Visa Study: Small Businesses Optimistic Eyeing Digital Payments for 2022 Growth

As Visa pursues its goal of digitally empowering 50 million small and micro businesses (SMEs), a new study released today – the Visa Global Back to Business Study – 2022 SMB Outlook – found that 90 % of SMEs surveyed said they are optimistic about the future of their businesses, the highest level of optimism in Visa Global Back to Business surveys to date. Although grocery cleaning and mail quarantine may be a thing of the past from an earlier pandemic era, some changes, such as the increased use of digital payments, are here to stay: 82% of SMEs surveyed said they would accept digital options in 2022 and almost half (46%) of consumers surveyed plan to use digital payments more often in 2022, with only 4% saying they will use them less.

“Payments are no longer just about making a sale. It’s about creating a simple and secure experience that reflects its brand across all channels and provides utility to both the business and its customer,” said Jeni Mundy, Global Head Merchant Sales & Acquiring, Visa. “The digital capabilities that small businesses have developed during the pandemic – from contactless to e-commerce – have helped them pivot and survive and, by continuing to build on this foundation, can now help them find new growth. and prosper.”

According to this year’s study, which surveyed small business owners and consumers in nine markets – Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United States – the consensus outlook for 2022 are those of optimism and intention. to digitize even more:

The way forward in 2022 for SMEs

  • 2022 ushers in optimism and confidence: Building on the 90% of SMEs surveyed who are optimistic about their future, 54% saw the past year as an opportunity and say their business is doing well heading into the new year, compared to 46% who said the same in the summer of 2021[1].
  • Go long on digital payments – even crypto: An overwhelming majority of 82% of SMEs surveyed said they plan to accept some form of digital option in 2022 and 73% consider accepting new forms of payment to be fundamental to their business growth. Of those surveyed, 24% said they plan to accept digital currencies such as Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
  • Businesses supported by e-commerce: Of the small businesses surveyed with an online presence, 90% agreed that their survival during the pandemic was due to increased efforts to sell via e-commerce, and said that on average, more than half of their revenue ( 52%) came from online channels in the past three months.
  • Exit change: A majority of SMBs surveyed expect their business to shift to relying exclusively on digital payments in the future. While 64% of respondents expect to be able to make this change within 10 years, 41% say it could happen within the next two years, and 18% are already cashless.

Consumers set the tone in 2022

  • Accelerating to a digital future: More than half of consumers surveyed (52%) said they expect to go cashless within the next 10 years, 25% said it will happen within the next two years, and 16% are not already using than digital payments. Among consumers surveyed, the top benefits of increased use of digital payments were easier online shopping (47%), followed by lower risk of theft (38%) and convenience (37%).
  • Abandoned carts in real life (IRL): Not offering digital payment is often a deciding factor: 41% of consumers surveyed said they abandoned a purchase at a physical store because digital payments weren’t accepted, and younger shoppers are even more likely to do it. Gen Z (59%) and Gen Y (55%) didn’t buy something because there was no way to pay digitally, far more than Gen X (38%) or baby- boomers (19%).
  • Consumers are embracing the global marketplace: As small businesses seek to reach more customers online, 50% plan to increase cross-border sales in 2022. On average, 68% of consumers responded that they were comfortable buying items or services from a company in another country, with 57% citing fraud. the protection typically offered by their credit or debit card provider makes them more comfortable with international trade.

Digital authorization of 50 million small businesses

Since the start of the pandemic, Visa has launched a variety of community programs to help more small businesses accept digital payments and gain better access to the digital economy. As part of this ongoing commitment, Visa also announced today that it has helped digitize 24.8 million SMBs globally, 50% of the multi-year goal it set in 2020 to digitize 50 million SMEs.

In Romania, Visa launched the #MarileAfaceriMici (BigSmallBusinesses) platform last year, with information on digitization solutions and special offers, aimed at helping SMEs adapt to the new economic reality generated by the impact of the pandemic. Together with Romanian banks and partners, Visa has developed innovative services for SMEs that are transforming the way payments are made and helping to optimize business. These include:

  • Phone or tablet transformed into a mobile point of sale: The Visa Tap to Phone mobile application turns Android phones and tablets into payment terminals without the need for additional hardware. Romania is among the top 15 countries in the world where Tap to Phone was launched. Currently, Tap to Phone technology is offered in Romania by Alpha Bank, BCR with Global Payments, CEC Bank, OTP Bank, Visa Wallet and iCard, and the interest of merchants and small businesses in this solution continues to grow due to low cost and convenience.
  • Payment by card directly on the online invoice: SMBs that issue invoices can now collect their money from customers by card, by accessing the payment button added to the digital invoice. This initiative, launched by the online invoicing platform SmartBill in collaboration with Visa, makes it possible to simplify the payment process, to effectively manage the cash flow of SMEs and to increase the rate of collection of invoices.
  • Real-time money transfer: The Visa Direct real-time payment solution enables many use cases across various industries. A great use case is e-commerce, where customers can get their money back almost instantly when they return products or services purchased online by card, providing a strong competitive advantage for merchants who have the solution in place.
  • Digital certificates qualified for electronic signature: Thanks to the partnership with Trans Speed, Visa Business and Visa Premium cardholders could benefit from qualified digital certificates at extremely advantageous costs. According to Romanian and European legislation, the electronic signature based on a qualified digital certificate has the same value as the holographic signature, it can replace it and it is legally enforceable.

More information about the programs Visa has made available to small and micro businesses is also available on the Visa Small Business Hub and the Visa Small Business COVID-19 Support Site.

[1] Global Visa Return to Business Study, 5and Edition, page 6

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