In The Payments World, Even Canadians Have ZIP Codes!

Posted by David Gamey on 19 Sep 2017.

Many Canadians traveling to the US have experienced the frustration of running into a form of address verification. This is a common extra check often used by gas stations for pay-at-the-pump transactions.  It turns out there is a simple trick to satisfy this request.

Imagine you’re driving through the states, it’s pouring rain, you’re getting low on gas, and you pull off to fill up your tank.  You go to verify your credit card, and the pump asks you for your zip code.  Naturally, having a proper Canadian Postal Code you begin to wonder if they even considered that non-US postal codes have letters in them.  You might scan the pump looking for a way to enter letters, or in desperation you might press the intercom button to ask the cashier.  After hearing some suggestions like “try 5 zeros” and “please pay inside” (and get very wet), you naturally consider driving off to find a hopefully more reasonable merchant. But before you do, try this. Take the three numeric digits from your postal code and add two zeros to the end.

So if you happen to be a Michael Jackson from St. John’s Newfoundland with a postal code of “A1B 2C3”, try 12300.