Most small and micro businesses (SMBs) in the UAE are looking to scale up their business and tap into new markets overseas, as digital payments are increasingly becoming mainstream.

In a survey conducted by global payments giant Visa, 93% of business owners in the country cited “expanding into new geographies as a focus for growth.”

The percentage of UAE entrepreneurs looking to gain share in overseas markets is higher than the global average of 79%.

“It used to be that only big businesses could scale to access customers across the country or around the world, but today’s small business owner can be virtually borderless,” said Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s SVP and Group Country Manager for GCC.

“We’re seeing the small business mindset shift from survival mode to growth mode, as SMBs harness the power of digital payments to improve efficiencies, reach new audiences and simply thrive in today’s increasingly digital world.”

Visa’s survey also revealed that 100% of small business owners in the UAE are looking to be cashless “someday”, with nearly half (42%) expected to make the shift in the next two years.

Cashless transactions are becoming mainstream, with most shoppers (75%) expected to use digital payments more frequently this year. Around 83% of the consumers in the UAE, compared to 72% globally) also said they are comfortable buying across borders.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)