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Get Started with Square Risk Manager

* Risk Manager is now free.

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, trigger a risk alert, or invoke 3D Secure (3DS). 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 Payments > 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, invoke 3DS, 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 > Payments> Risk Manager > Alerts.

  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 Zip compares customer entered billing poastal code 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 postal codes 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 postal code of the billing address is shown. You can also verify that the customer entered postal code 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.

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 won’t be 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 > Payments > Risk Manager.

  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 in your Allow List.

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

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 > Payments > Risk Manager.

  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. 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 > Payments > 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, 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.

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 > Payments > 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 > Payments > 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’re in control of which of your business units use Risk Manager. To set this up:

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

  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.

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.