Paymate, an online payment services processing company, has now made trading online even safer with the expansion of Trustmark. Paymate allows anyone in New Zealand to safely accept payments via credit card without the need for separate bank merchant facilities or a gateway service.I had a chat with Dilip Rao, founder and managing director of Paymate, to find out why Trustmark and Paymate are important and relevant for New Zealand SMB owners. Trustmark is a product and service offered through Paymate that was introduced to give sellers and buyers added security. The generic Paymate service already protects all sellers from fraudulent buyers, but Trustmark further secures the seller from charge-back fees. Additionally, it protects the buyer from fraudulent sellers by closely monitoring the track records of established Trustmark business users. Trustmark is being expanded to 5,000 new businesses across New Zealand and Australia. TradeMe, Trustmark’s first New Zealand partner, has been having great success with the program since last year. Despite TradeMe’s wide reach in New Zealand, half of Trustmark and Paymate’s business has come from independent websites. Dilip Rao suggests that is because the product is so incredibly simple to use, and it costs nothing to set up. The small business owner can quickly set up the program on his or her own with no sign-up fees, and no costs unless an item is sold using Paymate. In that case, 3% of the purchase price is deducted once the seller receives payment. Research conducted by Paymate shows that 20% of transactions processed in New Zealand are coming from overseas. This highlights the need for a safe and secure payment system, like Paymate and Trustmark, which can accept payment in New Zealand dollars or several foreign currencies. Without Paymate, the online seller wears the liability for every transaction. Now, no small business owner needs to take that risk.According to Rao, not a lot of small business owners recognise the significant risk posed by trading online. “There is a real naivety surrounding this issue,” he said. Paymate offers risk education and ongoing support to its customers to try to raise awareness about safety. Part of this service includes a phone call to new clients after their first payment to walk them through the process, ensuring that each step is taken with care and caution. At this stage, Paymate is the only provider offering this service in New Zealand. With the expansion of Trustmark, a program that cannot be purchased, but must be earned by the seller, buyers can now share a high level of confidence with sellers.