Visa study: Hong Kong small businesses looking to digital payments and cross-border selling for growth in 2022
• The 6th edition of Visa’s Global Back to Business1 study finds that 90% of Hong Kong small businesses surveyed said accepting new forms of digital payments is fundamental to growth in 2022, compared to 73% globally2
• Nearly 3 in 5 consumers (56%) expect to use digital payments more often in 2022, compared to 46% globally3
• 75% of small businesses expect to conduct more cross-border businesses in 2022, despite a market-leading 77% seeing it as a challenge
Visa (NYSE: V) today released the 6th edition of its “Visa Global Back to Business Study – 2022 SMB Outlook” report that monitors the continuous shifts in the attitudes of small and micro businesses (SMBs) and consumers and how they are adapting to the changes since the beginning of the pandemic.
The study conducted in December 2021 found that 94% of surveyed Hong Kong SMBs are optimistic about the future of their businesses (compared to 90% globally), ranking second among all markets surveyed. When it comes to payments, 95% of Hong Kong SMBs surveyed said they will accept contactless payment or some form of digital payment option in 2022 (higher than the global average of 82%), and over half (56%) of consumers surveyed expect to use digital payments more often in 2022, with just 2% saying they will use them less.
“Payments are no longer just about simply completing a sale. It’s about creating a simple and secure experience that reflects one’s brand across channels and provides utility to both the business and its customer,” said Maaike Steinebach, General Manager of Visa Hong Kong and Macau. “The digital capabilities that small businesses have built up during the pandemic – from contactless to e-commerce – helped them pivot and survive, and by continuing to build on this foundation, can now help them find new growth and thrive.”
According to this year’s study, which surveyed small business owners and consumers in nine markets – Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United States – the consensus outlook for 2022 is one of optimism and intent to digitize even more:
The Path Forward in 2022 for SMBs
- Cross-border Selling Provides Opportunity for Growth: 75% of Hong Kong SMBs expect to sell across borders more in 2022, even though a market-leading 77% report it as a challenge. With regards to payment, almost all (96%) Hong Kong SMBs find it a challenge to accept and process payments from customers in foreign countries, 24% higher than the global average of 74% and tying with UAE as highest-ranking market, followed by Singapore (92%).
- Going Long on Digital Payments - Even Crypto: An overwhelming 92% of Hong Kong SMB respondents (compared to 84% globally) anticipate being able to shift to relying exclusively on digital payments within 10 years, including 7% that are cashless already. Of those surveyed who plan to accept some form of digital payment option in 2022, 34% said they plan to accept digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
- E-commerce Buoyed Business with Spotlight on Online Pressure: 97% of small businesses who have an online presence said they attributed pandemic survival to increasing their efforts to sell online, compared to 90% globally. However, an overwhelming majority (92% compared to 79% globally) felt some sort of pressure to compete online with newer and tech savvy competitors.
“Our study revealed a gap between the demand for cross-border selling, and how unprepared small businesses are to go global. This opens up an opportunity for the financial industry to help them close this gap,” added Maaike Steinebach, General Manager of Visa Hong Kong and Macau. “At Visa, we are redefining B2B cross-border payments with next-generation commerce solutions such as Visa Direct and B2B Connect, which deliver cost efficient payments with predictability and transparency for small businesses to meet shifting demands.”
Consumers Set the Tone in 2022
- Consumers are Embracing the Global Marketplace: As small businesses look to expand internationally online, 90% of Hong Kong consumers plan to shop across borders the same amount or more in 2022, compared to 81% globally. On average, 75% responded they are comfortable buying items or services from a business in another territory. Of those who are not completely comfortable, 58% cite protection typically offered by their credit or debit card issuer in case of fraudulent or if the product or service is not received, provides them with peace of mind.
- Accelerating Toward a Digital Future: Nearly 1 in 3 (31 %) Hong Kong consumers have opted not to buy something in a physical store because they weren't offered a way to pay for it digitally. More than 2 in 3 (68%) consumers responded they expect to shift to being cashless within the next 10 years, including 10% who already are. The top benefits for relying more on digital payments were convenience (54% compared to 37% globally), easier to shop online (51%) and less physical contact (38%).
- Spotlight on Small Business Shopping: Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) Hong Kong consumers plan to shop at small businesses more often in 2022. While the majority (72%) say they’ll shop at small businesses the same amount, with only 5% saying that they’ll shop at small businesses less often.
Digitally-Enabling 50 Million Small Businesses
Since the start of the pandemic, Visa has launched a variety of community-based programs to help more small businesses accept digital payments and gain greater access to the digital economy. As part of this ongoing commitment, Visa also announced it has helped to digitally-enable 24.8 million SMBs worldwide, or 50% of the multi-year goal it set in 2020 to digitize 50 million SMBs.
More information on the programs Visa has made available to small and micro businesses can also be found on the Visa Small Business Hub .
1 The Visa Global Back to Business Study was conducted by Wakefield Research in December 2021 and surveyed 2,250 small business owners with 100 employees or fewer in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United States (US). The consumer section surveyed 1,000 adults ages 18+ in US, and 500 adults ages 18+ in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and UAE.
2 Unless otherwise noted, global percentages cited represent average from SMB respondents across all nine markets: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, UAE and US.
3 Unless otherwise noted, global percentages cited represent averages from consumer respondents in all nine markets: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, UAE and US.
About Visa Inc.
Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com.