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Risk Manager FAQ

Risk Manager is a tool that helps you spot and manage potential fraud from online payments you process with Square. You can create rules in Square Dashboard to trigger your own fraud alerts, invoke 3D Secure or 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.

Getting Started

How do I sign up for Risk Manager?

Getting started with Risk Manager is a quick and simple process. To get set up:

  1. Log in to your online Square Dashboard and navigate to Payments > Risk Manager.
  2. Click Get Started.
  3. Select the business location(s) you wish to activate with Risk Manager > 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.

If you need assistance with getting Risk Manager set up on your Square account, you can contact us.

How much does Risk Manager cost?

Risk Manager is currently free to use, with no transaction fees. In the future, we may offer a potential premium version where certain new features would include a fee.

Note: Risk Manager is not available on transactions processed via Square Virtual Terminal or Afterpay.

Risk Manager rules

What is a rule?

You can create a rule that allows you to choose what actions can be taken on an online payment if certain conditions within that rule are met. For example, you can set a rule to either trigger a risk alert or to decline a payment depending on the rule settings. You can also set your rule to be based on factors such as Square’s own risk evaluation, AVS mismatch, invalid CVV or suspicious transaction amounts.

Read more about different rule conditions and payments terms with Risk Manager.

Learn about setting up and viewing rules with Risk Manager.

Risk Manager alerts

What is a risk alert?

Risk alerts allow you to view additional information regarding online payments that were flagged by risk rules that you created. In addition, default rules provided by Square will also trigger risk alerts. Risk alerts can help to determine whether flagged payments should be refunded to avoid disputes, as well as blocking a suspicious payment card from completing additional transactions with your business.

Read more about setting up alerts.

Why does a blue outline appear around certain payment cards?

You may notice that a blue outline appears around the last four digits of a card when moving your cursor around the Alerts tab within Risk Manager. This indicates that there is a risk alert on the highlighted payment card for the time frame you are viewing. If there is more than one risk alert on the same payment card for a particular time frame, you will see the same card listed multiple times with the blue outline appearing around each transaction that was flagged by a risk alert.

What does ‘status’ indicate?
The status column of a payment in the Alerts tab reveals what stage the payment is at while processing. If a payment has not yet been completed, the status will be reflected as pending. Payments that have been completed will show as processed. You may also see voided or refunded payment statuses.

What does ‘country’ indicate?

This column of the Alerts tab will show a two-letter code representing the country that issued the payment card.

Taking action on alerts

What happens when I select and open a risk alert?

Unread risk alerts are bolded. When you select an unread risk alert, additional details will appear in a new screen. If a saved card on file was used for a payment, you’ll be able to see that buyer’s transaction history with your business. You’ll also be able to view any provided shipping and billing addresses, as well as other payment-specific information. In the instance that you experience buyer fraud, we want you to have as much information about your transactions as possible so you can make an informed decision about taking action on a risk alert.

From the alert’s detail page, you can either issue a refund for the transaction, block the card that was used for completing the transaction or dismiss the alert.

Once you navigate back to the Alerts table, any alerts you have opened will show as plaintext. If you selected dismiss alert when viewing an alert, that alert will be italicized. You can choose to view unread, read or dismissed alerts using the filters at the top of the alerts table.

What happens when I dismiss a risk alert?

Dismissing an alert causes it to be filtered. No action is taken to affect the payment status, and the buyer is not notified that there was an alert on their payment. You can view your dismissed alerts by filtering for them within the table.

What happens when I block a payment card?

Blocking a card prevents that card from being used to make purchases with your business moving forward. If you identify what you believe to be a fraudulent transaction, you can take this action to prevent future payments being made with that card. The buyer is not alerted when you take this action.

In addition to blocking payment cards, you can also block email addresses and IP addresses without alerts from processing a transaction when available. In order to do so, navigate to your Block List and click on Create block. From here, you can search for the transaction with the last 4 digits of the payment card or with the transaction note.

What happens when I issue a refund for the transaction?

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 buyer. The status of the transaction in the Alerts tab will be updated to refunded.

Learn more about refunds with Square.

Risk Manager Allow List

What is an 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 payment card owner will not be notified when you add or remove their card in your Allow List.

Learn more about the Risk Manager Allow List in our Support Centre.

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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