Mastercard has partnered Nigerian digital payment startup NowNow to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
Mr Paul Trueman, Executive Vice President, Product Optimisation and Customer Advancement, Cyber and Intelligence, Mastercard, made this known in a statement on Friday.
Trueman said that business owners must be secured and safe from cybercrime as possible as Mastercard brings the next billion people into the digital economy.
“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.
“There has been a significant increase in cybercrime in recent years. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigeria loses an estimated $500 million 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 Programme, 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,” he said.
Trueman added that Mastercard had committed $250 million over a five-year period to help SMEs, including establishing the Mastercard Trust Centre, to address their cybersecurity needs in recognitions of the devastating impact of COVID-19.
“The health and sustainability of SMEs is essential for economic prosperity.
“SMEs represent about 90 per cent of businesses globally and employ more than 50 per cent of the global workforce, “he said.
Trueman quoted Sahir Berry, the Chief Executive Officer, NowNow, as saying that the company would remain committed to driving financial and digital inclusion.
“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,” Berry said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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.
Mastercard develops partnerships with external businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments to bring the Mastercard Trust Centre to its partners’ SME communities.(NAN)