What is 2+2 Verification? - Melissa UK
An address lookup tool can also be known as the term ‘address autocomplete’ or even ‘address capture'. This is a functionality that’s embedded into webforms and can be seen on ecommerce websites, insurance forms or even customer onboarding processes. The nature of having an address lookup API is to offer a drop-down of suggested addresses when entering the first few strokes, similar to an address search engine. All addresses offered are up-to-date, verified and standardised to any country’s international format.

An Overview of Address Lookup Technology

Address lookup technology enables businesses to streamline the checkout, signup, onboarding, or general fill-in process for customers. It ensures that only verified postal addresses enter their systems. This can be a crucial step for, let’s say, an ecommerce website to reduce failed deliveries and improve on logistics. It can also serve on building more targeted communications efforts based on all the locations of their customers. Address lookup technology will help tremendously in keeping an up-to-date, clean and accurate customer database.

Why should you use Address Lookup Technology?

As businesses transition to a more digital approach, our economy is seeing a shift in organisations being able to reach customers across the globe. This diminished barrier in global reach means that the customer data entered must be as accurate as possible to limit potential shipping errors, packages being lost, wasted communication efforts and even credit card fraud. One straightforward solution to avoid these problems is to embed address lookup technology. Not only will this speed-up the customer checkout or signup process, but it will ensure all address data entered into an organisation’s systems are accurate and up-to-date for 240 countries and territories.

  • Remember that every country has a different mailing format standard. For example, Canada has a municipality, province, and alphanumeric postal code while Japan has a city, prefecture, and numeric postal code. Performing autocompletion can differ from country to country depending on the type and style of address as well as the use case.
  • Transliteration more than likely will also be required for certain languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. Address lookup technology will automatically parse, standardise, and verify such inputs so they can be read and ultimately processed as a confident output which is why it’s important for businesses that are trying to expand on a global scale to take these aspects into consideration. (See example graphic below)

Here is a list of additional factors address lookup technology can do for a business:

  • Enhance the experience & speed-up the checkout process for customers
  • Correct typos entered
  • Helps with website conversions
  • Reduces the costs associated with returned shipments due to incorrect addresses
  • Confirmation of up-to-date & verified addresses locally or globally entering your system
  • Improves logistical offerings like providing immediate location details for item pickup, availability, & selective delivery slots

How does Address Lookup Technology work?

The autocomplete and lookup functionality accesses the address data validation against delivery point data from official address sources, like the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail PAF, USPS CASS database and other global datasets. When keys are entered for an address, the input, address lookup technology aggregates these global data sources into a reliable singe-best-record which is then used as the output, populating a customer’s billing and/or shipping address and resulting in a fully verified postal address free of typos, incorrect postal codes, or non-standard abbreviations. Having the right address lookup solution will also curate mapping, geospatial and other relevant datasets for a region.

Technical Process

Address lookup and autocomplete technology comprises two API requests within the service. A find request is used to narrow down and offer a list of suggested addresses. A retrieve request is based on the user’s selection and will return the verified, formatted, and standardised address to whatever the postal requirements are for that country or region.

When using address lookup technology, a common question is asked regarding the number of requests that someone will need to complete X number of addresses. However, because this service can be used in many different ways, it can be hard to determine the actual number.

Here are some factors that influence the number of requests needed:

  • The quality of the input data
  • The endpoint used
  • The data you are completing (address or thoroughfare or postal code, etc.)
  • Radius of a specific latitude and longitude point
  • How efficient your code is with using the service

Melissa – The Address Experts

As the leader in address verification, Melissa combines decades of experience with unmatched technology and global support to offer solutions that quickly and accurately verify addresses in real-time, at the point of entry. Melissa is a single-source vendor for address management, data hygiene and pre-sorting solutions, empowering businesses all over the world to effectively manage their data quality.

250+ Countries & Territories
1,000,555,787+ Addresses Verified
35+ Years
10,000+ Customers Worldwide