Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, announced a commitment to support 10 million small businesses across Asia Pacific to get local communities back to business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Introducing programs and solutions to help SMEs drive efficiency and sales by accepting and making payments digitally to meet increased demand for cashless payments.
“Commerce across Asia Pacific is shifting further into digital in the wake of COVID-19, from more people ordering essentials online to people looking for secure, touchless ways to pay in person,” said Chris Clark, regional president, Asia Pacific, Visa. “Visa’s role as a payments network means we can help SMEs adapt to these new ways of managing and growing their business, ensuring that these crucial players can recover.”
To help small businesses, Visa is focusing initially on the following four strategic areas to promote digital commerce and economic growth
• Empowering digital-first businesses: Visa has built localised online resource centres – now available in more than 20 countries and territories – providing tools, partner offers and information on how to start, run and grow a digital small business. Visa is teaming up with leading eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and Boutir to help local businesses get online and will be expanding its global partnership with IFundWomen to Asia Pacific, providing grants and digital training to women-owned small businesses in India.
• Encouraging digital payments: Deploying easy to adopt touchless payment technology including solutions that do not require point-of-sale systems and can enable a merchant’s mobile phone to become a payment terminal.
• Incentivising neighbourhood 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 has been launched in a few countries and will be further expanded globally.
• Developing positioning and policy: Visa also announced the formation of the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute, comprising Visa experts and partners who will help address underlying problems and provide insights for SMEs growth and closing racial and gender gaps.
Today’s announcement follows a global commitment from the Visa Foundation announced in April, to provide USD210 million in COVID-19 relief funding to address the longer-term needs of the small and micro business community over the next five years.
As the trusted engine of commerce, Visa is committed to using its global network to help the world adapt, rebuild and get everyone back to business.