Small businesses look to digital payments for growth

It’s clear that consumers are shifting toward a world in which they rely less on paper money, and businesses are already following suit. The next decade of commerce may look nearly unrecognizable when compared to commerce of the past. Visa recently released the findings of a survey that found that 82% of SMBs will accept digital payment options this year. Nearly half (46%) of consumers also expect to use digital payments more often. Only 4% said they would use digital payments less. 

Small businesses (59%) said they plan to go completely digital with payments over the next two years, or, they’re already doing a cashless operation. Only 16% said they would never make the shift to digital-only payments. 

The survey found that 64% of respondents anticipate being able to make such a shift within 10 years. Of the SMBs polled, 18% are cashless already.

Image via Visa

Visa’s head of merchant sales, Jeni Mundy, commented, “Payments are no longer about simply completing a sale. It’s about creating a simple and secure experience that reflects one’s brand across channels and provides utility to both the business and its customer. The digital capabilities that small businesses built up during the pandemic — from contactless to e-commerce — helped them pivot and survive. And by continuing to build on this foundation, digital payments can now help them find new growth and thrive.”

Eighty-two percent of SMBs said they plan to accept digital options this year, while 73% view accepting new forms of payments as “fundamental” to their business growth. Twenty-four percent even said they intend to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Ninety percent of small businesses with an online presence said their survival through the pandemic was due to increased efforts to sell via e-commerce. 

Image via Visa

On the consumer side of things, over half of the respondents said they expect to shift to being cashless within the next ten years, with 25% saying this would happen in the next two years. Sixteen percent reported already using digital-only payments. Forty-seven percent said the top benefit is easier online shopping, followed by less risk of robbery (38%), and convenience (37%).

Another finding of note is that 41% of consumers surveyed said they have abandoned a purchase in a physical store because digital payments were not accepted. Visa points out that younger shoppers are even more likely to do this.

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