Mastercard has partnered with Nigerian digital payment startup NowNow, to help SMEs reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
There has been a significant increase in cybercrime in recent years. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigeria loses an estimated USD500, 000, 000 (Five Hundred Million United States Dollars) yearly due to cybercrime.
SMEs are a huge target for cybercriminals as they typically do not have the resources to defend themselves or to act accordingly once they have been breached. NowNow supports SMEs with regular web application penetration tests to ensure that applications are not vulnerable to any cyber threats. It is currently available in Nigeria and Angola and is expanding into several other markets (Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, and UAE).
As part of the Mastercard Start Path Global Program, which is designed to help later-stage startups innovate and scale, NowNow was provided with operational support, commercial engagement, and the opportunity for strategic investment.
“As Mastercard brings the next billion people into the digital economy, it is vital that business owners feel as secure and safe from cybercrime as possible. Our partnership with NowNow is key to achieving this. Whether large or small, businesses deserve the peace of mind to operate knowing that they are being kept safe,” said Paul Trueman, Executive Vice President, Product Optimization and Customer Advancement, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard.
The health and sustainability of SMEs is essential for economic prosperity. According to the World Bank; (https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/smefinance), SMEs represent about 90% of businesses globally and employ more than 50% of the global workforce.
Recognizing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, Mastercard committed USD250, 000, 000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars) over a five-year period to help SMEs, including establishing the Mastercard Trust Centre to address their cybersecurity needs.
Sahir Berry, CEO of NowNow says, “Like Mastercard, NowNow is committed to driving financial and digital inclusion by building an ecosystem that digitizes payments and creates access to financial services for businesses, governments, and customers in rural and urban communities using simplified branchless banking initiatives. We are excited to partner with the Mastercard Trust Centre to help our customers improve the security of their cyber ecosystem, and better protect themselves from cyber criminals.”
The Mastercard Trust Centre is a microsite on the Mastercard.com site. It helps SMEs to defend their critical assets, business, and reputation by providing online access to trusted cybersecurity research, curated education, resources, and tools from Mastercard and trusted external sources. Recognizing that each business has unique needs, the Mastercard Trust Centre provides a tailor-made approach, whether they are entrepreneurs starting to learn about cybersecurity, or business owners expanding their knowledge or mastering cybersecurity.
Mastercard develops partnerships with external businesses such as NowNow, non-profit organizations, and governments to bring the Mastercard Trust Centre to its partners’ SME communities.