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Risk Manager Glossary

With Square’s Risk Manager, you can create your own rules to determine what happens when you process a suspicious payment that meets certain criteria.

Below is a glossary of Risk Manager terms and conditions you can use to create a rule.

Risk Manager Rule Conditions

Rule Term Definition Triggers an Alert Triggers a Payment Decline
Address Verification System (AVS)* Address Verification System or AVS checks to see if the buyer’s provided billing address matches the address that is on file with the card issuer. If these match, a green check mark will appear in this column in the Alerts tab. If the addresses don’t match, a red X will appear instead. You can select AVS does not match as a condition for any rule action. Yes Yes
Card Verification Value (CVV) Card Verification Value or CVV is the 3-digit verification code on the back of a Visa, MasterCard or Discover card. For American Express, this is the 4-digit verification code on the front of the card. You can select CVV invalid as a rule action for instances when this code is entered incorrectly. Yes Yes
Square’s Risk Evaluation Square uses its own payments data information to determine if an incoming payment has a high or moderate risk of fraud. You can select either of these risk evaluations as conditions for any rule action. Yes Yes
Payment Amount You can target your rules based on transaction amount. This can help identify riskier transaction sizes, if they’re related to certain items, or if the payment is outside of your normal business patterns. You can set rules to alert you about a payment that is above or below a threshold, or between a range; or alert you about a payment that is more than double the average payment size on your account. ** Yes Yes, but only in combination with at least one other rule condition
Payment Velocity Used for instances where repeat transactions are attempted on the same payment card. You can limit the number of times a customer can complete a purchase from you in a single day before you are either alerted by Risk Manager or the payments will begin to decline, based on the action you choose. Choose between up to 3, 5, or 10 transactions in a 24 hour period. Yes Yes
Prepaid Payment Cards Prepaid cards, such as Visa or American Express gift cards, are non-traceable funds and can present a higher risk to your business. If you are noticing a pattern of prepaid cards being used to defraud your business, you can be notified when there is a prepaid card used to make a purchase. Yes Yes, but only in combination with at least one other rule condition
International Payment Cards If the payment card’s country of origin differs from your business’ operating country or the country where you are processing payments, you can set an alert or decline the transaction. Yes Yes
Buyer IP Address is outside of country If the buyer IP’s country of origin differs from your business’ operating country or the country where you are processing payments, you can set an Alert or decline the transaction. Yes Yes

* For AVS, If the card is issued in a country that doesn’t use AVS or if we’re unable to compare information due to technical error, AVS results will be unavailable. You have the option of selecting AVS unavailable as a condition to trigger an alert or decline a payment. Additionally, it is always possible that a cardholder has moved and hasn’t updated their billing information with the card issuer. However, sometimes this type of mismatch can indicate that a card has been stolen and used fraudulently, thus increasing the risk of a payment dispute.

** For the payment amount rule condition, it can be used to alert you on payments by itself, or to alert or decline in conjunction with another rule condition (e.g. payment amount is >$100 and risk evaluation is high).

Learn more about Risk Manager in our Support Center.


Note: 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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