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Provo company creates largest list of US addresses

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jun 6, 2022
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Jeffrey Duncan, senior technical product manager for Smarty, poses in this undated photo.
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Members of the front end team at Smarty work in this undated photo.

Embedded in everyday life, on every website people use, is the work of other companies. Whenever a person uses Zillow or Netflix, they are experiencing the benefits of work done in Utah County.

Smarty, formerly known as Smarty Streets, is a Provo-based company that creates address verification software for businesses.

While the company may be unfamiliar to some, according to Jeffrey Duncan, senior technical product manager for Smarty, many people already use Smarty software without even knowing it.

“Every time you place an order on Amazon where you add a new address and you get a little box that pops down and says ‘do you mean this address?’ That’s us,” Duncan said.

Companies like Microsoft, and government organizations like NASA, along with many others, use Smarty’s address verification software to verify addresses, correct typos, consolidate duplicate addresses in mailing lists and more.

Now, however, Smarty is upping the ante. On Wednesday, the company released its U.S. Master Address List. The company claims that the list is the most complete, and accurate, list of verified and mailable addresses currently available in the United States.

Access to this master list of over 193 million addresses is available for businesses to purchase. Duncan sees the list as an ideal product for businesses looking to advertise to individuals in a specific area code or state, or even for organizations that provide life-saving services.

“If you are a 911 service in Texarkana, Arkansas, and you really want to know all the addresses in your county or all the addresses that you service, yes you can make a request to the state to get that, and while I wish that that was effective… that’s not always the case,” he said. “A lot of states and bureaucracies… they don’t have the manpower to create something like that.”

No names are attached to the addresses on Smarty’s U.S. Master Address List because, according to Duncan, that’s not what the company is about.

“The data that we have has no one’s name on it at all,” he said. “Unless your name is Martin Luther King and there is a boulevard in Georgia named after you, we don’t have your name. So we have all the addresses in the country, but no one’s name is attached to it.”

Smarty works by using the U.S. Postal Service as an address format authority. USPS does not sell access to an unencrypted address master list, so Smarty created its U.S. Master Address List. Non-postal addresses are not included on the list at this time.

“When we started the U.S. Postal Service gave us access to an encrypted data file,” Duncan said. “Encrypted meaning we can take an address and submit it to that file and say ‘is this address real?’ and their response would be no or yes… but exposing the list was never an option.”

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