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4:16 am on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Split off from another thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]


Yes I am not sure how they do it, but have paid with Amex and Visa to Amazon UK and Amazon .com (US)

My hosts also accept direct payment by Visa, Amex etc and they are also a US company.

4:20 am on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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a regular US merchant account from a bank, etc.
cannot take international visa/mastercard

I have been using my German Mastercard quite often for paying Amazon.com, Art.com, AllPosters.com, etc. There never was a problem about accepting it. I have no idea about this whole cc processing thing works in practice just thought I mention that I never had problems.

Andreas

<edit>beat me to it, Visit_Thailand</edit>

4:28 am on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From what (little) experience I have in programming a front end to a
back end processing system, most vendors in the USA have to use
what is called an AVS system. This requires the mailing address to
be verified if the person is not physically available to sign the slip.
The AVS system was unable to verify international addresses so the
charge would always fail.

Now I have worked for at least one company that can run the credit
cards in some kind of batch process that ignores AVS. I never
personally saw an international card go through, but I do know they
have "forced" through visa debit cards that failed AVS.

Amazon is probably assuming certain risk against fraud with their
international charges and overriding AVS. If the charge turns out
to be bogus they have to "eat it" because of that.

(note: this is all just an educated guess!)

check this out, search google for
"we are no longer accepting international credit cards"
its a very common problem with fraud because of no AVS

Attention all international customers: We are not currently accepting
international credit cards because of potential credit card fraud and the
inability to confirm address of card holders.

[edited by: amznVibe at 4:54 am (utc) on Jan. 14, 2003]

4:32 am on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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wow this just appeared on my screen, must have been a pop-under
maybe it can help some of the international folks?

[secure.ikobo.com...]

Send up to $105 Free

This month you can try our service Free! Send up to $105 and the transaction is on us. If you need to send more, it only costs you $12 to send $200 and $16 to send $300 - Anywhere in the world.

8:43 am on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think I found a real international solution, see this thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]
12:56 am on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>a regular US merchant account from a bank, etc.
>>cannot take international visa/mastercard

mastercard and visa are "international". your account is in your currency, but (in general) you can use them all over the world to pay for anything in most major currencies. if a US cardholder travels to europe they can use their card to buy things in Euros. their card company will show the transaction in Euros along with the converted amount in US$ (and the exchange rate used). the US$ amount is debited to the account. the merchant receives the payment in Euros (the transaction currency).

likewise, i could take my plastic to the states and buy things in almost any shop. my statement will show the transaction in US$, the converted amount in UK Sterling (and teh exchange rate used). the merchant will receive the payment in US$ (the transaction currency).

the whole visa / mastercard / amex system is for cards to be used internationally. doesn't matter which country your credit card was issued in, you should be able to use it anywhere in the world that displays the appropriate card symbol. it doesn't matter if the merchant is a shop with a bank merchant account or a website using an online processing company, if they accept visa / mastercard / amex, they should accept these cards from anywhere in the world.

>>I have worked for at least one company that can run the
>>credit cards in some kind of batch process that ignores
>>AVS. I never personally saw an international card go
>>through, but I do know they have "forced" through visa
>>debit cards that failed AVS.

AVS (address verification) is not a requirement for credit card authorisation (nor is CVV). in general, providing that the card is valid and not stolen and that there are sufficient funds in the account, the transaction will be authorised. likewise, a signature match is not a requirement for bank authorisation of face-to-face transactions (signatures are not checked with the bank during face-to-face transactions).

in both cases, it's entirely up to the merchant to check the AVS / CVV results or signatures and to decide whether or not to accept the transaction. many merchants don't think to check AVS results, many don't bother checking that signatures match.

sometimes merchants make a commercial decision to simply accept every transaction regardless of whether signatures or AVS results match. checking every transaction carefully might require an extra member of staff or a lot of extra programming on a web site, and the costs of this could be considerably higher than the losses due to fraud.

>>"we are no longer accepting international credit cards"
>>its a very common problem with fraud because of no AVS

i only saw one site listed.

all the major card systems have AVS. however, they (AVS systems) don't all work worldwide yet. for example, a processing company in one country may have access to AVS results for all cards issued in that country, but not for all cards in other countries.

the problem is that AVS is a huge system that has been gradually introduced over the last few years. cards and cardholder details have been added to the AVS databases as cards have been issued and as each card issuer joins the schemes. some credit cards are issued for 3 or more years, so the entire system takes time to build up. there is no other way to realistically set things up.

likewise, CVV is another recent introduction that will take time to build up. there are still many cards in circulation without CVV numbers.

the most likely reason for non-acceptance of "international" cards is a site owner just doesn't have much experience of fraud and has been stung with a few orders from indonesia and other high risk countries. this isn't an AVS or CVV problem, it's a "knowledge and experience" problem.

1:08 am on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I only saw one site listed

That was a thoughtful reply, and I agree with large parts of it, but many business have been burned on international cards, its the smaller ones that usually have to change their policy ASAP because of this, the larger ones just absorb it

a quick search finds 134 in Google, but with some word variations the number goes over 7000 easy:
[google.com...]

my friend at the satellite company says before authorize.net's anti-fraud program they had real problems and even now sometimes a manager has to override the card system because it trips some warnings (at their peril)

1:18 am on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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in both cases, it's entirely up to the merchant to check the AVS / CVV results or signatures and to decide whether or not to accept the transaction. many merchants don't think to check AVS results, many don't bother checking that signatures match.

sometimes merchants make a commercial decision to simply accept every transaction regardless of whether signatures or AVS results match. checking every transaction carefully might require an extra member of staff or a lot of extra programming on a web site, and the costs of this could be considerably higher than the losses due to fraud.

Crazy_Fool has nailed it exactly with one minor omission. Virtually all of the major processors offer a slight discount for transactions that have been processed with AVS. The theory being that if you've validated a person's billing address in addition to their name, card number and expiration date, the chance of fraud is less. Fraud costs the processor money, so they want to encourage merchants to do more to avoid it.

This is another major reason that many web sites use AVS checking, which might cause customers outside of the USA to have problems.

AVS checking in every country is, and probably always will be a nightmare. There are no "standards", and each country may do things slightly differently -- some have states, some have provinces, some don't have either. Some use postal codes, some don't, etc.

I think it's much more likely that things like Microsoft's Passport or Yahoo's Wallet will become the standard for customer authentication than getting AVS to work for every country.

But that's a topic for another discussion...

12:05 am on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have a pretty normal merchant account through my local bank. I do about 30% of my biz abroad, via "furrin" CC's, no problem.

I don't do AVS. I probably pay a couple 1/10 of a % on my discount rate as a result, but who's counting?

BTW, we do tons of business with countries high on the fraud list and so far no probs. Guess it just depends how weird your merchandise

11:47 pm on Jan 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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there is no such thing as country restriction by Master/Visa,Amex...whoever posted that originally is out of his/her league. Once you accept Master/Visa/Amex, you can accept any Master/Visa/Amex issued anywhere in the world.
There is no such thing that a US merchant cannot accept Master Visa issued outside the US.

It is a big goof-up by Master Visa that they failed to standardise input text on credit card fields, or develop additional security criteria, like Date of Birth, which every person in every country has. For this reason the AVS comes back with a message like "AVS not applicable on this card", causing merchants to panic.

What we do is that we use additional criteria like Country I.P., email address, etc. to determine "Fraud Score" and if the scrore is above a certain level, we call the customer to verify.

In my experince of several million transactions a year, you will face very little problems with Master Visa, especially if you are delivering physical goods. The main problem comes with Amex. See thread [webmasterworld.com...]

 

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