Data Enrichment & Validation

8 Steps to Automate At-Scale Address Standardization and Validation

October 19, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

Every year, the United States Postal Service records around 36 million address changes. These are people, businesses, organizations, and other entities that move from one place to another. If you don’t regularly update address data at scale, you won't be able to reach them.

Mailing and order delivery issues also stem from poorly formatted addresses, missing ZIP codes, and typos. Besides, users provide fake addresses to unlawfully access your systems or commit fraud. It disrupts business processes and causes financial losses.

How to fight the negative consequences of outdated or misleading address data?

Implement comprehensive address standardization and validation. You need to check address data obtained from different sources and re-verify it from time to time. Only an at-scale approach to real-time address validation will ensure the accuracy of all postal addresses.

This article provides guidelines on how to implement a comprehensive real-time address validation strategy. Learn them now to use in your company.

How to Run Address Standardization and Verification at Scale

At-scale address standardization and verification always involve automation. The extent and quality of automation depend on your business needs and budget. If you use address information solely for direct mail delivery, you can check it manually by uploading batches. One of the address standardization tools with batch processing should be enough for this.

Yet if you expect ultimate automation of address validation systems, you need advanced software solutions connected through APIs. API-based real-time address validation allows fully automating at-scale checks. You can verify information from different sources, provide address autocomplete, automatically match addresses with official databases, and more. Thanks to API integration, real-time address validation becomes embedded in your software.

Discover 6 Tips to Integrate an Address Validation API into Your Software

Address Standardization

Example #1. At-scale address validation system in banking

Banking and financial organizations use verified records to identify people for security purposes and mail them critical communications. With the growing digitalization rates, most finances provide their services through online portals. It means that during the registration, thousands of customers enter their billing and/or postal addresses.

That’s why finances and banks need automated at-scale address standardization and verification in their portals. By integrating an address verification API, they can automate address checks and autocomplete. Users get notified when the filled information is inaccurate to fix it.

Example #2. E-commerce at-scale address validation system

The accuracy and speed of order delivery in e-commerce depend on at-scale address standardization and validation. An e-commerce store collects addresses at the checkout to pass them to a logistics company. If the records have mistakes, it will delay the shipments or result in misdeliveries.

To prevent such issues, e-commerce businesses implement automated at-scale address standardization and validation on their websites. The real-time address validation feature shows customers verified address suggestions, ensures correct format, and double-checks the provided information.

8 Steps to Achieve Comprehensive Address Standardization and Verification in Your Company

A trusted address verification API is a secure and efficient way to layer automated checks into currently used systems. You won’t be able to automate at-scale validation without integrating address verification tools.

Follow these steps to implement comprehensive address standardization and verification in your company.

#1. Adopt Data Entry Software

For comprehensive address data management, you should automatically record the contact details of customers. If you haven’t adopted data entry software yet, do it. Such solutions read PDF files, emails, websites, and printed documents, to retrieve the necessary information. This way, you will automatically collect addresses through different channels and store them in your database. Manual data entry has already become outdated and counterproductive.

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#2. Audit Your Current Address Use

To understand how to automate real-time address validation in your organization, start with an audit. You should know through what channels you collect address data and how it is recorded.

It’s also necessary to estimate the volume of address processing and data storage practices. These findings will help you define what kind of address validation system you need.

#3. Decide What Address-Related Processes to Automate

Address validation systems have many additional handy features apart from real-time address validation. Hence, you can automate several processes. If this information is missing, address validation systems can enrich records with the city, state, and ZIP code details. The address validation systems like Inkit Verify also support address autocomplete, which is very popular for e-commerce stores to optimize customer checkout. Some solutions handle global addresses, whereas others are suitable for local markets only. It matters if you run an international business or plan to expand.

Learn What Features Your Address Verification Software Should Have

#4. Choose an Appropriate Address Verification API

When you have defined what functionality covers your business needs, it’s time to pick an address validation system. We recommend using APIs as they smoothly integrate with existing solutions and offer great flexibility. Looking for an address validation system, make sure it’s CASS-certified (follows the requirements of the Coding Accuracy Support System). For more convenience and scalability, choose cloud address validation solutions. Technical support and compliance with data security standards are also essential.

Note that there are no quality open-source address validation systems. Only premium solutions ensure the necessary data security and advanced automation features.

#5. Integrate the Address Validation System and Your Software

API integration takes several days or even less. Check the technical requirements of the chosen address validation system and use the provider’s instructions to connect it. You will need to select a pricing plan, complete registration, retrieve your API key, customize the address validation system’s code snippet and paste it into your environment.

#6. Set Up Regular and Real-Time Address Checks

After connecting the address validation system with your software, do configurations. You need to verify addresses in real-time as users enter them and double-check previous records. Regular checks keep your database in order and make sure every address matches official USPS standardized records.

#7. Assign User Roles to Your Team Members

Your team members should have limited access to personal data. That’s why it’s important to create custom user roles for different groups. Since address information requires ultimate security and data quality, only entitled people must access it.

#8. Explain to Customers What You Do

When you use any address standardization software, you should notify customers about the data processing practices. Hence, don’t forget to mention how you handle their data in your Privacy Policy. It’s necessary to make customer relationships transparent and stay compliant.

These steps allow businesses and product teams to implement at scale address standardization and verification. Using them, you can get more accurate addresses, verify them at the point of entry, and automatically re-check from time to time.

Inkit Verify for At-Scale Postal Address Standardization and Verification

Inkit Verify is an address verification API for implementing automated address checks in existing software. It supports address standardization, validation, and autocomplete for comprehensive automation. Verify processes a single address and batches with equal ease, which makes it multifunctional.

Learn more about Inkit Verify and contact us in case of any questions.

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