MasterCard has introduced PC/AIMS, based on its address information management service, to verify the addresses on mail and phone orders.

"It's an added layer of protection for non-face-to-face sales," said Vincent DeLuca, MasterCard's vice president for fraud control."

For example, when merchants request verification of a shipping address, a one-letter code indicates if it is a residence, a business, or a high- risk site such as a mail drop, a check-cashing service, or a prison.

Risk can be significant, because more than a third of mail and telephone purchases are shipped to addresses other than the cardholder's billing site.

This level of information is critical to any business with phone or mail customers, according to Joel Lisker, MasterCard's senior vice president of security and risk management.

PC/AIMS can check information for a variety of payment methods, including other brands and personal checks.

In April, Visa announced an upgrade of its risk identification service, which monitors merchant behavior such as excessive chargebacks, requests for original sales drafts, and a large number of credits to accounts.

MasterCard's San Francisco-based rival is testing additional features. A Merchant Risk Identification Service is to begin this fall and use neural network technology to monitor merchant behavior.

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