Data Enrichment & Validation

7 Considerations for Using an Address Autocomplete API

November 11, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

Google address autocomplete or its alternatives are a great addition to address verification in your web service. Whereas the verification feature checks the validity of input data, the address autocomplete API displays suggestions. These verified addresses are pre-formatted and enable users to select the necessary option on the go.

Such capabilities make Google API for address autocomplete essential in many domains. You can use autocomplete services to smooth customer onboarding, facilitate checkout, speed up form completion, and more.

In this article, we share some considerations for connecting an address autocomplete API to existing systems. Learn what makes this solution special, how to use it, and when.

Address Autocomplete vs. Verification vs. Geocoding Service API

First, let’s differentiate between several kinds of popular address management APIs. You can integrate any of these services with your web platform to optimize address processing.

  • An address autocomplete API is suitable for website forms and dynamic fields. When a user starts typing an address record, it captures the input to compare it with reputable databases. Once the API detects matches, it displays them with ZIP code and other details on the integrated website in real-time. As a result, the user sees several address records that are already verified, standardized, and formatted. One of these options is almost sure to be correct, which significantly simplifies data sharing. The user selects what they need, and that’s it.
  • An address verification API is a universal solution. You can use it to validate the deliverability of addresses, run AVS checks, or identity verification. Address verification APIs support automatic parsing and address standardization to compare database records with USPS data. They can remove invalid addresses from your database or show errors. Address verification APIs are often used by online businesses, logistics companies, financial organizations, and other entities that collect massive volumes of address data.
  • Geocoding and reverse geocoding APIs turn the description of a location into geographic coordinates and vice versa. It’s usually a latitude and longitude pair that allows finding a place. This kind of address APIs is a popular option for web services with maps and text-based geographic search (Read more about geocode address here).

The differences between these address API categories should help you figure out what web solution you need. If you run a web resource, platform, or app that can benefit from an address autocomplete API, discover available options and some integration considerations below.

Address Autocomplete

Use These Tips to Integrate an Address Validation API into Your Website

Google Address Autocomplete and Other Autocomplete Services

Researching address autocomplete APIs, you will consider Google API for address autocomplete and its alternatives. Google’s service processes text-based geographic searches to return businesses, points of interest, and addresses when users type. They are suitable if your product supports Google-based services, including maps.

Custom APIs provided by other vendors have more sophisticated functionality. You don’t need to tie suggestions to Google Maps and can enjoy advanced domestic and international address verification. Custom APIs like Inkit Verify add interactive address autocomplete functionality to any website or web application.

Start verifying addresses today
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What Else You Should Know: 7 Considerations for Using an Address Autocomplete API

If you are about to integrate an address validation API that returns place predictions, you should consider a few things. These recommendations will help you start right.

#1. Choose CASS-Certified Solutions

CASS certification means that the United States Postal Service has approved an address checker. Such software has access to the latest USPS databases and boasts the high accuracy of address matching and postal codes. Hence, you can be sure that the street address options you show to users are reliable. It improves user experience and the accuracy of your database postal records.

CASS certification is equally crucial for address verification and address autocomplete services. Autocomplete solutions include validation and matching as one of the stages. That’s why they must also have USPS approval.

#2. Prefer Cloud Storage

When you process large data volumes, it’s better to choose cloud solutions. Such systems enable you to handle as much data as you need and easily scale. Instead of configuring server storage, your company can switch to a more advanced software plan and use additional capabilities. It’s very convenient for small and medium companies that rapidly grow.

#3. Mind Data Processing Volume

We recommend choosing an API that gives flexibility. It should be an autocomplete service with a free plan and premium options to upgrade the package. This will enable you to process a single address once in a while or run thousands of address checks with equal ease.

#4. Consider the Tech Part and Integration Requirements

You should carefully study the technical requirements of an API you want to connect. It may turn out that the selected API doesn’t support integration with the programming languages used in your primary platform. It may also have technical limitations that will hamper the effectiveness of address checks. If you are not sure whether the desired API supports integration with your platform, it’s also a good idea to communicate your concerns to the software provider.

#5. Take Care of Postal Address Data Security

Physical addresses are personally identifiable information and, therefore, require stringent security measures. When address autocomplete processes the user input, they capture this information and store the selected option. Thus, you need to make sure your autocomplete data processing practices are secure.

First, mind the regulatory compliance of the software you choose. GDPR and other data protection regulations are a must-have. Second, it’s good to integrate an API that supports user roles. It will enable you to create teams with different permissions and access levels. Thanks to this, only a few people can handle private address records, and the risk of data leakage significantly decreases.

#6. Ensure Tech Support

Even though API integration is not rocket science, it takes some tech expertise to complete. That’s why you should be ready to involve your in-house software developers or hire external engineers for help. They will prepare your existing systems for API key integration, connect the address autocomplete tool, and configure address matching and storage.

Besides, we recommend choosing an API provider that offers quality tech assistance. You will get reliable backup and someone to ask for help.

#7. Inform Users About the Connected Third-Party API

In your Privacy Policy, you should inform users about data processing practices and third-party integrations your web platform has. Let people know that you capture and match their data to offer real-time address suggestions and enhance user experience. It’s essential to achieve regulatory compliance and manage data transparently.

6 Platforms to Integrate With an Address Validation and Autocomplete API

Inkit Verify for Address Validation and Autocomplete

Verify is a CASS-certified address verification and autocomplete REST API provided by Inkit. It integrates with software written in the core programming languages to power it with automated real-time address suggestions. Use Inkit Verify to autocomplete addresses at the checkout or help users fill out web forms with accurate data. Since Verify is GDPR compliant and supports user roles, you can feel safe about its data processing practices. It securely handles every record and stores the provided addresses in the cloud.

Subscribe to Inkit Verify now to get an address verification and autocomplete API for your web software.

Start verifying addresses today
Don't waste time and money dealing with lost shipments that never made it to your customers.
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