Indian small and medium sized businesses are prioritising cross border trade and social selling to survive and thrive in post pandemic world, reveals PayPal’s MSME Digital Readiness Survey.

This Survey also found that businesses want to leverage technology for a seamless checkout experience to garner a greater share of consumer wallets.

The aim of the Survey was to understand how Indian MSMEs that have an online presence have adapted during the pandemic by adopting a digital first approach, while leveraging the global opportunity and their key priorities to scale up.

Conducted between October-November 2021, PayPal’s MSME Digital Readiness Survey results are based on interviews with 250 business decision markers of India’s small and medium enterprises, which are defined as having an annual turnover of ₹ 5 crore to less than ₹ 250 crore. 

The businesses show an average turnover of ₹ 123 crore and an average employee size of 386 persons. The sample endorses a mix of industry, mainly comprising the Services (36 per cent), Production (28 per cent) and Retail & Hospitality (16 per cent) sector. 


Sharing the findings of the Survey, Nath Parameswaran, Senior Director, PayPal India said that as many as 94 per cent of the respondents recognised that transcending borders result in growth and are making this as a business priority moving forward.

He highlighted that adoption of cross-border in India is high - 64 per cent of the merchants had adopted cross-border before the pandemic while 35 per cent did during the pandemic. Out of all, 86 per cent MSMEs selling globally claimed that they recorded growth in cross border trade during COVID-19. Much of this success can be attributed to the reopening of other economies and positive sentiment from global consumers, according to PayPal, a global leader in digital payments.

Also, 98 per cent of the MSME respondents expressed an interest in investing in more payment options. Of this, 95 per cent are looking to introduce newer ways of payment and 89 per cent are keen on optimizing card payments. This is followed by optimization of services to accept digital wallets like PayPal (70 per cent).

Payment process

An emerging area of interest for small businesses is the check-out experience they provide to customers. Close to 40 per cent are planning to invest towards improving the checkout and payment process in order to increase sales. The key reasons to do so as stated by the small businesses is to accept payment from new digital sales channels (60 per cent) integrate loyalty schemes (57 per cent) expand new, local payment methods to sell cross border (56 per cent) amongst others.

 With increased competition, businesses are fighting for a consumers share of wallets. 49 per cent of Indian MSMEs surveyed will invest in technology to offer a better customer experience. A seamless check-out experience will mean increased customer loyalty as well as the ability to expand their consumer base.