BNPL, crypto among options S'pore SMBs plan to offer: Visa

  • Some 94% of SMBs will accept digital payments in 2022
  • While 72% expect their business to be cashless in two years

BNPL, crypto among options S'pore SMBs plan to offer: VisaThe majority of small and micro businesses (SMBs) in Singapore (92%) will accept some form of digital payments in 2022, compared to 82% globally, according to the Visa Back to Business Study, with nearly three-quarters (72%) expecting their business to become fully cashless within the next two years. 

The sixth edition of Visa’s global study reveals how Singapore SMBs look to digital payments for future growth as consumers and businesses continue to adapt to a hyper-digitalised world, the company said, in a statement.

“Even as the world grapples with uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, one thing I’m certain of is that digital payments have enabled many businesses to thrive, especially in Singapore,” said Kunal Chatterjee, country manager, Singapore and Brunei, Visa.

He added that 89% percent of Singapore SMBs agree that accepting new forms of payment is fundamental to business growth, compared to less than three-quarters (73%) globally.

According to the study, small businesses in Singapore have demonstrated remarkable digital confidence in adapting to digital payments, with many planning to accept new methods in 2022 such as e-wallet apps (59%), mobile contactless payments (58%) and contactless cards (43%).

One-third also plan to accept payments via Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions (35%, compared to 21% globally) and digital currency (33%, compared to 24% globally), the survey highlighted.

This shift by SMBs mirrors the increased use of digital payments among Singaporeans as nearly three in five Singaporeans (57%) expect to use digital payments more often in 2022, compared to less than half globally (46%), it said.

Younger generations are driving this shift, with millennials (66%) and gen-Zs (47%) more likely than boomers (41%) to increase their usage of digital payments, Visa added.

With the increasing stickiness of digital payments, failure to offer the option has become a dealbreaker for many.

The research shows that nearly two in five Singaporeans (38%) chose to walk out of a store empty handed because they were unable to pay for their purchases digitally. 

Additionally, millennials (49%) and gen Zs (48%) are more likely to do the same compared to boomers (18%). 

Given Singapore’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s also not surprising that Singaporeans are increasingly paying attention to the speed, security and convenience of the payment experience.

The top digital payment methods that Singaporeans expect to be accepted at brick-and-mortar retail stores include contactless cards (80%), mobile contactless payments (55%), and e-wallet apps (47%), the study indicated.

“Besides digitalising their storefront, a key area of growth for small businesses is eCommerce, which has allowed many to go from a local hero to a global player even when borders were closed,” Chatterjee said. 

He said more than one-third of Singapore SMBs (35%) recognise cross-border sales as one of the best opportunities to reach new customers, the highest proportion of all markets surveyed globally.

The survey highlights that currently, only one in five Singapore SMBs (20%) are selling products and services internationally, but two-thirds (66%) have plans to do so, either in the next year or in the long-term. 

This compares to only two in five (44%) globally, with nearly three in four Singapore SMBs (74%) expect to sell across borders more in 2022, compared to only half (50%) globally, it said. 

The majority of Singapore SMBs with an online presence (94%, compared to 90% globally) cite increased efforts to sell online as key to their survival during the pandemic, Visa said.

For Singapore SMBs that have shifted online, nearly three-fifths of their revenue (59%) came from online channels in the last three months, it said.

The Visa 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 and United States.

The consumer section surveyed 1,000 adults ages 18+ in the United States, and 500 adults ages 18+ in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. 


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