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“Small Businesses Are the Heroes of Our Communities” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Visa

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Janet Zablock with Visa.5.18 Visa Janet Zablock - Visa [1604975]

What is your company’s mission?
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants.

How does your organization support and engage the small business community?
Visa works to bring small businesses access to solutions to manage their cash flow. Our business debit and credit solutions; inclusive of reporting and accounting integration provide the flexibility to pay now or pay later. Similarly, our acceptance solutions provide a safe and secure way to receive payment for even the smallest of businesses.

What tools and resources has your organization created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business?
Cash flow is a critical need for small businesses trying to grow and sustain their company. Through our business card products, we provide an easy way to pay using debit or credit instantly at millions of locations, both standalone and e-commerce, throughout the world. Additionally, through our Visa SavingsEdge program, we provide our Visa Business Debit and Credit cardholders with discounts to marketing and web resources like BingAds, GoDaddy and Akran Marketing allowing businesses to maximize their marketing investment to attract customers.

What are the trends you see when you think about the small business marketplace, and how will these trends shape the future of small business?
As a result of recent innovations, and lower cost of technology through the cloud, solutions and services are becoming increasing accessible to small businesses and helping them become more effective in managing their business and meeting the needs of their customers.  Visa is continually working to improve small business’ ability to manage cash flow and provide visibility into their own finances. We have recently launched a service that automatically integrates expense data with the leading accounting solutions.

Can you share one brief story about how your company is helping San Francisco businesses thrive?
Last fall, as part of our efforts to educate the public on the transition to chip cards, Visa conducted a roadshow to raise awareness among small businesses. One of the multiple San Francisco stops was at Small Business Week’s Flavors gala where we demonstrated chip technology while serving delicious chips and salsa provided by La Cocina alum, El Pipila. It was a thrill to use the services of a local business to amplify our message, and tasty too!  This is just one of the ways we’ve been able to support San Francisco small businesses.

What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?
With the summer Olympics just around the corner, I can’t help but compare the commitment, passion, flexibility and drive required to be a champion athlete to those that we consistently see in small business owners. They work over long periods of time, stumbling, falling and failing at times. Yet, pick themselves up and try again day after day.  They are the heroes of our communities.

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