CVC and AVS checks results

When processing a card payment, your customer will most likely enter its CVC code and/or some billing information. This data can be used to authenticate the user and further validate the transaction.


CVC checks

The CVC (also known as CVV) is the number that can be found on the back of a card, and is used to authenticate the user and protect you against fraud. An additional benefit of providing CVCs is that they usually increase a lot your payment performances as the issuing bank (the bank of your customer) sees the transactions as more legit.

Because CVCs are mainly used to prove that a customer initiated the transaction manually, it cannot be used more than once, and is therefore deleted after a successful authorization per PCI-DSS rules. This means that for recurring payments/subscriptions, the initial transactions may have the CVC sent, but subsequent transactions won’t have it and will have different flags sent to properly process the recurring transactions.

If you stored/tokenized a customer’s card but already processed a transaction for it and would like to have the CVC again for a new transaction (for example, to improve your authorization rate), you may refresh a card’s CVC ↗.

The possible CVC check results are listed below:

passed
The CVC was sent and was correct
failed
The CVC was sent but was incorrect
unchecked
The CVC was sent but wasn’t checked by the issuing bank
unavailable
The CVC wasn’t sent as it either wasn’t specified by the user, or the transaction is recurring and the CVC was previously deleted
required
The CVC wasn’t available, but the card/issuer required the CVC to be provided to process the transaction
unknown
Some payment providers sometimes don’t have the final result of CVC checks, in which case the CVC check status will be unknown

AVS checks

The AVS (Address Verificate System) can be used similarly to CVCs, but uses billing data from your customer and can be used indefinitely (i.e. the billing details don’t need to be deleted after a successful authorization).

As for CVC checks, AVS can be used to improve the confidence of issuing banks in the legitimacy of a transaction. AVS can be done on different billing details:

  • ZIP code;
  • Address;
  • Cardholder name (i.e. name on the card).