Why do we need to input a billing address when purchasing online? Can this step be removed from the checkout process?

Is 'shipping address' sufficient?

The website only sells to individuals and not businesses.

  • possible duplicate of Why ask for billing address first?
    – msp
    Aug 1, 2014 at 6:19
  • 1
    @msparer This is a different question. I'm questioning the need for a billing address all together, not the order in which it appears. I read the post you mentioned before asking but it did not answer my question.
    – JustinRob
    Aug 1, 2014 at 6:34

3 Answers 3


I would advise strongly against removing the step, but to add it as optional step instead. There are a lot of reasons why the billing and shipping address could differ, e.g.

  • people order goods to be sent to their offices
  • people purchase goods as presents
  • some people simply have a second address
  • ...

That being said, here's the main reason why you need the billing address at least as an optional step:

A lot of companies use the Address Verification System to match the entered address against the cardholder's address (assuming a Credit/Debit Card payment takes place). By stripping the possibility of providing two different addresses you're most likely also stripping the possibility to do the transaction in the way the user would like to do it and would force the user to send the goods to their billing address.

This of course only applies if you're accepting credit/debit card payments.


This is a "Depends" answer but I'll explain why.

I'm with you, 99.99% of the time all I care about is a shipping address. However I never ship stuff to my home.

Almost everything I get delivered gets delivered during business hours - when I'm at work! So to avoid any missed deliveries (or stolen packages from my porch) I get everything delivered to my office at work.

However there are some things I buy online that send a physical "paper mail" receipt, bills etc. to me as a separate item... so I get those sent to my house as part of "regular mail".

Thus my preference when ordering online is to have 1 shipping address, then if the company so desires, offer a pre-checked "Billing address same as shipping address" checkbox. If I so need to alter it, I can do so. (I'm fine with the reverse to, either way as long as I don't need to enter the address twice! if I'm using the same address)

However in your case if the bill is shipped with the item to the address, then I don't see an issue (as a user) if there is only the shipping address.

  • I also get everything delivered to my office, so that's quite a good point. I beg to differ on your last point however. Removing the option to add a billing address might prevent a user from ordering. Shipping the bill with the item won't solve the problem (see explanation in my answer).
    – msp
    Aug 1, 2014 at 7:29

The payment gateways we use (the largest in our country), don't send any address back at all, so if it's not being used to validate a credit card holders address, I don't see any point in asking a user to do enter it.

However if it IS used for validation, the common "Billing address same as shipping address" checkbox should be used.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.