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Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Egypt’s small businesses think a recovery is in the cards this year

Small businesses in Egypt are increasingly optimistic about where the economy is going, with 75% of respondents surveyed in Visa’s 2021 Small Business Recovery study (pdf) saying they expect a recovery this year. A key driver: The adoption of digital payments solutions as the central bank and Finance Ministry push ahead with digitalization and financial inclusion drives. As you’d expect with a survey created by a card and payment provider, the poll focuses heavily on e-payments.

A majority of respondents said online shipping is here to stay, with 88% saying they believed it would remain a preference among their clients beyond the pandemic. Half of Egyptian SMEs said their customers preferred digital payments during the pandemic, while 35% of merchants said they established an online presence for the first time after covid-19 increased demand for digital payments. This year is expected to see around 40% of Egyptian consumers shopping online more frequently.

More businesses are following suit: Some 24% of Egyptian merchants said they are planning to build an e-commerce platform, while 40% plan to offer contactless and digital prepayment options soon. Within the next two years, 44% of retailers who only accept banknotes intend to set up POS terminals and 29% will invest in new digital payment technologies.

But digital acceptance is still far from the norm among small business owners: Only 24% of those surveyed said they trusted card payments, with 18% saying they would be concerned about the timely fulfillment of refund requests by consumers.

Though as long as it’s affordable, business owners are interested, with 23% of respondents saying they would be keen to implement low cost acceptance solutions.

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