Back to Home

Navigating Square Risk Manager

Creating 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 or trigger a risk alert. Rules can be set based on payment card conditions as well.

If there are certain conditions of a payment that you think indicate suspicious behavior (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. Log in to your online Square Dashboard and navigate to Risk Manager.

  2. Select the Rules tab > Create rule.

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

  4. Press Activate rule.

Once your rule is saved, payments that meet the requirements set by your rule conditions will either trigger a risk alert or the payment will be automatically blocked.

Once a rule is created, it is not possible to be edited. If you need to delete a rule, you can navigate to the Rules tab, select the rule in question and select Delete rule.

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. Log into your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

  2. In the Alerts tab, select Read, Unread, or Dismissed.

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

  4. 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, block the payment card, or dismiss the payment.

Blocking payment cards

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

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

  1. Log in to your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

  2. Select the Alerts tab and select a payment.

  3. From the payment detail page, select Block card.

  4. Indicate a reason and add notes or opt to issue a full refund.

  5. Press Block card.

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

Issuing 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. Log in to your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

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

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

  4. Press Issue refund.

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.

Blocked payments

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

  1. Log into your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

  2. Select The Blocked payments tab.

  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, block list, a rule, or Square) as well as the Reason for the block.

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 seeing what portion of payments result in a dispute.

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

  1. Log into your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

  2. Select the Analytics tab > Key metrics.

  3. Choose a Risk Manager filter, such as alerts, rules, blocked payments, or disputes. Apply additional filters such as location(s) and date range.

  4. Click Export data to download a spreadsheet containing your requested details. You can use Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or Google Sheets to open and view this report.

Setting 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. Log in to your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

  2. Click on the Settings tab.

  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 Center.

Setting 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. Log in to your online Square Dashboard > Risk Manager.

  2. Click on the Settings tab.

  3. Under Business units, select or unselect any business units as needed.

  4. Click to Enroll or Unenroll in the popup window.

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


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.

Can't find what you need?