field and make them even more paranoid than they usually are when ordering something online.


 4:07 am on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm not understanding this thread. Isn't this what AVS is for? Are you requesting a detailed match on the billing name, street address, city, state, and zip?


 12:45 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

AVS doesn't generally work for international cards, and it can show no match if the address is a numbered street or a PO box. Also, you usually won't get an AVS match for gift cards.


 11:30 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Isn't this what AVS is for?

We do AVS against zip and address. About 30% (best guess) fail AVS but are otherwise approved. But we don't reject the order due to these alone, there are a number of legitimate reasons it doesn't match. People move and don't update their card, they typo (Elm Street" instead of "Elm Drive" will cause a failure), as mentioned international orders, etc. Yes it's their responsibility to update their card. They often don't. (My own daughter orders from us and hers never matches. She's in the Army.)

To date we've had zero fraud orders <knock knock> but when we get one that's unusual, we look up the bank and verify it's the same number, then give the bank a call. Or try to.

I only ask because this is often mentioned among W.M. boards and wondered if some are getting the same reaction from the banking institutions we are.


 12:58 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

You keep saying 'we', are you personally calling into the bank, or is someone else reporting the problem to you?

Could be a misunderstanding of the info. required by one of your employees, or a miscommunication between you and an employee on what is needed.


 2:20 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am under the impression that AVS only checks to see if numerals in street address and zip code match. Is this not the case?


 6:26 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

" You keep saying 'we',"
The business owner and her number one assistant, me. :D She calls, I've been there. Not all banks, just some. But they're really nasty. about it.

sun818 you're probably correct, as a coder it's probably one of those things I set up and forgot, was exemplifying. We just see the AVS responses on each order (zip ok, address mismatch, etc.)


 6:09 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Elm Street" instead of "Elm Drive" will cause a failure

This is why I don't under why the use of Street instead of Drive would cause a different AVS code since the numerals remain the same.


 6:16 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

It won't. AVS only checks the numbers in the address plus the zip code.


 5:36 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Try saying "I need to verify name and address" when you call in a neutral monotone voice.

They should then ask you questions like "Are you a merchant? Where are you calling from? For each question reply with a curt answer without volunteering any additional information. When they say "go ahead with the verification, read the name and address.

Post here what the response is you get from this inquiry.


 3:31 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

"I have never had a bank refuse to do this?"

Wells Fargo ALWAYS refused, and were not polite about it.

I will NEVER do business with them in any shape, form, or fashion.


..and for what it's worth, on large orders we've called the customer back, explained the situation (and lack of being able to work with WF) and requested they use another credit card.

I don't ever remember losing a sale over this.

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