SAN JUAN – Mastercard is launching free tools and resources to help small businesses across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) cope with the pandemic’s repercussions.
As part of the initiative to help small businesses protect their operations as they migrate their companies online, Mastercard is providing free cyber vulnerability assessments and identity theft protection for the rest of 2020. The company is also launching educational resources and COVID19 related content through its MastercarBiz portal, which is being amplified by the Inter-American Development Bank's ConnectAmericas platform, the company said in its press release.
The financial services company cited data from that region, saying that, according to Alampyme four and a half million small and medium-sized enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer an estimated $ 13 billion loss following the COVID-19 closures. This fact affects not only small business owners but also the region’s economies and communities. In Latin America and the Caribbean alone, SME’s make up 99% of companies, contribute 30% of Gross Domestic Product, and employ 70% of the population.
“Small businesses are among the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is vital that they are protected,” said Daniel Acosta, senior vice president of Commercial products for Mastercard LAC. “At Mastercard, we are committed to helping them sustain themselves through this global crisis by providing access to resources they need to safeguard their systems now, and for the future.”
The following are some of the services being offered to businesses, as explained by Mastercard:
Free Cyber Vulnerability Assessments & ID Theft Protection
To help small businesses protect their operations, RiskRecon a Mastercard company, is providing LAC small businesses free cyberhealth assessments to help them identify and address potential vulnerabilities in their systems. Monitoring and catching vulnerabilities early enable small companies to stay ahead of cybercriminals so they can focus on growing their business instead of fighting costly cyber-attacks.
With free access to RiskRecon's 'My Cyber Risk' service and portal, small businesses will receive continuous cyberhealth assessments along with recommendations for how to strengthen their cybersecurity posture. Small businesses with up to 200 employees can register for this free offering at https://www.riskrecon.com/lacsmb-en . This program is offered at no cost through December 31, 2020.
Dedicated Online Resources to Navigate the Pandemic
These days, small businesses need information to adapt their operations and meet new consumption needs. To that end, Mastercard is putting forth it's small business education portal, MastercardBiz boosting its content with specialized resources, COVID-19 related content and online trainings from ConnectAmericas, the online business platform created by the IDB . This platform helps small and medium enterprises from Latin America and the Caribbean internationalize their business by connecting them to more than 400,000 users from 110 countries to explore private and public business opportunities, and by offering them training tools that enhance their ability to internationalize.  Boosting Consumer Spend, Contactless payments, and a Global Commitment
This announcement follows similar initiatives by Mastercard to support small businesses in LAC and around the world. Examples include multiple campaigns and incentives to encourage consumers to buy from small businesses. Mastercard has also recently enabled higher contactless limits across LAC as part of its global effort to ensure consumers, merchants, and small businesses can safely pay, receive payment, and maintain operations during the COVID-19 crisis. The company also committed $ 250 million in financial, technology, product, and insight assets over the next five years to small businesses globally; and pledged to bring 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.