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Home>Issuing Refunds

Refund Overview

Process refunds for payments directly from the Square app or your online Square Dashboard.

Refunds processed through Square on a mobile device must be requested and completed within 1 year of the original transaction. Payments refunded via your online Square Dashboard can be refunded within one year of the original transaction date.

When you issue a refund, your customer will be refunded their full purchase amount, and you will be refunded Square’s processing fee.

A team member’s ability to process refunds is determined by their role and permissions.

Overview: Refunds with Square

Refund Details Payments
Full Refund Yes
Partial Refund Yes
Itemized Refund Yes
Processed more than one year ago via Dashboard No
Processed more than 1 year ago via mobile device No

How Refunds Work

Refund Process

Once a refund is initiated, Square will debit the amount you were paid (sale amount minus initial processing fee), and will credit the full purchase amount back to your customer’s card. Square will be responsible for covering the processing fees associated. For example, if the amount of the refunded transaction was $25, then you will be debited $24.31 and the fees ($0.69 in this case) are covered by Square. $25 will be returned to your customer.

The same process applies for partial refunds. The amount you are debited (and fees Square refunds) will be proportional to the partial refund amount requested.

You will receive email notifications once a refund is requested as well as when a refund completes.

Watch our YouTube video to learn more about processing Refunds:

Where will the funds or refund come from?

How you are charged for refunds depends on your transfer schedule.

If you receive automatic nightly transfers, your Square account balance will be used to cover the amount of the refund and your bank account will be debited for any remaining amount needed. Using the $25 payment/refund example above, imagine you had $20 in your Square account balance. To repay your customer, Square would first take $20 from your Square account balance and then debit your bank account for the remaining $4.31. This activity will be reflected in your Transfer Reports on the business day you processed the refund.

If you have a manual transfer schedule (including accounts with a Square Card), Square may debit funds from your bank account even if you have a sufficient Square account balance to cover the refund amounts. This will happen when a refund is requested for a payment taken on a prior day. Using the $25 payment/refund example above, imagine you had $20 in your Square account balance, but the refund was requested a few days after the original payment was taken. To repay your customer, Square would debit your bank account for $24.31. Funds removed from your balance to cover refunds will be reflected as an “Adjustment” line item in Activity > All within the Balance section of your Square Dashboard. If a debit to your bank account is made, it will appear in Activity > Transfers.

Refund Timeline

Once a refund is initiated, the customer should see a pending transaction on their bank account for the refunded amount within 1-3 business days. This timeline to post the transaction ultimately depends on the card-issuing bank. 

Note: Pending transaction notifications currently apply to payments made with Visa, American Express, or Mastercard. Pending transaction notifications will not apply for payments made with other card networks.

Square’s full refund time frame typically takes 2-7 business days. Once the refund is processed and sent to your customer's card issuing bank, it can take another 2-7 business days (depending on the bank's processing speeds) for the refund to post to the customer's account. In total it can take 9-14 business days for your customer to receive their refund.

Payments processed on Square Online are only eligible to refund within 1 year.

Note: Refund requests that aren’t covered by your Square balance may not be approved, even if requested within the appropriate time frame.

Declined Refund

If a refund to a payment card is declined, the buyer will automatically be notified about the decline. In this case, you will be instructed to issue an alternative form of payment to the buyer to complete the refund, such as cash, check, or gift card credit.

Refund Policy

Customize your refund and return policy from the Receipt settings in your online Square Dashboard. Your policy appears on email, text, and printed receipts. If a return policy is absent, it’s assumed there’s no policy. Be sure to clearly state if you don’t offer refunds or warranties.

Note: All major card companies allow cardholders to charge back purchases if a customer can demonstrate that they didn’t receive the purchased product or service. Learn how to protect yourself against chargebacks.

Learn how to process a refund from your Point of Sale app or online Square Dashboard.

Refund Afterpay Transactions

If the customer completed a payment using Afterpay Card and Square hardware, you can issue a full or partial refund within one year of the original transaction date. Learn more about how refunds and returns work at Afterpay via their website.

Full Refunds

If you have returned an order in its entirety and the full amount of the order is refunded, any upcoming payments will be cancelled and any payments you have already made will be refunded back to the card you paid with.

Partial Refund Example

The same principles apply if you’ve returned a portion of an order and received a partial refund. Let’s use the below example to show how this works.

Order #123456 totalled $100, and the first payment of $25 was made at the time of purchase.

Order #123456 $100 Payment Status
First payment $25 PAID
Second payment $25 Due in 2 weeks
Third payment $25 Due in 4 weeks
Fourth payment $25 Due in 6 weeks

The order total was $100 & a refund of $80 was processed.

However, prior to the second payment being made, items totalling $80 were returned. After the $80 refund was processed, the second, third, and fourth payments were cancelled. Additionally, the first payment was retroactively adjusted to $20 and the $5 balance was refunded back to the original card the payment was made with.

Order #123456 $100 Payment Status
First payment $25 Adjusted to $20, refund $5 back to card
Second payment $25 Cancelled
Third payment $25 Cancelled
Fourth payment $25 Cancelled

Findanswers to commonly asked questions about refunds via our Refunds FAQ.

Learn more about: Point of Sale

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