APIs rule the online world. Each time you click a document download button, send a web form or do any other action, they manage the process. APIs connect multiple web applications to create a single system for data exchange and task completion.
In our article, we will focus on postal address validation APIs. Address validation API integration is a trusted choice if you want to supply a software solution with verified address information. You can connect APIs with web platforms, applications, and websites that collect or use address records in any way.
Address validation API solutions automatically gather, record, and order information in your database. It allows you to avoid:
- Data inaccuracies that are in 49% of cases caused by human error,
- Inadequacies in technology (27%),
- Lack of relevant technology (27%).
Learn more about postal address validation API uses and technical aspects of API integration here.
What Is a Postal Address Verification API and How Does It Work?
A postal address validation API is a programming interface that connects applications with address verification software. It gives you out-of-the-box functionality for automated address validation, cleansing, standardization, and autocomplete. When users share addresses in the connected software, it sends the corresponding API request to automatically check the provided data. The validation application makes sure an address is deliverable and sends the response to the original app. This complex procedure takes fractions of a second.
Multiple postal address validation APIs are available on the market, ranging from the USPS address verification API provided by the United States Postal Service to independent vendors. The USPS address verification API offers standard address checks and ZIP code lookup. More sophisticated postal address validation APIs also offer address autocomplete and reverse geocoding features. It’s worth noting that all reliable postal address verification APIs rely on the latest databases provided by the USPS and must be CASS certified.
What Types of Software Benefit from a Postal Address Validation API?
To decide whether your software requires a USPS API, you need to know how others use it. Free address validation solutions can check address information, enrich data, autocomplete addresses, and do reverse geocoding. This functionality powers different kinds of applications.
The operation and profitability of logistics and shipping companies depend on address data accuracy. When they misdeliver an order or the delivery takes too long, financial losses are inevitable. That’s why logistics companies implement automated address verification to reduce the share of problematic shipments and improve customer service. They connect their B2B and B2C web portals with verification solutions through a postal address validation API. After that, the API automatically checks every address a customer enters.
Financial and Healthcare Applications
According to Verizon’s report, personal (40%) and medical (up to 20%) data are among the most common data types compromised in public sector breaches. Therefore, financial organizations and healthcare providers that handle large volumes of private data need to verify to whom they provide access. Address validation is one of the ways to automatically make sure the person is who they claim to be. The personal address validation API will match addresses provided by users with USPS databases to spot any discrepancies that may be a sign of fraud. Besides, financial and healthcare services also need reliable address data to deliver offline communications.
Third-party or USPS address verification APIs are essential for e-commerce stores. E-commerce businesses usually prompt customers to share a delivery address at the checkout. Buyers may also need to provide their billing address for AVS checks and fraud prevention.
By integrating their online stores with a postal address validation API, e-commerce businesses automate address verification. The API automatically processes the necessary address records based on triggers and returns the result. APIs that support address autocomplete are particularly useful for e-commerce websites. They provide buyers with address suggestions as users enter their data to speed up onboarding to enhance data accuracy.
Websites Using Direct Mail Marketing
Any brand that utilizes direct mail marketing in omnichannel campaigns will benefit from a postal address validation API. The API will check the addresses customers provide in web forms or their profiles before mail delivery. It will make direct mail more cost-efficient and help to reach the destinations. Instead of bulk delivery to all addresses, you will target direct mail to specific customers and make it personalized.
When people send requests to governmental bodies through web portals, they may need to provide address, city, and state. In this case, a postal address validation API or USPS web tools are also helpful. Once integrated with a governmental portal, the API will check the entered information for user identification and direct mail delivery. It increases mailing accuracy and protects personal data from theft.
Overall, businesses mainly use third-party and USPS address verification APIs for web applications. The reason is simple. Web apps are the type of software that connects brands to consumers. When they collect information from customers, they need to verify it. That’s when postal address validation APIs come into use.
Technical Aspects of Address Validation API Integration
The steps for postal address validation API integration are simple. As a rule, you will need to register in the address verification tool, get your API key, paste it into the coding environment, and complete the configuration. Software vendors offering postal address validation APIs usually provide step-by-step integration instructions for guidance.
Here are the main technical demands for postal address validation API integration:
- Always use trusted certificate authorities. Integrating your software with a postal address validation API, make sure to utilize authorized certificate authorities (e.g., USERTrust RSA Certification Authority, ISRG Root X1, AAA Certificate Services, or DST Root CA X3).
- Follow the latest URI, HTTP, XML, and JSON specifications. When you send or obtain data through a postal address validation API, URI, HTTP, XML, and JSON are used. Hence, to smoothly interact with address verification services, your software should meet the listed tech specifications.
- Avoid hard-coding of IP addresses. IP addresses of servers used by API providers frequently change since address verification services are geo-distributed. Therefore, you should use DNS instead of hard-coding.
- Avoid hard-coding SSL certificates. In case of certificate authority compromise threat, API providers will need to replace certificates quickly. Therefore, you should remember that SSL certificates of the API solution can change.
These are the core requirements to address validation API integration listed by software vendors. You also need to take care of software security (use HTTPS/TLS protocols) to process address information considered as PII.
Inkit’s Verify Postal Address Validation API for Your Business
Verify is a postal address validation API offered in Inkit’s REP (Reach Enablement Platform) toolkit. It enables you to power your existing applications, platforms, and websites with automated postal address verification and autocomplete functionality. Verify covers the entire verification cycle. It automatically parses, standardizes, and matches addresses. Once you connect it to your systems, the API will automatically manage address validation requests based on real-time triggers.
You can integrate Verify with an e-commerce store, financial web platform, logistics software, or any other solution. Contact us to receive help with integration or get the demo.