Visa to Digitally Enable 50 Million Small Businesses to Power Recovery in Communities Worldwide
Company Introduces Online Resource Hubs, Visa Small Business Street Teams, Local
Small businesses will play a vital role in helping communities around the world recover – they account for more than half of global employment and yet, are among the most affected by the pandemic. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, 43% of SMBs say they only have money to last six months1 and less than half of SMBs have any online business2.
In addition to the economic impact, COVID-19 is accelerating the use of digital commerce experiences, from people seeking new ways to pay that do not involve touching a terminal to a boom in eCommerce, as stay-home orders result in shopping online instead of in-store. How much people spend online is also increasing globally, with spend per active card-not-present cardholder up by over 25% in April, compared to January3.
“Small businesses on the frontlines of the global economy deserve extraordinary support in this extraordinary time,” said
To help small businesses, Visa is focusing initially on four strategic areas to promote digital commerce and economic growth, with plans to continue to create products and services as the needs of entrepreneurs change over time. These areas include:
Empowering digital-first businesses: Visa has built localized online resource centers – now available in more than 20 countries – providing tools, partner offers and information on how to start, run and grow digital-first small businesses. Across European markets, Visa is investing to increase the number of digital payment acceptance devices within shops by more than 50%. In the
U.S., Visa is expanding its partnership with IFundWomen providing grants and digital training to U.S.-based Black women-owned small businesses.
Encouraging digital payments: Major shifts in consumer behavior have occurred around the globe, including the overarching need for a touchless experience at the point-of-sale as 90% of shoppers are hesitant to shop in-store due to coronavirus.4 Deploying easy to adopt contactless payment technology – rapidly, and at scale – is critical to enabling faster, more secure commerce. Visa is working with a range of partners to increase the number of locations where consumers can tap their contactless card or mobile phone. Starting in July, Visa street teams will visit merchants to provide “back to business” kits with new point-of-sale materials, branding, educational resources and special offers. The program will kick off in the 50 largest
U.S.cities and expand globally to 15 countries including Singapore, Italy, and South Africa.
Incentivizing neighborhood support: Visa partnerships encourage consumers to shop local and remind them that where you shop matters. The Visa Back to
Business Project– an online tool that helps consumers identify businesses that may be open in the wake of the pandemic or a natural disaster – is now live in Australia, New Zealandand the U.S., and further expanding globally. In Europeand across Central Europe, Middle Eastand Africa, Visa has launched new SMB initiatives that champion and enable entrepreneurs while encouraging consumers to support small businesses. Visa is teaming up with eCommerce platforms like Shopify, and restaurant delivery companies, including Deliveroo, to reward consumers for spending their money locally.
Developing positioning and policy: In addition to the initiatives Visa is undertaking, the company today announced the formation of the
Visa Economic Empowerment Institute. This new institute comprised of Visa experts and partners will help address underlying problems and provide insights for SMB growth and closing racial/gender gaps. Key projects in the next six months will address topics including post-crisis recovery and resilience, urban mobility, closing equality opportunity gaps and insights into the gig economy.
Today’s announcement follows a global commitment from the
As the trusted engine of commerce, Visa is committed to leveraging its global network of networks to help the world adapt, rebuild and get everyone back to business.
2 Visa Digital Transformation of SMBs, 2018
3 Visa data,
4 Retail Systems Research Consumer Report,
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