51% of women-led SMEs surveyed in the Philippines experience increased revenue after accepting digital payments

Monday, July 8, 2024

Visa, a global leader in digital payments, conducted a survey on small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Philippines. Findings show that 51% of women-led SMEs and 56% of micro-businesses experienced revenue growth with digital payments adoption. Given women constitute over half of Asia's population and SMEs' vital role in the economy, maximizing women's economic potential could add $89 billion annually to the Asia Pacific economy including in the Philippines. 

SMEs are crucial for economic growth in the Philippines, with more than a million Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry data show that 99.5% of businesses in the country are MSMEs with almost 50% of them in wholesale and retail trade, generating 65% of total employment. Furthermore, the Asian Development Bank estimated that MSMEs contribute around 36% of the country’s GDP[1].

The Visa study found that managing businesses has become easier for 72% of the surveyed SMEs in the Philippines. Wallets, predominantly GCash, dominate as the main provider of digital payment for SMEs, especially those that are female-led (61%) who were surveyed in the Philippines. Visa has partnered with GCash to introduce the new GCash Card – giving millions of unbanked Filipinos access to the benefits of owning a payment card. 

Among the businesses that have started accepting digital payments, those accepting cards witnessed the most significant turnover increases (83%). Digital payments provide instant transfers and enable cashless transactions for an enhanced commerce experience. Visa supports SMEs in the Philippines by offering widespread acceptance and robust protection for both merchants and customers, guarding against fraudulent activities.

Guaya Melgar, CEO and Co-Founder of Mochi, a billing and collections platform, said: “My business has grown since I introduced digital payment methods. I appreciate the convenience, speed, and the ability to easily track payment records. It provides my customers with a convenient cashless payment option too. I hope to expand my business beyond the Philippines so enabling cross-border payments will help me grow my customer base.”

"Small and medium-sized businesses are the driving force behind the thriving economy in the Philippines. Visa is proud to contribute to their growth by providing secure and convenient digital payment solutions,” said Jeff Navarro, Visa’s Country Manager for the Philippines. “Visa is committed to continuously supporting the Philippine government’s financial inclusion and digitization goals, including empowering SMEs, the cornerstone of the economy, by introducing innovative financial and payment solutions so they can build on this foundation to grow their business.” 

Visa recently launched a SME online toolkit to enable tourism merchants to maximize the benefits of contactless payments. In 2023, Visa launched the SME Accelerator Program in the Philippines to support SMEs and partners through competitive pricing, faster onboarding, and comprehensive take-to-market support. The expanded SME Accelerator initiatives will also focus on a wider set of partnerships with ecosystem participants to serve smaller sellers and fast-track solutions deployment for SMEs. 

The Visa Foundation has also pledged $100 million over five years to accelerate access for underrepresented and women-led SMEs in APEC economies, including in the Philippines. Of the nearly 67 million SMEs reached by Visa globally, approximately 29.6 million are from APEC economies, with 10.9 million being women-led SMEs.