09/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2021 07:06
LONDON - September 15, 2021 - Visa (NYSE: V) today announced it 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. Since the start of the pandemic, Visa has launched community-based initiatives across the UK and worldwide, to help more small businesses accept digital payments and gain greater access to the digital economy. The necessity for SMBs to continue to digitally accelerate is underscored by the 5th edition of the Visa Back to Business global study released today, which found that 68% of consumers say COVID-19 has permanently changed how they will pay.
'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. 'But it's no longer just about pivoting and surviving. 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:
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.
In the UK, Visa is working closely with its network of industry, technology and community partners to digitally enable small businesses impacted 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 partnership. 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 sales.
Visa will continue to celebrate the expansive role SMBs play within local communities and the global economy, starting with the launch of a new digital series today, 'Voices of Access,' featuring SMB customers from around the world sharing their unique stories and empowering others to see the possibilities of the digital economy.
 Source: US Contactless Online Research Study April 2020
Source: Visa Fiver Fest research amongst UK SMBs, May 2021
 ShopAppy, 2020
 Totally 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 connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. 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. The company's relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device. As the world moves from analogue to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit our website (www.visa.co.uk), blog (https://www.visa.co.uk/visa-everywhere/blog.html), and @VisaUK.