Visa (NYSE: V) announced more than 100 partners across Europe have joined the “Where You Shop Matters” initiative to help small business owners build digital capabilities and continue serving their communities.
More than two million small firms across Europe have received support since the launch of the program in summer 2020 with Visa joining forces with banks and ethical banks, governments, commerce platforms and technology partners to digitally enable small businesses.
The announcement marks a major milestone in Visa’s commitment to help eight million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Europe – and 50 million globally – to get online, adapt and future proof their business.
Commenting on the achievement, Hemlata Narasimhan, SVP, Merchant Sales and Acquiring Europe at Visa, said: “Small businesses play a crucial role in our communities and many continue to operate under challenging conditions brought on by Covid-19. We continue to be inspired by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit many small business owners have shown, adapting how they do business to keep serving their customers.
We are proud that over two million small businesses have been able to benefit from our partner initiatives. We remain committed to continue working with our clients and partners towards an economic recovery that keeps small businesses at the heart of our communities.”
In the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, Visa is working with governments to provide small business access to contactless acceptance terminals and software free of charge for the first 12 months.
In addition, ‘Tap-to-Phone’, a new Visa technology that transforms mobile devices into payment terminals, is allowing thousands of small business owners to accept digital payments in the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.
Visa is also working with online platforms and digital marketplaces so that small stores can set up an online presence with minimal cost and hassle. These programs have been launched in several countries across Europe supporting thousands of local businesses. The company has also expanded its Practical Business Skills platform, a global digital platform delivering free education resources to help small and micro business (SMB) owners make confident, informed decisions to grow their businesses through expanded digital transformation.
Small firms are also turning to digital banking tools to help manage their finances during a critical time for their business. In partnership with banks and FinTechs across Europe, Visa has over 30 new business card programs that help small firms manage their cashflow and purchasing, while offering access to innovative, new business banking tools.
Visa has expanded its Where You Shop Matters campaign, calling on consumers to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities. Examples of local campaigns to galvanise support for local shops include Champion Green (Ireland), Smart SME (Turkey) and Fiver Fest (UK).
Over 100 programs have launched supported by industry partners including Alpha Bank, Akbank, Axerve, Banca Sella, Banco Santander, BeeDigital, CEC Bank, the Co-Operative bank, Clickandcollection.com, Fiserv, Fruugo, iCard- myPOS, Israel Credit Cards, Juni, National Bank of Greece, Tyl by NatWest, Nexi, Orderbird, Oma Savings Bank Plc, Payplug, Piraeus Bank, ShopAppy.com, Shopify, Viva Wallet, WorldLine amongst others.