Visa and the Visa Foundation have recently unveiled their extensive commitment to bolstering small and micro businesses (SMBs) across the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region and worldwide. In a landmark move, the Visa Foundation has pledged a substantial $100 million over five years to empower underserved and women-led SMBs within APEC economies, aiming to boost digital financial inclusion, foster job creation, and enhance access to capital for economic mobility. This significant announcement was made during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum Economic Leaders and CEO Summit, hosted by the United States in San Francisco.
Building upon its ongoing efforts, Visa surpassed its initial target of digitally enabling 50 million SMBs globally by June 2023, having assisted nearly 67 million SMBs. To further fortify support for SMBs globally, Visa has launched an innovative initiative. This initiative aims to accelerate the digital enablement of underserved SMBs, initially concentrating on APEC economies such as Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of SMBs in the global economy and local communities, Visa and the Visa Foundation aim to drive access and support for underserved communities. This includes advancing digital financial inclusion, job creation, and capital accessibility, aligning with local partners to foster economic growth and progress.
Additionally, Visa announced new SMB accelerator initiatives spanning the United States and over 15 developing economies, with a specific focus on countries exhibiting a dire need for digital advancement, notably in the APEC region. The company will concentrate its efforts on economies where cash transactions still dominate and digital payment accessibility remains limited.
Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Executive Chairman at Visa and Co-Chair of the APEC CEO Summit 2023, emphasized Visa’s commitment to empowering SMBs globally through digital payments. He highlighted the significant shift of SMBs harnessing digital tools for efficiency and expansion.
The initiatives undertaken by Visa encompass multifaceted partnerships, aiming to fast-track digital solutions deployment for SMBs, ensuring equitable access and seamless digitization for businesses worldwide.
Visa’s significant milestone of digitally enabling 50 million SMBs is part of its ongoing dedication, alongside the Visa Foundation’s efforts since April 2020, to bolster small and micro businesses worldwide. Through a suite of tailored payment services, financial education programs, and business skills training initiatives, Visa aims to empower SMBs to adapt to evolving consumer and market demands.