What is a Billing Address? – Get Your Basics Cleared

“There’s nothing better than online shopping in your pj’s with a glass of wine with the kids asleep”- Helen Wilson

Online shopping is real fun! And, in pandemic-altered 2020 it has become more of a habit, as you get endless options at your fingertips without stepping out.

But this world of online shopping can be tricky.

With the increasing online scam, banks are upgrading to a more advanced version and bringing in new ways to stop digital thefts from breaching customer data. And, one such way is through billing address.

Not just online shopping but this piece of information is equally important for businesses to deliver or receive physical goods. The billing address simply allows the issuer to communicate with their clients and protect them from identity theft.

But before moving forwards let’s understand what a billing address means!

What is a billing address?

So, basically, a billing address is required for online as well as offline purchases both by an individual or by the business.

In the context of a purchase, billing information is a term often referred to, which is the data that allows a person to access a customer’s account. Hence, a billing address is an address where a person receives all its relevant documents related to his/her purchase or other transactions.

A billing address can be their residential address but not always.

A person opening a bank account would possibly provide his/her residential address to receive banking details at that address. But, a business owner may prefer to receive the order good/invoice/receipt at his/her office address, which is referred to as their billing address.

Why is it important to update billing addresses?

A billing address is a way to identify the person or the company purchasing online, thereby ruling out the chances of fraud intercept in the business transaction.

The requirement for billing addresses varies depending upon the services being provided. It is not the same for all the business sectors.

Billing addresses for utility services like electricity, internet, gas, water, etc., are quite critical. But it might not be the same as which goods or services are delivered.

For example, A company has its Head office at New York but requires a new set of furniture for their other office at California. In that case, the billing address would be different from the delivery address.

Forgot to mention the billing address? You might land up in trouble!

Here’s why you need to update this vital information:

  • It keeps all your vital data unexposed and safe.
  • The process confirms your identity using the Address Verification System.
  • The process provides extra protection by conforming to the ZIP code during checkout.
  • Updating the billing address while registering with other departments ensures an accurate record of the citizens.
Though billing and shipping address sounds similar people often get confused about their purposes. So let’s find out what differs both from each other.

Difference between billing and shipping address

Though billing address meaning is pretty clear, people often confuse one over the other, but they are distinctly dissimilar.

Let’s make it simpler with an example,

Suppose you wanna gift your bestie a designer tote from Amazon. So you need it to be delivered at her place to address A, but you want the bill at your place.

Hence, in such a case, the billing address would be ‘B’ and the shipping address would be ‘A’.

For better understanding take a look at the below table:

Billing AddressShipping Address
What is it?This is the address related to the bank details.It refers to the address related to the place where the goods to be delivered.
Why is it needed?Needed for the verification and authorization for payment procedure.Needed to determine the shipping cost and delivery details of goods.
AVSRequires AVS for verification to avoid online theft.Does not need AVS for verification.
When needed?While choosing the shipping method and location during the checkout process.While selecting the payment option.
ImplicationPayment won’t be processed if the address is incorrect.Delivery of the goods might get delayed due to wrong information.
Seems like you just came across a new term- AVS, let’s explore this!

What is AVS?

AVS or Address Verification System works to restrict fraudulency during the checkout process. It verifies the card’s billing address with the shipping address and then sends a code to the merchant to determine whether both the addresses match or not. If they detect theft they will decline the transaction.

So now you know that both shipping and billing addresses are different from each other. But before we move on with the billing address let’s understand how shipping addresses work!

How does the shipping address work?

As already discussed earlier, suppose you are currently staying at a different address and your billing address registered with the bank is your residential address. Then for the online purchase, you need to change the shipping address if you want it to be delivered at your current location. This is so because without entering the billing address you can not process the payment checkout and as your billing and shipping address differs presently so you need to change the latter one to avoid delayed delivery.

Besides delivery of goods, you might receive vital information from the bank in hardcopy that would be delivered to your billing address. If you change your address, do follow up with your old address or make it a point to update the new address to avoid losing sensitive information.

But how to do it? Let’s discuss!

Steps to update the Billing address

Wrong billing addresses can lead to various complications. Hence, it’s crucial to update the changes to avoid your sensitive banking information from getting misplaced. Here’s how to do it:

  • Update online: Online is the fastest and the easiest way to update your address. Simply log on to your online account and change the address in the profile section.
  • Contact customer support: If doing it all by yourself through an online process seems complex, then contact a service provider. Just put up a request and they will do it for you.
  • Update via mail: If you are old school, no problem! Write your new address on the back portion of a cheque or a coupon and mail it to the service provider.
  • Change it in person: If you have trust issues, then you can reach out to the service provider’s office in person and seek their help in updating the new billing address.
So updating is pretty simple, isn’t it? But for clarity let’s discuss what all needs to be updated under the billing address.

Categories under Billing Address:

  • Billing Contact which is the name of the account holder
  • Street Address of the billing contact
  • City of the billing contact
  • State of the billing contact
  • Zip code of the billing contact
  • Phone number of the billing contact
  • Fax number of billing contact (optional)
  • Email address of billing contact

Billing addresses are common for online transactions but it is mainly implemented in other utilities and medical expenses as well. Utilities like gas, electricity, and water bills include billing addresses. But, the whole concept might be a bit tricky for the medical sector. If a benefactor is paying for someone’s treatment then the billing address would be that of the benefactor’s.

Now the question is what if mistakenly you put the address wrong? Let’s see!

What would happen if the billing address went wrong?

Firstly, if you put the wrong billing address the charge won’t go through as AVS would verify it before going through the checkout process.

Secondly, incorrect billing addresses may mail your vital banking data to the wrong location.

Thirdly, if you put the shipping address as the billing address, the transaction won’t proceed unless both are precisely the same.

Key takeaways!

  • Billing address is the address in which a person or a company receives relevant documents.
  • This is a vital tool that helps to prevent fraud and identity theft by verifying the originality of the person or the company placing the order.
  • A timely updating of this vital information is essential to protect sensitive information from getting exposed to third parties.
  • AVS is implemented by some companies to verify the existing billing address.
  • The main difference between shipping and billing addresses is the purpose. Shipping address is the location where goods are shipped to.
  • Updation of billing address is possible through mail, online, customer support or in person.

Wrapping up!

To ensure your order gets shipped and billed correctly, the address needs to be precisely correct and updated on time. After all, you won’t wanna lose your data as well as your ordered stuff right? So get it sorted before it’s too late!