Data Enrichment & Validation

Pros and Cons of Open-Source Address Validation for Businesses

November 3, 2020
Inkit Team

In one of our previous articles, we’ve already explained what open-source address validation is and what companies might need address validation tools.

Long story short, it’s a free tool that enables you to fix incorrect USPS and international addresses to improve data records quality. It cannot be fully open-source since the USPS database stores personal information protected from public access. This would make it vulnerable to fraud and breach data security regulations.

Therefore, speaking of open-source address validation services, we mostly mean address validation services and APIs that enable you to use third-party address sources. These software solutions are either free or offered for a small charge if they provide more advanced features. Let’s discuss the pros and cons below.

Keep reading to find out:

  • When you might need open-source address validation
  • Pros and cons of open-source address validation services
  • Inkit as an alternative to open-source address validation tools

When You Might Need Open-Source Address Validation

Address validation is essential to anyone whose business performance depends on address data accuracy. Address verification solutions help clean your database from invalid or incorrect addresses and make it more reliable and effective. This would benefit your organization in the following cases:

You use street addresses for marketing

If you run omnichannel marketing campaigns, offline communications must be a part of them. That’s when you will need an address validation service. Open-source address validation tools will help you to reach the recipient every time you deliver advertising materials. This increases your marketing efforts’ effectiveness and reduces the volume of undelivered messages cutting your marketing losses.

You need an address verification solution to optimize official communications

If you are a financial organization, a utility company, a healthcare institution, or any other entity that regularly sends official communications, you need an address validation tool. Since such messages are time-sensitive and private, it’s necessary to guarantee they reach the required person at the right time. Open-source address validation minimizes the risk of delivering critical documents to the wrong person.


You run AVS checks to verify credit card ownership

Credit card issuers, banks, and merchants utilize address matching to verify credit card ownership. They compare the billing addresses stored in databases with the address information provided by potential buyers who have just placed an order. If the records match, the transactions are approved and deemed safe. This real-time address verification software (AVS) is highly secure and usually requires substantial investment from credit card issuers. It also has much richer functionality than open-source address validation services used to verify address data for marketing and formal communications.

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Pros and Cons of Open-Source Address Validation Services

As we have already mentioned, there is no genuinely open-source solution for address validation tools. Hence, It’s more appropriate to talk about free address validation services. While they may be suitable for some users, there are also many cases when open-source address validation is not beneficial.

Pros of open-source address validation services

  • These address validation tools are freely available. Cost-efficiency is the main reason why people start looking for open-source address validation. Fair enough, free address validation tools let you reap the benefits of address verification without spending a part of your IT budget on monthly or annual subscriptions. In case the volume of processed data is low, such address validation services may fully cover your needs and help you avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Free address validation tools are easy to test. If you aren’t sure whether you need verification services for your business, open-source address validation tools are a great way to find that out. Pick the most suitable option from the United States Postal Service’s address management tools or look for a third-party solution. This should help you understand what kind of address validation tool suits you.
  • May provide access to the same database as paid services. The United States Postal Service is the only organization that holds the responsibility for the US address database. It records, stores, and updates street addresses. It also decides what providers are eligible to access this data through the CASS mail certification procedure. As a result, if either a free or paid address validation service is CASS compliant, you may be sure that it connects to the USPS database, which is the most reliable data source.

Cons of open-source address validation services

  • Such address validation tools are less secure. When it comes to open-source address validation tools, security is a significant concern. A large number of people access these address validation services, so the risk of data breaches skyrockets. Hence, if you plan to keep verifying address data while caring about security, consider opting for paid but more reliable options.
  • They have limited functionality. Anything offered for free will have lower functionality than its paid alternatives. You must accept that. Providers that publish open-source address validation code or tools have no incentive to spend their time on developing complex features. So in case you start using a free address validation service, expect to complete lots of tasks manually and have a bumpy user experience.
  • Open-source address validation might not integrate well with your systems. Those who would like to automate address validation services usually need more advanced subscription-based tools. Free solutions often have trouble integrating with the existing tech stack or support no integrations at all. Although they may be viable in the short term, poor connectivity will undermine your performance in the long run.
  • Limited customer support and rare updates. Open-source address validation code and tools don’t provide software support. When something goes wrong, you will need to fix it on your own or wander from forum to forum seeking advice. They are also more rarely updated with new capabilities than their paid counterparts. The reason is predictable: software creators always invest more in address verification tools that can generate profit.

Now that you know the best and the worst about open-source address validation services, it should be easier to make the choice. If you feel like using a more multifunctional and automated solution, try Inkit as an alternative.

Inkit as an Alternative to Open-Source Address Validation

Inkit’s reach enablement platform includes address validation capabilities as an essential part of its Inkit Verify functionality. Once you integrate this tool with your CRM system and database, it will automatically run data checks of newly recorded and existing street addresses. Thanks to built-in address verification and CASS compliance, Inkit matches address records to the USPS database. You get clean, standardized, and valid addresses that can be used to deliver offline communications, prevent fraud, research your target audience, and more.

address validation

Since Inkit is a full-featured platform, in addition to data quality verification, it includes other handy features that will supercharge your business. You can connect it with a bunch of tools to optimize your supply channel and automatically send communications to customers or vendors. Thanks to extensive integrations, Inkit sends messages through all commonly used online and offline channels. It also automatically generates and renders documents in several formats, which additionally optimizes your back office.

With this platform, you get the software that enables you to always stay in touch with partners and buyers, from the moment you collect their data to follow-up messages. No open-source address validation API or tool can offer the same.

Want to test Inkit’s demo for your project? Contact us for the demo.

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