How Asia Pacific SMBs earn a bigger slice of the pie, with Visa

Payments and technology are fuelling a wave of optimism among small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Asia Pacific, uncovered by Visa’s latest Back to Business study. In our interviews with SMB owners in Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam, we found that they are already benefiting from adopting digital payments through Visa’s solutions and networks.

In particular, digital payments are helping SMB owners adapt to a borderless world, simplify their operations, widen access to funds, and make transactions secure.

SMBs are earning a bigger slice of the pie with digital payments. Read more to find out how.

1. Adapting to a borderless world

Mr Dang Tran Hieu is the CEO of Tam Dao Quan (TeaDailyGo Vietnam) that produces ancient Shan Tuyet tea. For Dang, going digital and accepting digital payments has made it easier for him to reach and attract international patrons.

“Combined with secure payments, going digital has really opened a network of connections with people that we would not have been able to meet otherwise.”, says Dang.

His views were echoed by other SMBs in Asia Pacific. According to Visa’s Back to Business study conducted, 39 percent of SMBs believe accepting new forms of payment is the best opportunity for growth. 88% also cited selling across country borders as the top, or one of the top opportunities for growth.

It is easier than ever to incorporate digital payments and access a global stage with Visa. Visa Click to Pay, for example, streamlines the e-commerce checkout experience by making it easier, smarter, and more secure for customers to pay digitally at your store.

2. Simplifying business

For Li Ting, founder of Singaporean vegan soap label My Naked Bar, going digital has simplified the way she interacts with her customers, making it easier to gather product feedback and innovate in sustainable ways.

“By going direct to users, we build a relationship based on trust and we are better able to understand their needs. In turn, that helps us develop better products that do not add waste to the planet,” says Li Ting.

For Mr Dang, going digital is making his operations smoother and simpler. He says he has seen “a clear improvement in cash flow (by eliminating) the middleman and the ability to showcase our extensive product inventory on our website.”

“Digitisation has reduced the errors in our business process, making it easier to accurately project and map our business for the long run”, added Dang.

3. Widening access to funds

Capital access has historically been a key roadblock for SMBs in Asia Pacific. According to Visa’s Back to Business study, 1 in 4 SMBs in Asia Pacific said capital access is their biggest challenge.

Digital payments is changing this for the better. “It is very convenient because (digital payments) provides access to funds beyond the constraints of time and location,” said Akira Hirose, CEO of Japanese e-commerce website Master Craftsmanship.

For Li Ting of My Naked Bar, digital payments also help her manage the flow of funds from suppliers and customers more smoothly. “These days, suppliers and customers can be from all over the world. With digital payments, we can securely pay as well as receive money safely, regardless of where they are,” said Li Ting.

Visa has a range of solutions that that help SMBs overcome barriers to capital access and business-to-business (B2B) payments. From small business credit cards offering flexible access to capital, to Visa Commercial Pay and Payables Automation that help SMBs save time and focus on growth.

4. Creating secure transactions

Mr Dang understands that e-commerce comes with its risks, especially security as his website stores and processes large amounts of customer data. “It would only take one data breach to tarnish the reputation of any business, which would lead to a decline in sales,” said Mr Dang.

His views are echoed by Li Ting, who emphasises that “every transaction is based on trust, regardless of whether it’s with our suppliers or our customers and we never want to compromise that”. Despite this, she counts Visa as her means of “securely making transactions both with our suppliers and with our customers, so that we have peace of mind to focus on the business”.

Akira added, “The safety and security features of (digital payments) are very important. That is why we trust Visa, because of its high-quality service.”

Visa is committed to helping small businesses unlock a brighter future. Find out how we can help you grow with confidence and peace of mind at the Visa Asia Pacific Small Business Hub.