It hasn’t been an easy year and a half for most small businesses. The pandemic upended the world as we know it, and forced retailers of all sizes to adapt quickly. While digital payments were already on the rise, social distancing measures boosted the drive toward digital — and merchants felt the pressure.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted small businesses, and businesses owned by underserved populations have been hit especially hard. To stay afloat and remain competitive, businesses are shifting strategies, adopting new technologies and turning to data to better understand and serve their customers.
PayPal is committed to helping these organizations to continue to grow. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, PayPal launched resource pages for merchants and consumers, facilitated over 75,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses in the US, waived check-cashing fees for stimulus checks in the US, and launched new products to aid small businesses adapting to the new-normal. This included the ability to take payments using PayPal QR Codes and buy now, pay later solutions such as PayPal Pay in 4 in the US.
In June 2020, PayPal also pledged a USD $530 million commitment to support black and minority-owned businesses, strengthen minority communities, and fight economic inequality. In December of 2020, it announced an additional USD $5 million grant program for black-owned businesses as the Covid crisis continued.
Small businesses will increasingly continue to rely on new technology and digital commerce tools, as consumer expectations around flexibility and choice grow. PayPal remains committed to aiding in the growth and success of merchants around the world, through new products and solutions, as well as corporate social impact programs and community activism.
How Small Businesses Can Thrive in the New Economy
Even as local economies have opened up in some parts of the world, PayPal recognizes that small businesses and local populations continue to be affected by the significant impacts of the pandemic. The April 2021 PayPal Small Business Index by Morning Consult revealed that, while there is optimism about the future of the economy, digital small businesses are more confident than their physical-only counterparts. What’s more, small businesses indicate that digital payments and ecommerce are now critical to their success.
It is part of PayPal’s mission to aid small businesses in digital payments, enabling them to provide choice and flexible payment options to their customers. PayPal makes it easy for your customers to pay, so you can spend more time on growing your business. Merchants can simply activate PayPal in Xero allowing customers to pay with their credit or debit cards, or the convenience of their PayPal wallet. If the customer chooses one of PayPal’s Pay Later options, the merchant is paid up front while the customer enjoys the flexibility of paying over time. Customers can also pay on-the-go from almost anywhere, improving on-time payments and cashflow.
Digital Payments, Flexible Financing Options on the Rise
Given the unique circumstances across the globe since early 2020, it’s no surprise that the buy now, pay later (BNPL) space is also growing. To meet the desire of their customers, PayPal launched a set of global Pay Later options for consumers, including Pay in 3 in the United Kingdom, Pay in 4X in France, Pay in 4 in the United States, and most recently, Pay in 4 in Australia. Each of these products offers interest-free installment solutions that are included in PayPal Checkout. Economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic led to a greater call for more flexible payment options for both merchants and consumers around the world.
These solutions are enabling merchants to provide their customers with more choice and flexibility in how they pay. BNPL is not new, but uncertainty around the economy and finances has catapulted this payment option to the forefront of consumers’ minds. As interest continues to explode across markets and demographics, merchants are looking to understand the benefits.
Buy Now, Pay Later for Small Business Merchants
PayPal is one of the world’s most trusted brands, with over 400 million users worldwide, giving merchants peace of mind that their customers may recognize the brand and what it represents. In a recent PayPal Newsroom article, Doug Bland, SVP Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Credit at PayPal, pointed out that consumers “are gravitating to pay later services now more than ever,” adding that, “[BNPL] financing options fit neatly into the lifestyle consumers are already living.”
“It’s pretty clear that having a BNPL option for consumers is not something that will vanish as we emerge from the pandemic. These options are now ingrained as a payment option for consumers and necessary for retailers to engage customers and convert purchases,” Bland continued. Small businesses have endured a great deal since early 2020, and can benefit from partners, like PayPal, that can offer a variety of commerce solutions that help attract new customers, keep existing ones loyal, and provide fast access to funds when they need it.