credit card entry address fields

2 Apr 2006 - 9:59pm
8 years ago
10 replies
538 reads
Barbara Ballard
2005

I was just designing a pay-by-credit card flow for mobile phones
(reduce text input!) and started wondering ...

1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?

2. For various other countries, are ZIP codes as precise as they are
for US towns?

---
Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com

Comments

2 Apr 2006 - 10:03pm
Austin Govella
2004

On 4/2/06, Barbara Ballard <barbara at littlespringsdesign.com> wrote:
> 1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
> demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?

I think they were collecting everything to validate the billing
address on record. (Theoretically, only the card owner knows the
billing address.) However, over the phone, I have been asked to only
provide the zip code, so the validation rules may have changed.

(Akin to how you frequently no longer need to sign for purchases below
a certain amount.)

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

2 Apr 2006 - 10:28pm
ErikaOrrick
1969

> On 4/2/06, Barbara Ballard <barbara at littlespringsdesign.com> wrote:
> > 1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
> > demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?
>
> I think they were collecting everything to validate the billing
> address on record. (Theoretically, only the card owner knows the
> billing address.) However, over the phone, I have been asked to only
> provide the zip code, so the validation rules may have changed.

2 points:

1 - I work on an application where the tab order was intentionally changed so
the user skips the city and state entry and goes straight to zip code entry.
While it does save time in the long run (this portion is a front office patient
registration system, so a user is doing the same task over and over), new users
are actually *slowed* by having to stop and think about putting the zip in
without having first typed a city or state until they get used to it. Seems to
break their mental model. Not that we can't overcome this, nor do I have hard
numbers, but it was interesting anecdotally.

2 - Many people live in an area where the same zip code corresponds to more than
one city. (This is the second place that is like that for me, I currently do
not live in the city that comes up by default for my zip). I have no idea if
this affects billing address validation or not, but even if it doesn't, people
might not trust the system enough the let the credit card go through.

So it seems the answer *might* be more in people's mental models and less in any
system requirements, at least in the anecdotal evidence I have seen. But I am
just one person with one small opinion :)

Erika

--
Erika Orrick
erika at orrickweb.com

2 Apr 2006 - 10:46pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

On Apr 2, 2006, at 10:28 PM, Erika Orrick wrote:
>> On 4/2/06, Barbara Ballard <barbara at littlespringsdesign.com> wrote:
>>> 1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
>>> demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?
>
> 1 - I work on an application where the tab order was intentionally
> changed so
> the user skips the city and state entry and goes straight to zip
> code entry.
> While it does save time in the long run (this portion is a front
> office patient
> registration system, so a user is doing the same task over and
> over), new users
> are actually *slowed* by having to stop and think about putting the
> zip in
> without having first typed a city or state until they get used to
> it. Seems to
> break their mental model. Not that we can't overcome this, nor do
> I have hard
> numbers, but it was interesting anecdotally.

true enough, and something I would consider for a desktop
application. On the mobile phone, however, I think that the time
involved in triple-tapping an address (changing entry modes twice!),
city, and state would compensate. I like the idea of changing the
field order, I hadn't thought of that.

>
> 2 - Many people live in an area where the same zip code corresponds
> to more than
> one city. (This is the second place that is like that for me, I
> currently do
> not live in the city that comes up by default for my zip). I have
> no idea if
> this affects billing address validation or not, but even if it
> doesn't, people
> might not trust the system enough the let the credit card go through.
>

And I'm in the 1km squared in one ZIP that is in a different county
from the rest of the ZIP. And some of the state computer systems
don't believe me. The others aren't smart enough to not believe me
(we had to claim an "alternate address" for me to register my car).

---
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com

3 Apr 2006 - 12:19am
Jared M. Spool
2003

At 10:59 PM 4/2/2006, Barbara Ballard wrote:
>1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
>demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?

In e-commerce applications, we've found error rates on zip codes to be very
high. Many users mistype or don't know their zip code. Requiring city &
state in addition adds a verification step.

Jared

Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
978 777-9123 jspool at uie.com http://www.uie.com
Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks

3 Apr 2006 - 12:33am
Wesley Kincaid
2006

> In e-commerce applications, we've found error rates on zip codes to be very
> high. Many users mistype or don't know their zip code. Requiring city &
> state in addition adds a verification step.

