Mastercard is 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, as part of its Getting Back to Small Business support package.

With three in four small businesses in Australia suffering a 75% decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, the 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.

Mastercard Australasia divisional president, Richard Wormald said small businesses play an enormous role in rebuilding local communities on the road to economic recovery.

“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.”

Areas of focus in the Getting Back to Small Business program include:

1. Knowledge to operate in a more digitally orientated world

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.

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.

2. Advice on how to tackle new challenges in the digital domain

With many SMEs 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 a more efficient and effective way to identify, manage and resolve fraud and chargeback disputes.

3. Enabling small businesses to stay secure online

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.

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

Mastercard is offering SMEs access to its 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 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.

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 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.

5. Connecting small businesses with their customers

Mastercard has expanded its online search tool to Australia, enabling customers to see which shops and businesses are open based on daily payment data.