Two in five SMEs in EEMEA are earning more money than before the pandemic, driven by digital growth and international sales opportunities, according to the latest Mastercard report.
Data from the company’s ‘Borderless Payments‘ report has brought to light how 46 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) are now enjoying more revenue and profit than they did before the economic crash of the pandemic.
Its report identifies online business and international sales as key drivers of this, with 71 per cent recording above-global-average growth in online sales, while 77 per cent are planning to do more business internationally going forward.
The research, which covered 3,000 SMEs, highlighted that three-quarters had to make changes to their business model to survive the pandemic, while 64 per cent globally believe it has changed how they will do business forever.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation to tap into cross-border opportunities, with nearly half of SMEs in EEMEA saying they now do more business internationally.
Sixty-four per cent of respondents credit cross-border payments with enabling their business to grow, making it clear that cross-border payments will be a key focus for business growth across the EEMEA region, and therefore economic recovery, moving forward.
Fifty-nine per cent are now making and receiving more cross-border payments than they were prior to the pandemic, while 72 per cent say the pandemic has allowed them to source more competitive quotes from suppliers across borders and 46 per cent say using international suppliers reduces risk.
Speaking on the findings of the report, Stephen Grainger, executive vice president of Mastercard, describes how the impact of the pandemic and the unprecedented disruption it caused “realigned regional and global economics”, causing many SMEs to start exploring new markets.
“With small businesses in EEMEA 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,” Grainger comments.