Visa launches initiative to encourage consumer support local businesses

Visa has launched Where You Shop Matters, an initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses, while helping SMEs go digital following the onset of Covid-19. The introduction of Where You Shop Matters is aligned to the Malaysia government’s “Buy Malaysian Products Campaign” that was launched last month and Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign to encourage domestic travel.

Where You Shop Matters is an initiative part of Visa’s broader small businesses strategy and follows commitments the company has made to support 10 million small and micro businesses in Asia Pacific. In addition, the Visa Foundation committed US$210 million to support small and micro businesses and immediate Covid-19 emergency relief earlier this year.

Ng Kong Boon, Visa’s Country Manager for Visa Malaysia, says, “We introduced Where You Shop Matters to rally Malaysians to support our small businesses in the country. The impact of Covid-19 for these businesses, along with shifting consumer behaviours to e-commerce, reinforced the need for Visa to launch this initiative. We understand that taking their business online can be a daunting prospect for many SMEs who might not know where to start. In Malaysia, our focus is to help these small businesses embark on this digitalisation journey to start and grow their online presence. We are excited to offer SMEs an e-commerce toolkit, together with Visa commercial offers to help them start, manage and grow their online storefronts.”

“To further support local retailers, Visa will be featuring hundreds of local brands in Malaysia on our website to encourage Malaysians to purchase from homegrown retailers during this period of difficulty. This initiative supports the national “Buy Malaysia Products Campaign” launched by the Malaysian government. We are heartened that 98% of Malaysians have indicated that they are willing to shop at local retailers to support their business recovery,” added Kong Boon.

“Where You Shop Matters’ is a timely campaign that complements the ongoing PENJANA Shop Malaysia Online initiative and the PENJANA Micro, SMEs (MSMEs) eCommerce Campaign that was aimed to assist in the recovery of the country’s economy.  Moreover, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the motivation for a large number of local MSMEs and businesses to accelerate e-commerce adoption. I am confident that this campaign will promote more digitally-powered businesses, and at the same time help catalyse more high-value digital jobs for the nation,” said Surina Shukri, chief executive officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Based on the recent Visa study conducted on Malaysians, almost half of Malaysians intend to shop online more often. In addition, 83 percent of Malaysians believe it is important for small businesses to have an online presence. As part of the Where You Shop Matters initiative, Visa has partnered with several e-commerce enablers such as BigCommerce, EasyStore, SiteGiant and StoreHub to encourage and help SMEs begin their journey to kickstart their businesses online.

To incentivise small businesses to kickstart their digital journey, Visa’s partners will be providing eCommerce starter packages including waivers on monthly subscriptions for small businesses who may be setting up their businesses online for the first time. In addition, there will be a series of Visa commercial offers that small businesses can utilise to grow their online presence and manage their businesses digitally including advertising support and business office tool.

“We encourage small businesses to embrace digital transformation and bring their businesses online. Apart from providing the right business automation for EasyStore merchants, we are glad to partner Visa to open up new opportunities for more merchants to sell across Malaysia and worldwide effortlessly,” said Frost Chen, Chief Technology Officer for EasyStore.

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