Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have had to meet new consumer expectations. They stocked hand sanitizer and free masks by the door, received orders by phone, sent texts with payment links to customers, and walked orders to cars waiting curbside.
As most of the United States is now open, savvy small businesses know their customers still have outsized expectations when it comes to flexibility in what they want and how they will get it.
Shopping’s new normal comes with new expectations in how customers want to pay for things, too. Over the past year, consumers have become accustomed to paying for items in new ways and small businesses are taking notice. In the third edition of the “Visa Back to Business Study 2021,” more than 40 percent of those surveyed said accepting contactless payments via card or mobile device was critical to meeting their consumer’s needs — and that number keeps growing. Many also recognized that going digital was no longer a “nice-to-have,” it was a “must-have.”
“In order for small businesses to keep up with how consumers want to pay, they have to think big and stay one step ahead,” said Carleigh Jaques, senior vice president, general manager of Cybersource, a Visa Solution. “To help further educate thousands of small business owners in the United States, we recently deployed Visa Street Teams to provide contactless payment information and in-store signage inviting customers to pay touch-free. As we move forward, we are laser-focused on ensuring small businesses are equipped with the latest education and digital payment technology.”
Unbox and digitize
As the world has changed, so have payment technologies and the need for small business owners to adapt and get “digital makeovers.” Whether updating the point of sale with contactless and touchless payments for in-person transactions, or making the sale available to the consumer however they want to shop — including remotely via phone or computer — the priority is ensuring consumers feel safe with their commerce experiences, and small business owners feel educated and empowered to provide the solutions.
To continue its commitment to digitally enable 50 million small businesses, Visa is hitting the road again this summer. This time, Visa Street Teams will deliver commerce in a box to thousands of small businesses. Commerce in a box is a curated selection of offers, discounts and bundles from Visa and its partners that are designed to help small businesses start accepting digital payments, build ecommerce sites, market to their audiences in new ways, and provide online tools to run and protect their businesses.
“We cannot wait to be out in communities again, meeting with the country’s great entrepreneurs — those that run our neighborhood restaurants, salons, stores, and markets,” Jaques said. “We are initially going to visit six cities — Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Miami — but stay tuned as we may be coming to your city, too.”
Almost half of small businesses think they are too small to be noticed by fraudsters, but evidence shows that’s not always the case. In fact, analysts predict that over the next five years, small businesses will be hit with more than $130 billion in losses due to payments fraud.
As important as it is to be digitally enabled to drive growth, small businesses need to pay equal attention to mitigating fraud and maintaining security. Fortunately, leading providers like Authorize.net, BigCommerce, and Evo are deploying their capabilities to help small businesses grow profitably and safely. Together, these players will team up to offer small businesses a quick way to build or upgrade their eCommerce footprint, start accepting digital payments, and protect against fraud and other business risks.
The Visa Street Teams wish they could knock on the door of every small business to deliver commerce in a box. While an in-person visit may not be possible for every small business, Visa is ensuring every small business can access these digital offers and give their payments a digital makeover. Visit visa.com/unbox to learn more.