Nigerian digital payment startup NowNow has joined forces with global payment giant Mastercard to improve the cybersecurity options available to Nigerian SMEs who typically do not have the resources to defend themselves from massive cyber attacks
As part of the Mastercard Start Path Global Program, designed for later-stage startups, NowNow, whose aim is to help Nigerian SMEs reduce the risk of cyberattacks, will receive operational support, commercial engagement, and the opportunity for strategic investment from Mastercard.
NowNow Digital Payment Systems is an African B2B and B2C FinTech company whose goal is to help Africans access financial services. The company supports local SMEs with regular web application penetration tests to ensure the software is not vulnerable to cyber threats. The service is currently available in Nigeria and Angola and is expanding into several other developing markets (Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, and UAE).
Both NowNow and Mastercard recognize SME communities are attractive targets for cybercriminals as they typically lack the financial resources to defend themselves properly. Thus, Mastercard has previously committed $250 million to a five-year initiative to help SMEs, including establishing the MasterCard Trust Centre to address their cybersecurity needs.
Trust Centre provides SMEs with online access to trusted cybersecurity research, curated education, resources, and tools from Mastercard and trusted external sources. The partnership with NowNow will help it reach local African SME communities.
Small businesses in Nigeria are incredibly suffering from global economic turbulence. Thus, the number of MSMEs has greatly reduced to 35 million in 2022 from 39.6 million in 2020. It is worth noting that micro and small enterprises in the country are employing about 88% of the total labour force, and contributing to over 40% of the national GDP.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has recently launched the national card scheme AfriGo to provide more affordable payment options for Nigerians.