How consumer preferences are shaping SMB payment acceptance

In Asia Pacific, consumers are demanding faster and more seamless payment experiences from the businesses they interact with. These evolving consumer preferences have led to 88 per cent of SMBs in Asia Pacific embracing some form of digital payment.     

The diverse range of digital payment methods offered in today’s economy enhances convenience and efficiency for both consumers and businesses alike. According to further research by Visa , over half of SMBs accepting payments via digital wallets  stated that their customers preferred that option, while 42 percent of digital acceptors  said credit and debit cards were their customers’ payment method of choice². SMBs that accept digital payment options, such as digital wallets and cards, also saw better business outcomes as over 70% surveyed by Visa that accepted digital payments reported increased turnover¹.

Card acceptance key in helping more SMBs meet consumer needs

In the second half of 2023, over a third of Asia Pacific consumers applied for a card, driven by the convenience of integrating with digital wallets for quicker and more secure payments. Advanced security technologies further bolster this shift, promising to transform the payment landscape in due course.

The continued growth in card adoption by Asia Pacific consumers is a significant opportunity for SMBs to better serve existing customers and uncover new ones. Adopting card payments can augment customer experience for SMBs through potential value-added services. Diverse payment options, such as credit and instalment payments, gives customers more flexibility. Furthermore, card payment data can yield valuable insights into customer behaviour, thereby enabling SMBs to make informed business decisions and tailor personalized offerings.

Bridging the digital divide, closing the consumer gap 

Digital payments are here to stay, shaped by consumer demand. For instance, 75 per cent of SMBs in Asia Pacific that accepted payments via digital wallets did so to cater to evolving consumer needs and to enhance sales³. 

To increase digital adoption, payment providers can support SMBs by enhancing transaction security, speeding up payment settlements, and offering cost-effective solutions. This helps SMBs to save time with faster transactions and focus their energies on running their business Improved security also lowers the chance of financial losses from cybercrime, encouraging more SMBs to make the change.

Providers can also offer value-added services like credit and instalment programmes, and loyalty programmes to enhance customer experience and drive business growth. Additionally, raising SMBs’ financial literacy in digital payments is essential. By focusing on payment technologies and leveraging digital channels for training, providers can make learning more accessible to SMBs.

Staying ahead of evolving consumer trends 

Considering ever-evolving consumer preferences, digital payments open exciting new vistas and opportunities for SMBs in Asia Pacific. With digital payment options like cards and digital wallets, SMBs can satisfy their current customers, reach new markets, and improve their business processes.

Other than financial institutions and payment networks, fintech platforms also play a significant role in driving digital and card acceptance. 58 percent of non-card acceptors said they would be more likely to get on board if they had the right support⁴. To help SMBs take the next step forward, building confidence in digital payments and fostering peace of mind against risk of cybercrime and fraud are two keys. Organisations that can help SMBs do so stand to unlock even more potential in Asia Pacific’s growing digital economy.


¹ Visa, “Unlocking growth opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with digital payments”, April 2024

² Visa, ‘Enabling Small Business – The Engine of Growth,’ September 2023, accessed September 2023. 

³ Visa, ‘Enabling Small Business – The Engine of Growth,’ September 2023, accessed September 2023. 

⁴ Visa, ‘Enabling Small Business – The Engine of Growth,’ September 2023, accessed September 2023. 

Discover more SMB insights by accessing Visa’s research paper:

Unlocking Growth Opportunities for SMBs with Digital Payments