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Visa (V) Lends Digital Support to Small & Medium Businesses

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Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) recently announced that more than 100 partners in Europe have aligned with the Where You Shop Matters plan, which in turn, will enhance the scope of small businesses’ digital capabilities.

This is an excellent move during these challenging times when most small businesses suffered a setback from the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, Visa is making efforts to help them navigate the market with the help of e-commerce. The company has successfully provided services to two million small firms across Europe since summer 2020. Management announced that it will support eight million SMBs in Europe and 50 million across the globe to succeed via virtual commerce. To this end, the company tied up with banks, governments, commerce platforms and technology partners.

Small and medium businesses form the backbone of global economy, accounting for more than 90% of worldwide businesses and contributing to 50-60% of global employment. The revival of this business group is of utmost importance to achieve global economic growth since this generates huge global employment level.

The coronavirus scenario continues to affect small businesses in Europe. Thus, future proofing these businesses is a smart move at the moment. The small-time trade is slowly making progress toward digital transition.
Per a Visa-conducted research, more than 10 countries in Europe witnessed 20% growth in online sales and eight among 10 transactions are contactless.

Visa is collaborating with governments in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia to provide small businesses accesses to contactless acceptance terminals and software free of charge for the initial 12 months. Its Tap-to-Phone technology is also aiding small business owners to accept digital transactions in the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK. Further, Visa is collaborating with online platforms to help small businesses set up their online presence without much fuss.

The leading card issuer company has more than 30 new business card plans that assist small businesses with their cashflow, etc. The company partnered with several banks and FinTechs across Europe.

The COVID-19 outbreak, which had necessitated social distancing and shelter-in-place requirements, boosted e-commerce in the process. However, SMBs can’t cash in on this significant business opportunity given the lack of exposure to digital resources. To this end, Visa is working on the areas that include empowering digital-first businesses, encouraging digital shift, incentivizing neighborhood support, etc.

A survey by Visa suggested that digital payments are here to stay as people are expected to continue making cashless payments even after a few vaccines hit the market.

These initiatives aim to enhance efficiency and drive sales for the SMBs.
Within its digital-first-business-empowerment initiative, Visa will be providing tools, and mete out offers and information on the ways to start, run and grow digital-first small businesses. Across the European markets, Visa is investing in increasing the number of digital payment acceptance devices.

The company took similar measures in April and June 2020. Its peers American Express Co. (AXP - Free Report) and Mastercard Inc. (MA - Free Report) too followed suit to provide some respite to the SMBs last year.

Zacks Rank and Price Performance

In a year’s time, this presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has rallied 16.6% compared with its industry’s growth of 12.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.



The price performance looks a bit subdued when compared with another company’s return in the same space. For instance, Discover Financial Services (DFS - Free Report) has soared 52.2% over the same time frame.

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