3 Trends That Prove Digital is the New Normal–And What it Means For Your Business

March 1, 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recent consumer behavior shifts in e-commerce, have caused long-lasting impacts to the U.S. small business market, prompting businesses to digitize as a means of future-proofing their businesses.

Having a digitally led approach is critical to equipping small business owners with the tools and solutions they need to survive in an uncertain environment. Many small business owners are ready and willing to take the plunge and do what’s needed to digitize their business, yet 64% have said they found it challenging to do so. (2020 North America SBO Comms Survey, Mastercard)

At our recent Money Moves Digital Summit, Ginger Siegel, the North America small business lead at Mastercard, identified three trends that prove that digital is the new normal. ICYMI, we’re sharing them below, along with Siegel’s tips to help reinvigorate your business both on and offline–and more importantly, keep it safe. Read on for her sage advice.

As the realities of COVID-19 hit businesses and individuals alike demanded lower touch options for making and receiving payments.

Although 2020 was already a year we expected to see increases in contactless spending, COVID-19 has accelerated this behavior and made consumer demand shift quicker than anticipated. 46% of global consumers have swapped out their top-of wallet card for a card that provides contactless functionality (2020 North America SBO Comms Survey, Mastercard)

With social distancing evolving into a long-term norm, continued reliance on delivery, pick-up, and alternative points of sale will mandate versatile payment methods, making the market primed for tap on phone adoption. 74% of consumers said they will continue using contactless post-pandemic. (2020 North America SBO Comms Survey, Mastercard)

As COVID-19 continues to stress small businesses financially and operationally, small business owners across North America are turning to digital services to improve cash flow and modernize their payments ecosystems.

The majority of small businesses said that speed and security and transparency were their top priorities. This includes changing how their business sends and receives payments and moving clients to more digital methods. This shift to digital services is not only good for business, it increases customer satisfaction as well. In fact, 81% of businesses said when they do move to more digital payments, it does improve the satisfaction level of their customers, proving digital really is the new normal. (2020 North America SBO Comms Survey, Mastercard)

In our new normal, heightened fraud and bad actors in the ecosystem will require small businesses to start paying for far greater attention to cyber security threats than ever before. Business is uncertain enough—with 80% of small businesses reporting they did not monitor cyber security threats prior to the pandemic, many are incredibly vulnerable to exploitation by bad actors looking to capitalize on the current market chaos. (Zogby Analytics survey commissioned by National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) – Oct 2019)

Small businesses are looking for partners and advisors to help protect them against the unknown in a new world. Partners who step in and predict, educate, and guide small businesses on impending threats will become essential to their survival in the new normal.

To help close the digital divide and prepare for what’s next, Mastercard’s Digital Doors™ program,  provides small businesses the everyday business management tools and solutions to help small businesses go digital–and keep them safe. Digital Doors offers the resources and support to help small businesses navigate through current challenges and build for the future–from digital readiness diagnostic tools, educational content, and Mastercard and partner solutions.

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