These initiatives are aimed at promoting digital financial inclusion, stimulating job creation and increasing access to capital, with the ultimate goal of fostering economic mobility and growth, the organizations said in a Wednesday (Nov. 15) press release.
The Visa Foundation has pledged $100 million over five years to advance digital financial inclusion in APEC economies, according to the release. Recognizing the crucial role small and micro businesses play in the global economy and local communities, this commitment will support underserved businesses.
Visa has already exceeded its target of digitally enabling 50 million small and micro businesses globally by June, with nearly 67 million businesses benefiting from its efforts, the release said. Among these, about 29.6 million are from APEC economies, including 10.9 million women-led businesses. By providing access to digital payments and financial skills through training and education, Visa has helped small and micro businesses adapt to the evolving commerce ecosystem.
To further accelerate the digital enablement of underserved businesses, Visa has launched new small and micro business accelerator initiatives in the United States and more than 15 developing economies, per the release. These initiatives will focus on economies with clear digital development needs, where cash transactions still dominate and a significant portion of the population lacks access to digital payment options.
Small businesses have begun harnessing the power of digital payments to improve efficiency and reach new customers, Visa Executive Chairman Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., said in the release.
“Visa is committed to continue expanding equitable access and extending digitization for underserved and women-led [small and micro businesses] globally, so that payments can truly be a catalyst for growth,” Kelly said.
The demand for digital payments just keeps expanding, especially in newer and emerging markets, Gloria Colgan, senior vice president and global head of product at Visa Commercial Solutions, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview posted in August.
The digitization of business payments has been rapidly catching up with the great digital shift that has marked consumer-led transactions, Colgan said.