Monday, June 16, 2008

How is your data?

Is everything working at the moment?

No weak links? No danger areas?

What happens when something causes a wave?

Will everything still be working? And how will your company's health be?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Credit card fraud

Processing addresses is a challenge for all of us, credit card companies included. It was, therefore, no surprise to me to learn how cursory the address check on credit cards for online purchases actually is.

For many countries there is no address check.

For the UK the check is only on building number and the numbers of a postal code, so the check for 10 Downing Street, SW1A 2AA would be 1012. As a very large number of addresses in the UK will share this same code, it's a check that is very easy to get around.

Considering the amount credit card companies lose to fraudsters, and the stress involved for the legitimate credit card holder, isn't it time that these companies put some time and resources into learning about addresses?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Swiss Post

Along with my order for the International AddressGuide (2007/2008 edition) from Swiss Post (more about that later) I received a "glow in the dark" postal code map of Europe.

Almost every inch of my walls is covered by postal code maps, and it looks very much like they take their data from the same source, as they share many idiosyncratic errors. Postal code area 59 in Italy, for example, is always missing; Leicester is shown as LG instead of LE on some of them, and so on.

I am, though, rather more concerned about this particular map being used as a marketing tool by Swiss Post to intimate their extensive coverage and knowledge. For the map shows Serbia & Montenegro as a single country (dissolved in 2006) and has Lithuania's pre-2004 postal code system.

Perhaps nobody will notice - after all, it glows in the dark! - and we all make mistakes - but I think somebody in Swiss Post's marketing department should have looked a bit harder before sending it out. It reflects badly on them when their international knowledge should be better than that.