Asia-Pacific businesses kickstart COVID-19 recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the digitalisation drive in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore for instance, recently introduced the Hawkers Go Digital programme, which is providing food vendors with cash incentives for adopting e-payment solutions.
And in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, 41% of consumers made five or more eCommerce transactions in the past three months, according to a YouGov survey of 4,770 consumers from May 21-25, 2020.
A Kantar study conducted from March 27-31, 2020 also found three quarters of consumers in 11 markets in Asia-Pacific indicating they will continue using digital payments in lieu of cash, even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.
To allow themselves to meet this demand for cashless payments, 10 million small businesses across Asia-Pacific have joined a Visa programme that will help SMEs drive efficiency and sales by accepting and making payments digitally.
Chris Clark, regional president, Asia-Pacific, Visa, said, “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.
“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 business, Visa is focusing initially on four strategic areas to promote digital commerce and economic growth.
These include empowering digital-first businesses through the establishment of localised online resource centres, introducing low-cost digital payment solutions, and incentivising neighbourhood support by encouraging consumers to shop local.
Visa has also announced the formation of its Economic Empowerment Institute, which comprises Visa experts and partners who will address underlying problems and provide insights for SMEs to grow and close racial and gender gaps.