Visa Study: One in two Hong Kong Small and Micro Businesses plan to invest in digital and contactless payments to meet consumer demand


• Visa has helped to digitally-enable an estimated 16 Million small and micro businesses (SMBs) worldwide through its multi-year commitment to digitally enable 50 million SMBs
• New Visa research shows how essential digital capabilities are for SMBs to compete in a post pandemic world
• Over three-quarters (76 percent) of Hong Kong consumers expect to use contactless payments whenever possible; almost two-thirds (65 percent) wish to use less cash


Visa today announced the 5th edition of the Visa Global Back to Business Study, which has surveyed SMBs owners and consumers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey uncovered several key trends in Hong Kong and found that 80 percent of consumers say COVID-19 has permanently changed how they will pay (Global: 68 percent).

  • SMBs Still Working to Meet Consumer Expectations:
    • The pandemic has dramatically increased consumers’ concern with touching cash and payment readers and correspondingly, with over three-quarters (76 percent) of customers expect to use contactless payments whenever possible (Global: 60 percent), and almost two-thirds (65 percent) wish to use less cash (Global: 43 percent).
    • 83 percent of SMBs expect customers will continue to prefer contactless payments as much as, or more than they do now, with half of SMBs (51 percent) citing contactless among the top investments needed to meet customer expectations (Global: 40 percent).
  • Contactless as a Competitive Edge:
    • Around half of consumers (48 percent) say they wouldn’t shop at a store that only offers payment methods that require contact with a cashier or shared device (Global: 44 percent). Stores that don’t accept contactless payments could run an increased risk of losing customers.
  • Prioritizing Online Security:
    • 48 percent expect to continue to sell products or services online in the next three months.
    • Yet, many SMBs surveyed said the shift presented new challenges with the top concerns cited as cost to invest in digital infrastructure (45 percent), data privacy and security (44 percent) and having less of a personal connection with customers (37 percent).
  • Opportunity Knocks for New, Digitally-Savvy SMBs:
    • 47 percent have viewed the pandemic as an opportunity (Global: 46%).
    • Among those who saw 2020 as an opportunity, their focus has been on new or different products (47 percent), accepting new digital forms of payments (46 percent) with 42 percent having started a completely new business.

Maaike Steinebach, General Manager, Visa Hong Kong and Macau: “With shifting consumer behaviors spurred by the pandemic and the government’s digital consumption voucher scheme, Hong Kong businesses and consumers are ready to reap full benefits of safe and seamless digital payment – whether it is contactless payment at physical stores or online payment, in the city or across borders. As the engine of commerce, we continue to offer, with security being an ingrained part, the necessary tools and insights designed to enable local business communities and cross-border trade to thrive, and consumer convenience maximized.”


Unlocking Access to the Digital Economy

Recognizing the greater digitalization of commerce can bring enormous benefits to small businesses, Visa has helped to digitally-enable an estimated 16 million SMBs worldwide, or just over 30% of the multi-year goal it set in 2020 to digitize 50 million SMBs.

Since the start of the pandemic, Visa has launched community-based programs worldwide, to help more small businesses accept digital payments and gain greater access to the digital economy. Visa’s efforts are focused on ensuring both existing and newly minted small businesses are well-equipped to meet changing consumer demands and embrace the digital future.

Visa has directed resources to SMBs through dozens of programs tailored to fit the needs of local communities. Among them, Visa has deployed Small Business Street Teams to 900,000 businesses in 18 markets and transformed payment acceptance in 49 markets with Visa Tap to Phone.

Earlier this year, Visa brought Tap to Phone technology to Hong Kong. It enables contactless payment via contactless cards or any NFC-enabled device on any NFC-enabled Android Commercial-off-the Shelf (COTS) device. With this technology, sellers can accept payments using current-generation Android devices while limiting physical contact at the point of sale. On the other hand, customers can make safe, contactless payments with just a tap of their contactless card, phone or watch to the seller’s NFC-enabled smartphone.


Methodology: Visa Back to Business Study

The Visa Back to Business Study: 5th Edition, was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 15-28, 2021, among 2,250 small business owners at companies with 100 employees or fewer in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United States. The consumer portion surveyed 1,000 adults ages 18+ in the U.S., and 500 adults ages 18+ in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.


About Visa Inc.

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. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. 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. For more information, visit and @VisaNews.