credit cards all over the ground except one, grasped tightly in the fist of a prospective shopper

Mastercard has previously taken steps to help customers stay safe online when shopping, but today they launched a cybersecurity guide for small businesses.

The guide was launched by Hon Stuart Nash, the Minister for Small Business, as part of Cyber Smart Week. The event highlighted the growth of online services and payments in New Zealand.

“There’s no question that offering customers choice about how they make payments has become a huge focus for New Zealand businesses,” said BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope. “They are often the first line of defence to ensure customers have a safe and secure online experience.”

Small businesses are among cybercriminals’ favourite targets, so the safety guide will come as a welcome relief. New Zealanders spent over four billion dollars online last year, and given the rise of electronic payment systems like Afterpay and Laybuy the trend is expected to continue.

“With 23 billion connected devices globally, and the growth of online services, online shopping and payments revolutionising business, there are increased opportunities for criminals to commit scams and fraud,” said Ruth Riviere, country manager at Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The convenience of electronic payments is such a large draw that even in-store shoppers are connecting payment services that go beyond traditional transactions. Three out of every five New Zealanders shop online, given its speed and ease.

This interconnectedness and speed can put small business owners at risk by exposing them to fraud, among other things. To address concerned business owners, today Mastercard released Staying Safe Online: Cyber Safety Guide for New Zealand Businesses.

Some ways businesses can secure themselves include:

  • Installing up-to-date security software
  • Backing up data and storing it offsite
  • Being cautious of suspicious orders: large ones, ones split over multiple cards, or one requiring urgent delivery.

Ensure you have authentication methods connected to your online payment systems.

For more information, download Mastercard’s Staying Safe Online: Cyber Safety Guide for New Zealand Businesses.