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Study Reveals Small Businesses Are Prioritizing Business Growth Through Global Expansion

Visa has released the findings of its Global Back to Business Study, revealing that a majority of small and micro businesses (SMBs) plan to prioritize cross-border sales as they seek to expand beyond their local markets. The study also found that a growing number of consumers are embracing digital payments, with nearly 60% of surveyed shoppers predicting they will use digital payments more frequently this year.

According to Jeni Mundy, Global Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring at Visa, small businesses are now able to access customers across borders thanks to the power of digital payments. She added that Visa is witnessing a shift in the mindset of small business owners from survival mode to growth mode, as they utilize digital payments to improve efficiencies, reach new audiences, and thrive in the increasingly digital world.

Visa’s Global Back to Business Study surveyed small business owners and consumers across ten markets including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States (US).

Key insights from the study include:

1. The world is the marketplace for SMBs: 79% of surveyed business owners said expanding into new geographies was a focus for growth, while 72% of consumers expressed comfort in buying across borders.

2. Transitioning away from cash: While 95% of small business owners surveyed planned to go cashless “someday”, 51% planned to make that shift within the next two years. Consumers were leading this shift, with 55% of those surveyed predicting they would use digital payments more in the coming year.

3. Supporting local businesses: 49% of consumers indicated they intended to shop more at local businesses this year to support the local economy (65%) or make a personal connection (44%) in their community.

4. Opportunities for SMBs: Business owners identified increasing social media presence (44%), offering new products or services (41%), and investing more in marketing (40%) as the top opportunities to reach new customers. Additionally, 35% of business owners saw accepting new forms of payment as a crucial area for improving their business.

Visa offers various payment services and solutions to meet the needs of small businesses, including cards, business and payment management tools, fraud and security services, and financial education and training programs. By partnering with organizations that provide support services, Visa Foundation enables the establishment and growth of thriving small and micro businesses, particularly those led by women entrepreneurs. Visa Foundation also promotes gender diversity in SMBs by using capital as a tool to facilitate investment flow.

Small and micro businesses can find additional resources on the Visa Small Business Hub.

Visa’s Global Back to Business Study was conducted by Wakefield Research in March/April 2023. The study surveyed 2,250 small business owners with 100 employees or fewer across the aforementioned countries, and 1,000 adults ages 18+ in the US, as well as 500 adults ages 18+ in the other nine countries.

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