Money & Banking

Small merchants now more open to cashless payment methods, reveals Amex India survey

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on September 13, 2021

95 per cent customers recognise the impact of the pandemic on local shops and small businesses

Indian customers have started thinking about the community at large and are willing to shop from small merchants so as to support revival of small businesses in these pandemic times, a top Amex India official said on Monday.

This has come out in the recent survey commissioned by American Express to examine the impact of the pandemic on the country’s small businesses, and their plans for business continuity for adopting new approaches aligned with changing consumer preferences.

This survey was done soon after Amex rolled out its second edition of the “Shop Small” campaign in the Indian market to incentivise consumer spending at small businesses and help small businesses recover from the impact of pandemic. The campaign was launched on August 3 and will end on October 31.

“Nine out of ten customers surveyed told us they want to do something for small businesses in a scenario where they have seen the pain of second Covid wave and they don’t want any more of that hurt to happen,” Manoj Adlakha, CEO and SVP, American Express Banking Corp India, told BusinessLine.

Notably, 95 per cent customers recognise the impact of the pandemic on local shops and small businesses, which is perhaps why they see themselves prioritising shopping from them, he added.

Sharing the details of the latest edition of “Shop Small” campaign, Adlakha said that this campaign allows Amex Card members to earn ₹500 cashback every time they spend ₹1,000, limited to five transactions while shopping in stores (2020 Shop Small campaign — Card members got ₹300 cashback on spending ₹1,500 or more in one transaction in-person only, upto five times during the campaign period across participating stores).

Improved coverage

Adlakha said that Amex has, in this year’s campaign in India, improved the coverage to 80,000 small and medium-sized merchants (vis-a-vis 40,000 from 2020), spread across six cities (vis-a-vis three cities in 2020) — Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad. Also, this year, the category of merchants have been expanded to include supermarkets, retail shops, healthcare services, bakeries, beauty salons, travel and utilities, electronics, restaurants and hotels.

Adlakha said that merchants are open to new ways of payment acceptance. “This is a new tipping moment where merchants are now saying we are ready to accept non-cash. Earlier, they would go with cash. Now, they are veering towards non-cash,” he added.

The survey was conducted amongst a national sample of over 2,000 consumers and 500 small business decision-makers across top ten cities in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Pune. This survey was conducted by YouGov between August 16-20 on behalf of American Express India.

It showed that nearly half of the small business-owners surveyed stated they have increased the level of communication to engage with their customers and about a third identify increasing the digital presence of their business as the key for survival. The survey also outlined that 63 per cent of merchants focused on maintaining hygiene and safety for staff and customers and 46 per cent encouraged customers to use non-cash payment transactions.

Published on September 13, 2021

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