Mastercard’s comments follow its announcement this week of the launch of its Getting Back to Small Business support package it says is designed to help reignite small business growth in Australia, and offering local SMEs access to a range of digital resources, tools and services to help them “navigate and adapt to the new demands of online commerce”.
According to Mastercard, with three in four small businesses in Australia suffering a 75% decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, the Getting Back to Small Business initiative will offer roughly two million SMEs access to approximately $5,000 worth of tools and services each, alongside a raft of educational resources to help them go digital, between now and early 2021.
“Small businesses play an enormous role in rebuilding local communities on the road to economic recovery,” said Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia, Mastercard
“At present, many lack the technical support to take their business online and often don’t have access to the same networks and resources as their larger counterparts. By removing some of these barriers, Mastercard can help them build new and sustainable revenue streams, setting up local SMEs for success and enabling them to emerge stronger on the other side of the crisis.”
Masterecard lists areas of focus of its Getting Back to Small Business program as:
1. Arming small businesses with the knowledge to operate in a new, more digitally orientated world.
Recent research suggests 30% of Australians are planning to make more online purchases in the future, with some established retailers reporting more than 100% growth in online sales. The program aims to help small businesses open up online quickly and effectively, while ensuring they have access to the support they need on their digital journey.
From creating a website and choosing the right domain name to building a brand on social media, the program connects small businesses with useful tools and services, alongside educational material from Mastercard’s Digital Door Curriculum created in partnership with Hello Alice and SquareSpace.
2. Helping small businesses tackle new challenges in the digital domain.
With many SMEs around Australia taking their businesses online or expanding their digital footprint, some may find themselves facing the risk of card payment disputes, chargebacks and fraud for the first time. In response, Mastercard has extended the free access trial to Ethoca Alerts – its market-leading fraud and chargeback dispute resolution service – until the end of 2020.
An award-winning, near real-time intelligence solution, Ethoca Alerts offers small, medium and large organisations a more efficient and effective way to identify, manage and resolve fraud and chargeback disputes. In the past 12 months, Ethoca Alerts has helped businesses around the world prevent more than 7 million chargebacks and nearly AU$310 million worth of fraud.
3. Enabling small businesses to stay secure online.
With over half of Australians (52%) planning to use less cash in the future, COVID-19 has changed the way consumers are making payments, and it’s important that local small businesses evolve too. Mastercard has partnered with leading banks, acquirers and payment service providers across Australia to offer unparalleled payment security through the latest tokenisation, anti-fraud and authentication technology.
The program will connect small businesses to tools available through banks and payment service providers such as Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) for Merchants and Mastercard Identity Check, providing a more secure way to store and process payment data, and helping to create a seamless experience for consumers while protecting businesses against fraud and false declines.
With 10x more data exchanged per transaction, retailers using Mastercard Identity Check also benefit from payment liability shift for Mastercard transactions made online. This protects against financial loss in the instance of card fraud by shifting online payment transaction liability from the retailer to the issuing bank.
4. Empowering small businesses to take control of their cyber health.
As part of the program, Mastercard is offering SMEs access to its unmatched expertise and experience in securing digital networks and footprints, providing free access to My Cyber Risk and Cyber Quant Lite until the end of 2020.
My Cyber Risk uses safe, non-invasive techniques to provide organisations with a free automated cybersecurity assessment for their customer-facing digital platforms. This assessment helps businesses better understand and act on their enterprise cybersecurity health by continuously discovering their digital footprint and assessing cybersecurity across 40 criteria spanning thousands of checks. My Cyber Risk provides businesses with informative and actionable insights to reduce their digital risks.
Cyber Quant Lite offers a quick yet thorough quantification of cyber risk, in dollars and cents, that a business has taken on despite the security measures they may have put in place. Cyber Quant enables the assessment of control maturities and identification of gaps mapped to current threats based on your industry, sector and region. It also provides prioritised, actionable recommendations that can mitigate cyber risk, enhance digital resilience and enable compliance with various global and industry standards. This allows businesses to better allocate their valuable cybersecurity spending in the proper areas so they can see, over time, a demonstrable reduction in their financial exposure from cyber risks.
5. Connecting small businesses with their customers during uncertain times.
With these unprecedented times causing uncertainty among consumers as to whether their favourite local businesses are still operating, Mastercard has expanded its ShopOpenings.com online search tool to Australia, enabling customers to see which shops and businesses are open based on daily payment data.