What is a billing address?

A billing address is the address connected to a specific form of payment, which is typically a credit or debit card. Companies use the billing address to verify the authorized use of such a card. It is also where companies send paper bills and bank statements.

Billing addresses must match what the card issuing bank has on file, or the attempted purchase won't go through. When the cardholder moves, the billing address must change to match the holder's current address. This can be accomplished by contacting the card issuing bank.

The billing address is different than the shipping address, which is the address where packages get delivered to. Billing and shipping addresses may be the same, but are sometimes different. When the billing address is different than the shipping address, additional order verification may be necessary to validate the order.

A billing address also allows online merchants to reduce fraud through a service provided by the card networks (i.e., Visa/MasterCard/American Express) called Address Verification System (AVS). AVS compares the numeric portion of the billing address that you provide to the merchant with the billing address on file with your card issuer.

For example, if your billing address is: 123 Main Street, Somewhere, CA 94000 it would check the '123' in the address and the '94000' zip code.  AVS is used in addition to other fraud prevention techniques such as CVV2 (Card Verification Value) values and authorization with the card issuer.

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