Visa’s global program includes 10 million small businesses in the Asia Pacific region

Visa (NYSE: V) today announced a commitment to support 10 million small businesses across the Asia Pacific in an effort to get local communities back to business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visa is introducing a range of programs and solutions to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) drive efficiency and sales by accepting and making payments digitally to meet the increased demand for cashless payments – both online and in-store. Visa also formed the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute (VEEI) focused on economic and societal issues, including pandemic challenges SMEs face and closing racial and gender opportunity gaps.

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The 10 million pledge is part of a global program that will see Visa supporting 50 million small businesses worldwide. Small businesses will play a vital role in helping communities recover – they account for more than half of global employment and are among the most affected by the pandemic. In the Asia Pacific, SMEs account for more than 90 percent of businesses and employ 50 percent of the workforce.

In addition to the economic impacts, COVID-19 is accelerating the use of digital commerce experiences, from people seeking new ways to pay that do not involve touching a terminal to a boom in e-commerce, as stay-home orders result in shopping online instead of in-store. In the Asia Pacific, 41% of consumers made five or more e-commerce transactions in the past three months. Three-quarters of consumers in the region have said they will keep using digital payments instead of going back to cash, even after the global pandemic has subsided.

“Commerce across the 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.”

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Lillian Wang, Country Manager for Visa Myanmar said: “Visa has always been a proud supporter of Myanmar businesses large and small, helping them grow through technology and payment innovation.  As the ecosystem continues to adjust to the new normal, we are laser-focused on helping these homegrown businesses navigate through these common challenges with acceptance to digital payments that would both increase their operational efficiency and improve customer experience.  Payment innovation will play a crucial part in enabling their businesses to flow during this challenging time while preparing them to thrive in the future.”

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable, and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere.  as the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network, and scale to reshape the future of commerce.