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Get Started with Square Risk Manager

Risk Manager is a tool that helps you spot and manage potential fraud from online payments you process with Square. You can create rules from your online Square Dashboard to trigger your own fraud alerts or to automatically decline suspicious payments. When you set up risk alerts, you can view additional details about suspicious payments, as well as options to issue a refund, block the payment card, or dismiss the alert.


  • Robust fraud monitoring powered by our machine-learning platform

  • Fraud evaluations from the Square payment network

  • Risk alerts with quick action options

  • Customisable fraud management tools

  • Card, email and IP address blocking

  • Visual analytics to spot fraud trends

  • Fraud evaluations on every payment

  • Card processing overrides


Risk Manager is free for all Square sellers accepting payments via:

Note: Square card-not-present payment processing rates apply for online transactions. Risk Manager is not available on transactions processed via Square Virtual Terminal or Afterpay.

Enrol in Risk Manager

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Click Get started.

  3. Select the business location(s) you wish to activate with Risk Manager, then click Enrol in Risk Manager.

Once you have activated Risk Manager on your account, you can begin to create rules and set up alerts for your online payments. Note: Risk Manager can be added to any business location, but will only apply to online transactions.

Risk Manager Rules

Creating a rule in Risk Manager allows you to select what actions can be taken on an online payment if certain conditions within that rule are met. Rules can either decline a payment from a specific payment card, trigger a risk alert, or invoke 3D Secure (3DS). Rules can also be set based on payment card conditions.

If there are certain conditions of a payment that you think indicate suspicious behaviour (i.e. a shipping address and billing address not matching), you can set a rule to take automatic action for you rather than manually reviewing each payment.

To create a rule:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Click Rules > Create rule.

  3. Indicate a rule name, action, location, and condition(s).

  4. Click Activate rule.

Once your rule is saved, payments that meet the requirements set by your rule conditions will either trigger a risk alert, invoke 3DS, or the payment will be automatically blocked. To delete a rule, simply select the Rules in question, then click Delete rule.

Important to note

  • You can have up to 20 active rules at once.

  • It is not possible to create a rule via the Square POS app at this time.

Learn more about setting up rules with Risk Manager.

Risk Alerts

If an online payment has been flagged by a rule for suspicious or fraudulent activity, you can view each alert and determine what action needs to be taken on the payment.

To view your risk alerts:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager > Alerts from your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Choose additional filters for your payments if needed, such as date range, location, or payment status.

  3. Select an alert from the list to view additional information.

Once you select an alert, you will see additional details such as payment and buyer information, related transactions, shipping address, and more. From the alert’s detail page, you can decide to issue a refund, add to Block List, add to Allow List, or dismiss the payment.

Risk Alert Details


The Payment details has the credit card glyphs, last four digits of the card used, issued in country and buyer IP during the transaction. Payment details also verifies and displays that the postal code and CVV match that of the bank’s records. The CVV is the 3–4 digit security code on a payment card. The Bill/Ship postcode compares customer entered billing postcode from the payment card used against the shipping address, removing the need to manually compare. While you may have billing addresses for your customers saved elsewhere, this feature is comparing the postcodes used in the purchase.


Alerts are generated by your rules or Square’s rules. The Rule details allows you to view the rule name, action and conditions and is designed to provide context for the alert. Use the Create Rules area of your online Square Dashboard to create, activate or delete rule settings.


View the addresses used for billing and shipping entered by the customer. If no address is provided, the postcode of the billing address is shown. You can also verify that the customer entered postcode matches the bank’s records.


View Purchase details, or click the receipt number to see the full receipt.


Customer information requires a saved card on file. You can encourage customers to save their information at checkout for faster future purchases. The Customer details will display their contact information, and detailed visit information such as number of visits, average spend and total spent, among others.

Cards on File

Cards on file are all stored in your customer directory. You can encourage customers to save their information at checkout for faster future purchases. The cards of file details will display the date added, card glyphs and last four digits.