Depending on your client's goals (preventing fraud vs. ease of use vs.
lowering interchange), it might also benefit you to know that you're
only required to *attempt* using the Address Verification Service.
Even if AVS fails, you'll still receive a valid auth at the discounted
rate which can be settled.

The CVD (code on the back), however, must match to get an auth code back.

2 Apr 2006 - 10:09pm
Wesley Kincaid
2006

I actually spent some time working for one of the authorization
networks, and I'm 100% sure that city and state never get passed to
the issuing bank. Specifically, just the ZIP and the first five
numeric digits in the address field.

I don't know about other networks, but our's (Paymentech's Tampa
platform) didn't support international AVS at all, postal codes
included.

On 4/2/06, Barbara Ballard <barbara at littlespringsdesign.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I was just designing a pay-by-credit card flow for mobile phones
> (reduce text input!) and started wondering ...
>
> 1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
> demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?
>
> 2. For various other countries, are ZIP codes as precise as they are
> for US towns?
>
> ---
> Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
> barbara at littlespringsdesign.com
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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3 Apr 2006 - 1:06am
ErikaOrrick
1969

> true enough, and something I would consider for a desktop
> application. On the mobile phone, however, I think that the time
> involved in triple-tapping an address (changing entry modes twice!),
> city, and state would compensate. I like the idea of changing the
> field order, I hadn't thought of that.

Sorry, missed the point about mobile phones, maybe I should stop multi-tasking
while I am reading email. I completely agree with the you on the multi-tap
input issue. Maybe my point will be more useful for someone else :)

E

--
Erika Orrick
erika at orrickweb.com

4 Apr 2006 - 7:28am
Alvin Tan
2006

For your second question, yes, it's quite precise here in the Philippines.

Alvin

Barbara Ballard <barbara at littlespringsdesign.com> wrote:
[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

I was just designing a pay-by-credit card flow for mobile phones
(reduce text input!) and started wondering ...

1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?

2. For various other countries, are ZIP codes as precise as they are
for US towns?

---
Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com

________________________________________________________________
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4 Apr 2006 - 8:31am
Håkan Reis
2006

The issue with city/state is a constant source of annoyance in
international environments. The state field should most of the time be
hidden as soon as the Country is set.

When it comes the second issue Sweden has precise zip information. Most
of this city information can obtained in advance. Actually most of the
time we enter the zip-code first then the city and providing the correct
information as soon as the zip is entered is valuable. Especially in a
mobile environment.

However, zip code change, and a way to enter the city manually apart
from the automatic insertion is probably the best way.

I know, this is a lot of extra work but it's worth it when dealing with
the user. Heck I get annoyed when I'm forced to write my city (Lomma) in
an ordinary web form, I would probably get frustrated when using a
mobile phone...

--

Håkan Reis
MCAD
Dotway AB

http://blog.reis.se

Barbara Ballard wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I was just designing a pay-by-credit card flow for mobile phones
> (reduce text input!) and started wondering ...
>
> 1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
> demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?
>
> 2. For various other countries, are ZIP codes as precise as they are
> for US towns

4 Apr 2006 - 10:34am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

I asked around about this yesterday, and I guess the deal is that there's no
universal truth when it comes to zip codes. As in, the USPS web service is
very restricting and you can't use it for anything non-Postal Service
related. So then you'd have to rely on other vendors, like UPS or something,
and the APIs are apparently wickedly complex (I've never seen it, so I can't
vouch for this statement) and it's a shaky proposal at best to try to
maipulate the info.

Also, I've heard zip codes tend to change from time to time, so it's not
safe to trust a service. This seems like an edge case, because I can't
imagine they change very often, but it's one of the many answers I got.

Great question, though. It's sort of amazing more people don't consider the
possibility of consolidating the three fields into one.

-r-

On 4/2/06, Barbara Ballard <barbara at littlespringsdesign.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I was just designing a pay-by-credit card flow for mobile phones
> (reduce text input!) and started wondering ...
>
> 1. For US users, are there rules or some other hidden reason why we
> demand the user type city and state, instead of just ZIP?
>
> 2. For various other countries, are ZIP codes as precise as they are
> for US towns?
>
> ---
> Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
> barbara at littlespringsdesign.com
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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