Visa’s digital transformation initiatives hits 100 partner milestone

Visa’s digital business initiative focussed on small business owners has hit the milestone of 100 partners across Europe.

The payments giant said that its initiatives have helped more than two million small firms across Europe build their digital capabilities since the program launched in the summer of 2020.

With many having to operate under restrictions and lockdowns, small businesses are increasingly moving their operations online and embracing digital payments, the research found.

Visa data also shows that over 10 countries in Europe have seen a 20 per cent increase in online sales and eight in ten transactions are now contactless.

Research carried out by Visa found that 65 per cent of small businesses are concerned about the future of their business.

As a result, Visa commitment to help eight million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Europe – and 50 million globally - to get online, adapt and future proof their business.

The commitment has prompted partnerships with banks, governments, commerce platforms and technology partners to digitally enable small businesses, including:
-Work on public private partnerships with governments in Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, to provide contactless acceptance terminals and software free of charge for the first 12 months.

-New payments acceptance technology ‘Tap-to-phone’, which transforms mobile devices into payment terminals has been rolled out to small businesses across Europe include the UK.

-Online tools rollout through partnerships with online platforms and digital marketplaces so that small stores can set up an online presence.

Visa has also expanded its Practical Business Skills platform, a global digital platform delivering free education resources to help small and micro business (SMB) owners in their plans for digital transformation.

The company has extended the Where You Shop Matters campaign, calling on consumers to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities.

Examples of local campaigns to galvanise support for local shops include Champion Green (Ireland), Smart SME (Turkey) and Fiver Fest (UK).

Hemlata Narasimhan, senior vice president of merchant sales and acquiring Europe at Visa said: “Small businesses play a crucial role in our communities and many continue to operate under challenging conditions brought on by Covid-19. We continue to be inspired by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit many small business owners have shown, adapting how they do business to keep serving their customers.

“We are proud that over two million small businesses have been able to benefit from our partner initiatives. We remain committed to continue working with our clients and partners towards an economic recovery that keeps small businesses at the heart of our communities.”

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