What is Address Verification?

Address Verification Overview

The Importance Of Address Verification

One of the biggest challenges that organizations are navigating is the speed at which transactions take place.

Address verification brings numerous efficiency-boosting use cases to organizations. Examples include the following:

  • Making it easier for customers to check out by auto-completing form fields
  • Verifying an address for accuracy, in real-time, during a checkout process
  • Geocoding and reverse-geocoding addresses with latitude and longitude data
  • Ensuring compliance with identity verification practices
  • Mapping the distance between two points
  • Establishing a line of communication with shipping carriers, to anticipate potential shipping delays
  • Enhancing customer records with accurate information

Address verification is important for organizations that transact with customers globally. That’s because information often gets stored within different databases or systems of record. For instance, the United States Postal Service (USPS), UPS, FedEx, Canada Post, and a range of national postal carriers maintain their own developer tools and address verification APIs.

Organizations that reach customers globally will need a simplified way to communicate with, potentially, shipping carriers in hundreds of countries.

How Does Address Verification Work?

Numerous databases exist with geographic and demographic data. It is the process of comparing a user-inputted address to a standard database to verify accuracy and completeness.

For instance, an eCommerce company may use an address verification API (application programming interface) to auto-complete address form fields, so customers can check out faster. An insurance company may use an address verification API to research policy quotes for a specific geographic area. An address verification API will also ensure that information that a customer inputs is accurate, to avoid returned mail.

Collecting accurate address information can be surprisingly challenging due to the potential for human error from typos, especially since there are more than 130 different address formats in the world.

Address verification software keeps information streamlined across API calls between different systems.

Address Verification Methods

Behind the scenes of an address verification program, various technical processes are taking place. Understanding them will help you identify use cases for address verification in your business.

Fuzzy Matching

Even if you have a typo in your address query, you can still get relevant results. An address verification API can detect misspelled or missing information such as spaces and letters to create more accurate results. 

This technology is particularly useful for mobile digital environments that are prone to typos due to small screen sizes. Fuzzy matching is valuable for increasing data quality.

Geocoding & Reverse Geocoding

Geocoding is the practice of assigning latitude and longitude coordinates to a geographic location. Reverse geocoding is the opposite process of assigning a location to a geographic coordinate system. 

This method is used for visualizing data, augmenting location datasets, and identifying store networks, warehouse locations, events, and other relevant information. Geocoding helps with optimizing deliveries, anticipating real-world risks, and providing insight about locations.

Address Standardization

The process of standardizing addresses is important for ensuring that different systems communicate with each other. Every postal system requires its own official format. An API can break unstructured address data into its component parts and automatically reformat addresses into the correct output structure.

Address Verification in North America

There are a number of address verification services and API solutions available to meet different business requirements and needs. Here are some criteria to consider when selecting address verification technology for your business:

  • Frequency of data updates
  • Processes for safeguarding company data
  • Uptime standards
  • Ability to address typos
  • Data sources and their integrity
  • Integration and deployment time
  • Back-end address verification to cleanse, parse, and standardize data in integrated software
  • Additional services
  • Additional datasets
  • Customer support options

As organizations evolve, especially when they scale globally, address verification needs may become more complex. In these situations, paid services are available for APIs that support the following use cases:

  • Integrations with multiple postal carriers
  • Third-party application development
  • Correcting customer-generated errors
  • Building a rich database
  • Maintaining CRM hygiene

Successful address verification strategies support higher level business goals such as error reduction, database enrichment, and delivery speed. 

Loqate helps businesses around the world verify customer addresses by combining our global datasets with best in class technology. Our easy to integrate API helps our customers verify customer data at the point of capture. Find out more about how Loqate address verification solutions can help your business.