Seventy-seven per cent of small and medium-sized businesses in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EEMEA) are planning to do more business internationally according to data from Mastercard’s 2022 Borderless Payment Report.
The report revealed that two in five (46 per cent) SMEs in the EEMEA region are earning more money now than before the pandemic and online business and international sales are key drivers, with seven in ten (71 per cent) recording above-global-average growth in online sales.
The research for the report covered over 3,000 small businesses from around the world and highlighted that 75 per cent of SMEs had to make changes to their business model to survive the pandemic while 64 per cent globally believe the pandemic has changed the permanently changed their business.
It added that the pandemic had accelerated digital transformation to tap into cross-border opportunities, with nearly half (49 per cent) in EEMEA saying they now do more business internationally.
It said, “Three-quarters of SMEs say the pandemic forced them to seek growth opportunities beyond their national borders.
“The results: six in 10 say international sales allowed them to grow their businesses during the pandemic. In China, India and Mexico, this was true for more than three-fourths of SMEs responding. Most of these companies believe the new international focus will be permanent.
“Most SMEs would not have been able to achieve that international growth without online sales. Nearly seven in 10 say they increased e-commerce sales during the pandemic. In India and Mexico, that share is more than eight in 10.”
The Executive Vice President, MasterCard, Stephen Grainger, said, “The unprecedented disruption introduced by the pandemic has realigned regional and global economics, with many SMEs looking keenly towards prospects in new markets.
“With small businesses in EEMEA and across the world growing their international customer and supplier networks at pace, especially online, it’s crucial that financial institutions have the right cross-border solutions in place to support them. Cross-border payment systems must become faster, cheaper and more secure.
“Through a single point of access, MasterCard Cross-Border Services, allows businesses to send and receive money safely and with the certainty they crave.”