ZipCodeAPI for Canonicalization

ZipCodeAPI can be an important tool for you for canonicalization. We’ll explain what that is and why you should care. Let’s start with the definition.

Canonicalization is the process of converting data that involves more than one representation into a standard approved format.


For this post, we spoke with Andrew Reynhout, CTO of Prepaid2Cash, who uses ZipCodeAPI for canonicalization.

They use ZipCodeAPI to do a city lookup for customer convenience and data canonicalization. He explains:

Canonicalization is ensuring the data is in a single preferred form.
In this case we want to prevent multiple entry forms like “SF”, “San Fran”, “SanFrancisco”, “san francisco”, “SFO”, etc.

Andrew Reynhout, CTO, Prepaid2Cash

So in this case the canonical city name they have specified is “San Francisco” and they want all customers in the city to match each other. Andrew explained further:

By using ZIP code lookup, we can do that easily without requiring manual correction or ad hoc policy enforcement. Also of course it’s quicker for customers to enter “94114” than to type “San Francisco” and select “CA” from a dropdown.

Lastly, there are also items of user-provided info that are expected to correspond to data from other sources.

These are used as lightweight signals for verification of KYC [Know Your Customer] data, and part of our risk score engine.

You can try a free ZipCodeAPI demo and trial subscription and see how ZipCodeAPI can work for you for data canonicalization too.