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Address autocomplete

Help your team, and people filling in your forms, to enter addresses more easily and more accurately.

Updated this week

With Beacon address autocomplete you can start typing an address, or type a postcode, and Beacon will suggest addresses that match. When you select one, Beacon will populate the different sub-fields within the location field for you - no need to type out the whole address.

You do not need to sign up for a separate location service, address autocomplete is built directly into Beacon.

Note: Currently address autocomplete is only available on record pages. Address autocomplete on forms is scheduled to be released before the end of July 2024.


Enabling address autocomplete

To enable address autocomplete in your account, head to the Charity preferences under Settings.

Scroll down to the Address autocomplete section, and click the toggle to enable the feature. You'll need to add your organisation's address, as this is a requirement of the Royal Mail database that we use.

Once enabled, you will need to purchase address lookups in order to use this feature.

If you do not enable address autocomplete, then you will still be able to add addresses to Beacon manually.


Purchasing address lookups

Address lookups can be purchased from your Billing page. Click Settings, then click Billing.

In Beacon, you don’t pay for address searches, you pay once you make a selection from the results that are returned. We call this an 'address lookup' and it costs 2p.

You will need to purchase address lookups separately to your Beacon plan.

  • You can purchase between 500, and 1,000,000 lookups in one go (£10 - £20,000)

  • Beacon will invoice you immediately and the purchased amount will be added to your total address lookups

  • Address lookups are non-refundable

  • Address lookups do not expire

You can keep track of how many address lookups you have available from your Billing page.


Frequently asked questions

What happens when I run out of address lookups?

When you get close to running out of address lookups we'll send an email to your Beacon Admins. When you run out, your address inputs will revert to the manual style.

What is powering address autocomplete?

Beacon's address autocomplete system is powered behind the scenes by Ideal postcodes. We explored a large number of providers and Ideal Postcodes had the best API and were the most cost-effective.

Why do we have to pay for address lookups?

Unfortunately, just like credit card processing, the organisations who provide this functionality don’t do it for free, even for charities. We’ve shopped around to find the very best deal on address lookups, and we’re passing the volume discount on to you. Beacon isn’t charging a fee or taking a cut of the 2p per lookup. Alternative providers like Loqate can charge as much as 6.9p per lookup, so we're comfortable that we've found a really good deal for you!

When can we have this on forms? That would be so useful!

We know! We wanted to get this in your hands as quickly as possible so that you can get set up and start using address autocomplete. We're expecting to release address autocomplete on forms by the end of July 2024.

Can I use this to validate all of my existing addresses?

No, this feature has been designed to make manual address input easier and more accurate. Validation of your existing database's addresses (and phone numbers, emails etc) is better done by a data cleansing service as a one-off project outside of Beacon.

Can I validate addresses when I import them?

No, this isn't supported. This feature is just for manual address inputs.

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