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Process Offline Payments

The Square app requires an internet connection at all times to function properly. This can be either a Wi-Fi connection or a data service on your mobile device (such as 4G, 5G or EDGE).  If your internet connection becomes interrupted or temporarily unavailable, you can accept payments during an offline session and upload them once you have an internet connection again.  

Offline payments are stored in your Square app and will process automatically when you reconnect your device to the Internet. You must reconnect to the internet within 24 hours of losing internet connectivity or taking your first offline payment, depending on what Square hardware (and connected hardware) you are using.  Any offline payment that is not processed within 24 hours will expire and the funds will not be received from your customer. Your current processing rate will be applied to offline transactions, so you’ll see no difference in fees.

When accepting offline payments, it is important to note that: 

  • There is additional risk with any offline payments you accept. Square is not responsible for any loss due to declined cards or expired payments taken while offline. In addition, Square can not contact any customers on your behalf should an offline payment be declined or expire.

  • You are responsible for any expired, declined, or disputed payments accepted while offline. Before taking an offline payment, we recommend you verify the name of the cardholder as well as the expiration date to ensure it’s a valid card.

  • If you have pending offline payments, do not delete the app or factory reset the device. Pending offline payments will be permanently lost, and the funds won’t be captured if you log out of your Square account. 

  • If you have a Square Terminal, Square Register, or Square Stand, do not sign out of the Square app or your Square account. Pending offline payments will be permanently lost, and the funds won’t be captured.

  • When taking offline payments, you will not be able to accept Square Gift Cards, Afterpay, Cash App Pay, and you will not be able to manually enter a card number.

Compatible Square Apps

Offline payments are available on the following Point of Sale apps:

Devices and Payment Types

With offline payments enabled, you can accept payments from the following card brands:

  • Mastercard

  • Visa

  • American Express

  • Discover

  • JCB

  • Apple Pay

  • Google Pay

Afterpay transactions, Cash App Pay, Square gift cards, e-gift cards, and manually-entered cards will not work with offline payments.

Dip, tap, and swipe payment acceptance functionality using offline payments varies by device.

Device Dip Tap Swipe Apple Pay,
Google Pay
Square Terminal Yes Yes Yes Yes
Square Register Yes Yes Yes Yes
Square Stand
(1st generation)*

No

No

Yes

No
Square Stand
(2nd generation) and Square Stand Mount**

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Square Reader for
Contactless and Chip
(1st gen, v1-2)

No

No

No

No
Square Reader for
Contactless and Chip
(1st gen, v3)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Square Reader for
Contactless and Chip
(2nd gen)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Square Reader
for Magstripe

No

No

Yes

No

*Square Stand (1st generation) can support offline dip and tap payments when combined with a compatible Square Reader for contactless and chip (2nd generation, or 1st generation - v3).
**Square Stand (2nd generation) and Square Stand Mount require a Square Reader for magstripe to accept swipe payments offline.

Enable Offline Payments

Offline payments must be enabled on your device prior to going offline. 

Enable offline payments by tapping ≡ More > Settings > Checkout > Offline payments > toggle on > Allow.

Offline payments will be enabled on all compatible devices signed into your account. 

In order for your team members to enable or disable offline payments, they will need to have the Configure Checkout Settings box checked in their permissions setting. Team members without this permission granted can still process offline payments, but will be unable to enable or disable offline payments.

Once enabled, you will see a notification banner at the top of your device screen indicating that your device has automatically started an offline payments session accompanied by a countdown clock showing how much time you have left to accept offline payments. You will receive an in-app notification when your offline session has expired or if it was interrupted. 
Note: Square Register and Square Terminal will not show an on-screen countdown clock.
After you have regained internet connectivity and uploaded your offline payments, another offline session will activate if you lose connectivity again.

Offline payments will appear as pending from your in-app payment history while your device is offline. When you reconnect your device to the internet, payments will show as completed and will be visible from your online Square Dashboard. Customers’ digital receipts and your payment notification emails will also be sent when the device is back online.


Time Limits

Payment card industry partners and regulators set specific requirements related to the duration of offline payment sessions. Due to those requirements, offline payments product features, including the duration and availability of offline payments may differ based on the payment type and hardware used.

When the offline payments feature has been enabled you will see a notification banner at the top of your device screen indicating that your device has automatically started an offline payments session accompanied by a countdown clock showing how much time you have left to accept offline payments. You will receive an in-app notification when your offline session has expired or if it was interrupted.

Note: Square Register and Square Terminal will not show an on-screen countdown clock.

There are duration limitations associated with how long you can accept offline payments once you go offline and how long you have to upload offline payments once you regain internet connectivity.

You’ll have up to 24 hours from when your device goes offline to accept and upload offline payments using:

  • Square Reader for magstripe for swipe payments, only if you have other Square hardware (Square Reader for contactless and chip or Square Stand) connected to the same device.

  • Square Reader for contactless and chip (1st generation - v3) for dip and tap payments.

  • Square Reader for contactless and chip (2nd generation) for dip and tap payments.

  • Square Stand (1st generation) for swipe payments, only if you have other Square hardware (specifically Square Reader for contactless and chip) connected to the same device.

  • Square Stand (2nd generation) for dip and tap payments.

Note: For the products listed above, you must reconnect your device to the internet and upload your offline payments within 24 hours of the start of your offline payments session.

Offline payments are not available on Square Reader for contactless and chip (1st generation - v1 and v2). Learn how to identify your Square Reader for contactless and chip in our Support Center.

You’ll have up to 24 hours from when you process the first offline payment to accept and upload offline payments using:

  • Square Reader for magstripe for swipe payments.

  • Square Stand (1st generation) for swipe payments.

  • Square Terminal for swipe, dip, and tap payments.

  • Square Register for swipe, dip, and tap payments.

Note: For the products listed above, you must reconnect your device to the internet and upload your offline payments within 24 hours of when you process your first offline payment.

Accept Offline Payments Safely

There is additional risk when accepting payments offline. Square is not responsible for any loss due to declined cards or expired payments taken while offline. In addition, Square can not contact any customers on your behalf should a payment be declined or expire when taken as an offline payment. 

  • Be sure to obtain a signature for every transaction (where possible) and verify the signature on the screen matches the signature on the back of the payment card. If the card is not signed, ask your customer for a government-issued ID and to sign the card.

  • Looking at their ID, match the signature to the signature on the payment card. While you can’t require your customer to provide an ID, and requesting an ID doesn’t change your liability for chargebacks, unsigned cards are invalid and should not be accepted.

Remember, if a payment card is declined, Square is unable to provide customer contact information or contact the customer on your behalf.

Refund Offline Payments 

Offline payments can’t be canceled or refunded while they are still processing. You can issue a refund once your Internet connection has been restored.

To issue a refund:

  1. Complete your pending payments by reconnecting to the Internet within 24 hours of the original transaction time.

  2. This will automatically upload your payments.

  3. Once complete, you can issue a refund from the Transactions tab of your Square Terminal, Square Register, or online Square Dashboard.

FAQ

Learn more via our Offline Payments FAQ.