Tuesday, 3 October 2023

Payoneer: SMB driving globalisation as the ticket for growth

5 min read

Payoneer, the financial technology company empowering the world’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) to transact, do business and grow globally, announced results from its inaugural SMB Ambitions Barometer.

The research found: an overwhelming agreement among surveyed SMB (72%) that expanding into overseas markets results in increased revenue, but less than half (41%) are seizing the opportunity.

The Barometer surveyed 3,575 SMB owners and decision-makers across 15 markets including the US, Brazil, Argentina, the UK, Serbia, France, Israel, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, India, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine. Businesses surveyed plan to grow their exports and further globalise their supply chain.

John Caplan, CEO of Payoneer, commented: “The results of the first Payoneer SMB Ambitions Barometer demonstrate that globalisation is here to stay. The benefits of an interconnected global ecosystem should not be limited to large companies — SMB around the world are increasingly looking across borders for new customers and business. Payoneer is excited to work with SMB around the world to build a more reliable and connected cross-border economy together.”

Globalisation is here to stay. Half of surveyed SMBs expect their customers and vendors to be from overseas by 2024.

  • SMB go global to grow: 72% of those surveyed look towards exports for growth. They expect half (50%) of their customers to be from other countries in the next two years (up from 42% in 2022). Exports made up 52% of their total revenue in 2021 and 61% by 2022.
  • SMB diversify and globalise their vendor base for greater agility and resilience: They expect to almost double the number of vendors between 2020 and 2024 (from 17 to 30 vendors on average), and that the proportion of international vendors will grow from 10% today to 48% by 2024.
  • Going global is a top priority: 41% cite “researching additional geographic markets to enter” as the most important business priority vs. 47% who cite cost reduction.

Global supply chain woes and cross-border payment infrastructure challenge SMB’s ambitions to go global.

  • Global supply chain disruptions remain a top concern: Surveyed SMBs consider it the most disruptive event in the past two years and expect it to continue as a top concern in the near future.
  • Cross-border payment is a hurdle: Over 90% of surveyed SMBs send and receive payments to and from three or more countries. However, almost half cite payment-related challenges (foreign exchange rates, transfer fees, payment delays and confirmations) as a significant barrier to doing business globally.

Challenges and expectations to globalise

  • US SMB struggle with cross-border transactions: Despite having the largest proportion of international customers, surveyed SMB in the US are more likely than their counterparts in the Americas to say they always or often struggle with cross-border payments. For example, 50% of US-based SMB say they struggle with slow transaction times vs. 39% in Brazil and 37% in Argentina.
  • Bangladesh has the most global customer mix, while Vietnam expects the biggest jump by 2024: 47% of Bangladeshi SMBs’ customers are currently from abroad and are expected by those surveyed to grow to 56%. Vietnamese SMB expect to see the biggest growth in international customers in the next two years (11 percentage point increase from 39% to 50%).
  • In Brazil, Argentina, and France, customer bases skew local: These SMBs cite the highest proportions of domestic customers (67%, 65% and 62% respectively), compared to the global average of 59%.
  • China and India increasingly look to international suppliers: Surveyed businesses in both countries anticipate a 10-percentage point increase in the average number of overseas vendors (from 38% and 39% currently to 49% and 48% in 2024, respectively).

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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