Throughout this year and across the UK, the Federation of Small Businesses has been delivering a programme of regional ‘masterclasses’ to help small businesses make the most of the opportunities available to them – and to prepare for the challenges that they have to overcome.

In the West Midlands, the next such event is taking place this Friday at The Innovation Centre on Longbridge Technology Park.

There, we will be teaming up with online payments provider Worldpay and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who will deliver two workshop sessions looking at the lessons learned from the introduction of recent regulation regarding online payments and data protection.

In the first session, Worldpay will explain the 2018 Payment Services Directive, which sets requirements for firms that provide payment services. It affects everything from what information people see when they pay online to the way they make payments.

Delegates will also hear about the changes taking place that will affect them and how they, with their card payments provider, can take steps to improve security for their customers and their own businesses.

In the second session, the ICO will focus on the shift in privacy and information rights arising from the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

They will describe some of the lessons learned since the introduction of the Act, highlighting that more than 40,000 data protection breaches and more than 14,000 personal data breaches have been reported in the first 12 months since its introduction.

These are both areas that can be daunting for businesses – especially smaller ones. However, the disruption and potential stiff penalties associated with falling foul of these latest regulations, mean that it is more important than ever to keep business and customer information secure.

After all, by keeping their data secure, small businesses can reduce the risk of business crime, increase customer confidence and save themselves both time and money.

Event information and booking details are available from the West Midlands region page on our website,