Account verification messages are authorizations with a zero amount used by merchants to check the validity of a primary account number with issuers. An account verification message may precede an authorization or be a stand-alone request.
Since 2008, Visa has required that merchants and issuers support account verification messages globally. In a number of instances, however, merchants are incorrectly using authorizations with low values instead of zero-amount account verifications. In addition, some issuers have either approved or declined all account verifications without proper validation. Issuers and merchants must ensure they are sending and responding to account verification messages correctly.
To correctly process account verification messages, merchants must use account verification instead of authorizations for erroneous amounts when validating cardholder accounts. This includes the addition of an account number to the customer profile (credential-on-file) and periodic revalidation of stored credentials.