1 in 5 Irish SMEs fear for their future viability

  • Around one in five smaller Irish businesses believe that their future viability is at risk because of Covid-19, according to new Visa-commissioned research.

    With more consumers aiming for safe, contactless payments due to the global health pandemic, the “Visa Back to Business” study assessed this dramatic shift to digital commerce in response to the coronavirus crisis in Ireland.

    As well as the 18% of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) fearing the practicality of their future, the study revealed that 68% of shoppers admitted to using cash less, preferring digital payment methods. 

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    70% of Irish consumers used contactless more often in light of Covid-19 compared to any other market surveyed and 57% of recipients said they would be likely to switch stores just for the ability to 'tap' pay for goods and services. 

    Many small businesses have been quick to adapt to these trends with 31% of Irish SMEs revealing that they are accepting less cash or have stopped accepting cash altogether.

    RELATED: Pandemic sees spike in touch-free tech

    During lockdown, 28% of customers surveyed bought groceries or household items online for the first time.

    Nearly a quarter of SMEs surveyed sold products or services online for the first time as a result of this, with 17% now offering home delivery to customers too.

    On the most positive note, 70% of companies surveyed noted that their local community had rallied behind their business.

    Ireland Country Manager at Visa, Philip Konopik said: "In the face of the extraordinary challenges caused by Covid-19, many Irish SMEs have shown entrepreneurial spirit, finding new ways to keep serving consumers.

    “Nevertheless, as the economy re-opens, many will need our help to recover and operate in a new economic environment. That’s why Visa is working with partners to offer small firms across Ireland the tools, advice and expertise so they can adapt their business for the new retail landscape and take advantage of ecommerce and digital payments."

    RELATED: 68% Irish workforce want to maintain remote working

    Source: Businessworld

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