By Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher
- New Visa research shows how essential digital capabilities are for SMBs to compete in a post pandemic world
- Amidst record rise of entrepreneurism, a new class of digitally-native small businesses emerge
(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 16-Sep-2021 — /EuropaWire/ — Visa (NYSE: V), an American multinational payments technology company, has announced the release of its 5th edition of the Visa Back to Business global study. The study finds that 68% of consumers say COVID-19 has permanently changed how they will pay. The company has helped to digitally-enable an estimated 16 million small and micro businesses (SMBs) worldwide, or just over 30% of the multi-year goal it set in 2020 to digitise 50 million SMBs. Visa launched community-based initiatives in the UK and around the world to assist small businesses with digital payments.
“With a 19-month view into the pandemic, we’ve seen that small businesses who embraced digital commerce and cross-border sales have weathered the pandemic better,” said Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer, seller, core and platform products, Visa. It’s not about surviving and pivoting. We’re now seeing a hopeful surge in entrepreneurship, and as we march toward our goal of 50 million, we’re helping a new breed of business owner come online as digitally-native for the first time.”
Visa Back to Business Study: A Global Pulse on Payment Preferences
The Visa Back to Business global research study has surveyed SMB owners and their customers since the onset of the global pandemic. With an extensive body of sentiment data accumulated through five editions, findings from the newest study highlight the economic opportunity that lies in connecting SMBs, communities and technology:
- SMBs Still Working to Meet Consumer Expectations: The pandemic has dramatically increased consumers’ concern with touching cash and payment readers and correspondingly, increased the desire to tap to pay1. Seventy-four (74%) percent of SMBs around the world expect customers will continue to prefer contactless payments as much as, or more than they do now, with two in five (40%) SMBs citing contactless among the top investments needed to meet customer expectations.
- Contactless as a Competitive Edge: Stores that don’t accept contactless payments could run an increased risk of losing customers as a result. More than two in five (44%) consumers say they wouldn’t shop at a store that only offers payment methods that require contact with a cashier or shared device. Previous research from Visa also found that, of the UK small businesses surveyed which were confident of bouncing back from the pandemic, two thirds (67%) said that their in-store experience for customers has improved due to the acceptance contactless and digital payments.2
- Prioritising Online Security: Many SMBs surveyed said the shift presented new challenges with the top concerns cited as data privacy and security (33%), cost to invest in digital infrastructure (31%) and having less of a personal connection with customers (30%).
- Opportunity Knocks for New, Digitally-Savvy SMBs: While 54% of SMBs say the past year has been a challenge for their business, 46% have viewed it as an opportunity, up from 38% in November 2020. Among those who saw 2020 as an opportunity, their focus has been on new products (37%) and expanding their sales channels (34%), with 23% having started a completely new business.
Unlocking Access to the Digital Economy
Recognising that greater digitisation of commerce can bring enormous benefits to small businesses, Visa seeks to bring increased digital equity and inclusivity to the world through its multi-year commitment to digitally enable 50 million SMBs.
Visa works closely with its network partners in the UK to digitally empower small businesses affected by pandemic. Among them, Visa’s support of ShopAppy.com at the beginning of the pandemic helped to achieve an 166% increase in merchants signing up to the e-commerce platform and 168 towns registered, up from 29 towns before the partnership3. Meanwhile, Visa’s backing of Totally Locally’s Fiver Fest resulted in 68% of participating businesses seeing an increase in footfall and three in five (62%) seeing an increase in sales4.
Visa will continue to celebrate and promote the important role of SMBs in local communities and the global economy.
More information on the initiatives Visa has made available to small and micro businesses is available on the Visa Small Business Hub and the Visa Small Business COVID-19 support site.
1Source: US Contactless Online Research Study April 2020
2Source: Visa Fiver Fest research amongst UK SMBs, May 2021
4Totally Locally, 2020
Methodology: Visa Back to Business Study
The Visa Back to Business Study: 5th Edition, was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 15-28, 2021, among 2,250 small business owners at companies with 100 employees or fewer in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United States. The consumer portion surveyed 1,000 adults ages 18+ in the U.S., and 500 adults ages 18+ in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.
About Visa Inc.
Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to make the world more connected by providing the best, most reliable, and secure payment network. This will enable individuals, businesses, and economies to prosper. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. Its constant focus on innovation has been a catalyst for rapid growth in connected commerce on all devices. Visa’s brand, products and people are transforming the future of commerce as the world shifts from analog to digital. For more information, visit our website (www.visa.co.uk), blog (https://www.visa.co.uk/visa-everywhere/blog.html), and @VisaUK.
+44 (0)20 7795 5336
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