About 52% of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia are earning more money now than before the pandemic, according to data from Mastercard’s 2022 Borderless Payments Report.
Online business and international sales are key drivers, with 72% recording above-global-average growth in online sales, while over three-quarters (78%) are planning to do more business internationally going forward, said the report.
The research, which covered over 3,000 small businesses from around the world, highlighted that 75% of SMEs had to make changes to their business model to survive the pandemic – with the figure reaching 76% in Saudi Arabia – whilst 59% in the Kingdom believe it has changed how they will do business forever. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation to tap into cross-border opportunities, with over half (54%) saying they now do more business internationally.
Six in ten (61%) respondents credit cross-border payments with enabling their business to grow, making it clear cross-border payments will be a key focus for business growth in Saudi Arabia. Over two thirds (67%) said they are now making and receiving more cross-border payments than they were prior to the pandemic. In fact, almost nine in ten (85%) say the pandemic has allowed them to source more competitive quotes from suppliers across borders and 52% say using international suppliers reduces risk.
Stephen Grainger, Executive Vice President, Mastercard, said: “The unprecedented disruption introduced by the pandemic has realigned Saudi Arabian and global economics, with many SMEs looking keenly towards prospects in new markets. With small businesses in Saudi Arabia 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.” – TradeArabia News Service