Related Payments

View all related payments associated with this card, including declined, refunded, completed and disputed payments. For card on file payments, all other payments associated with the customer will display, even if they’re on different cards


Track the changes of the alert with time stamps. The timeline automatically updates with any new changes including refunds and disputes.

Blocked Payments

Any online payments that were blocked by Risk Manager will be reflected in the Blocked payments tab. To view blocked payments:

To block a card that was flagged by a risk alert:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Click Blocked payments.

  3. Use additional filters to locate a payment, such as date range, location, sources, or the card number that was used for the transaction in question.

In addition to being able to view the date, time, amount, and card number for a blocked payment, you will also be able to see the Source of the blocked payment (either bank, your Block List, a rule, or Square) as well as the Reason for the block.

Note: If a payment card has been added to your Allow List, that card will be able to process a transaction at any of your locations regardless of the rules and settings you have configured in Risk Manager.

Block Payment Cards

When you block a payment card, it prevents that specific card from being used with your Square account moving forward. The buyer won’t be alerted when you take this action.

To block a card that was flagged by a risk alert:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select the Alerts tab.

  3. From the payment detail page, select to either block by Card, Email, or IP address (depending on which is available).

  4. Select a Reason, add an optional Note, or opt to issue a full refund.

  5. Press Block.

Once a payment card is blocked, it will appear in the Block List tab of your Risk Manager dashboard.

Allow List

Adding payment cards to your Allow List will override payment protections or any attempted declines by your Risk Manager rules and settings or your Block List, as well as any Square standard payment protections. Once you add a payment card to your Allow List, that card can process a payment at any of your business locations as long as the card-issuing bank doesn’t decline the transaction. 

Payment cards can be added to your Allow List for as long as you want, and the card owner will not be notified when you add or remove their card from your Allow List.

Learn more about the Risk Manager Allow List.

Issue Refunds

You can opt to issue a refund for a payment or item(s) if the transaction was flagged by a risk alert. To do so:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select the Alerts tab and select a payment > press Refund payment.

  3. Choose to refund items or refund amount and indicate a reason for refund.

  4. Click Issue refund to confirm.

If you decide to issue a refund for a payment that was flagged by a risk alert, the payment will be cancelled and the amount paid for the transaction will be refunded to the cardholder. The status of the transaction in the Alerts tab will be updated to refunded.

Read more about refunds with Square.

Other Risk Manager Features

Risk Manager Analytics

Analytics provides an overview of online payments that are impacted by Risk Manager rules and alerts, as well as any disputes or blocked payments. Data from Analytics provides more information on the impact Risk Manager has on your payments and can help you to determine what actions can be taken to protect your business from fraud risk.

You can filter and sort information to view the total dollar amount of online payments that are affected by your rules and blocks, the percentage of payments that are alerted by your rules, as well as see what portion of payments result in a dispute.

You are able to export and download your Risk Manager payments information in to a report. To do so:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Analytics > Key metrics.
  3. Choose a Risk Manager filter—alerts, blocks, or disputes.

Set up Risk Manager notifications

You can choose to receive email notifications when a payment has been flagged by a Risk Alert. To do so:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Toggle on Alert notifications.

If you need to edit the email address that Alert Notifications are sent to, you can read additional instructions in our Support Centre.

Set up business units with Risk Manager

You control which of your business units are using and being charged for Risk Manager. To do so:

  1. Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click on the Settings tab.
  3. Under “Business units,” select or unselect any business units as needed.
  4. Click the slider button for each corresponding business unit to select it. Next, click Enroll or Unenroll in the popup window.

Applicable subscription fees will be applied to any business units that are enrolled in Risk Manager.

For more information on Risk Manager, visit our Risk Manager FAQ.

Disclaimer: Although this tool is designed to help prevent payment disputes, the risk of a payment dispute is present with all card payments. Sellers will continue to be liable for all payments they accept and the disputes they receive. Square is not assuming liability for payments, regardless of the risk evaluation that is delivered.

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