Visa Report: Unlocking the Benefits of Digital Payments for Micro & Small Businesses in Mexico
The transformative impact of digital payments has yet to be extended fully to micro and small businesses globally. Take Mexico, where the majority of businesses are micro or small, and function predominantly in cash. In recent years, regulatory changes, the emergence of new players and business models, such as the payment facilitators and financial institutions that Visa partners with, and the effects of COVID-19, have led to a significant increase in acceptance of digital payments. But what does this mean in the context of small business owners’ lives and livelihoods? How has it impacted them professionally and personally?
This paper examines the results of a survey that gathered insights from 753 micro and small businesses operating within digital payments in Mexico. Most of these businesses are accepting digital payments for the first time, which confirms that payment facilitators are including businesses and people who were previously not reached by traditional banks. Results show that due to accepting digital payments, three quarters of business owners saw improvements in revenue, customer spending and business management. Furthermore, in response to COVID-19, more than a third of businesses increased their acceptance of digital payments, in part to counteract negative impacts of the pandemic on the business. This highlights the importance of digital payments for micro and small business resilience and growth.
The survey findings inform actionable insights for policy makers, providers and other actors to support the expansion of digital payment acceptance among small businesses. They highlight the role of several complementary enabling factors required to advance progress in this area, including partnerships through payment facilitators and FinTechs, policies and regulations to support a balanced, two-sided market, reliable technology and listening to micro and small business owners to inform product design and promotion.
Top insights on digital payments in Mexico
Payment facilitators are driving inclusion in Mexico
The survey confirmed that payment facilitators are reaching businesses and people who previously lacked access to digital payments or did not use them. Three quarters (75%) of surveyed businesses reported they were accepting digital payments for the first time.
Digital payments are helping businesses grow
Three quarters of the responding businesses reported an increase in business revenue, customer base and customer spending since starting to accept digital payments. Specifically, 72% said their customers were spending more, and 75% said their revenue increased after they started to accept digital payments.
“Personally, it helps me to reach more customers, and maintain [customers] that I have, stay current and competitive in my area. It is what has helped to keep me going.”Female owner, services sector, mobile-only business
Businesses are very satisfied with their experience of
accepting digital payments and willing to recommend
The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) for digital payments was 71, which is excellent and indicates potential for strong word of mouth and peer-to-peer communications as part of expanding acceptance and use of digital payments.
Increased use of digital acceptance is associated with greater increases in income.
Businesses that used digital payments for 50% or more of their transactions (“high users”) in the preceding three months were more likely to report increased revenue than those where less than 50% of payment transactions were digital (“low users”).