PR LAHORE  - Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has launched their ‘Where You Shop Matters’ (WYSM) initiative in Pakistan with Daraz, the country’s leading online marketplace. The campaign aims to empower and support small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic and is part of a larger Visa effort spanning the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region.

The small-and-medium enterprises (SME) sector, which accounts for 40% of Pakistan’s GDP, has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the slump in commercial and trade activity. Social distancing measures have severely hurt smaller businesses with reduced demand and supply chain disruptions, particularly those that are largely offline and rely on personal visits to markets.

Kamil Khan, Country Manager Pakistan, Visa said: “The pandemic has changed how and where consumers shop with the majority adopting digital payments and moving to online platforms. Meanwhile, small businesses in Pakistan, and especially cash-only merchants, have been severely impacted and are struggling to survive. While these shifts present challenges, they also present enormous opportunities for merchants in Pakistan to transform their operations and continue generating revenue with new potential customer bases online. Our ‘Where You Shop Matters’ initiative helps local vendors navigate these unexpected challenges and empowers them back to business by leveraging digital commerce.” Ehsan Saya, Managing Director, Daraz Pakistan said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, our efforts have been geared towards empowering our growing community of 30,000 marketplace sellers and safeguarding SMEs across the country from the economic downturn. We are dedicated towards creating opportunities for small businesses to benefit from the accelerated rate of digital adoption we have witnessed among consumers in Pakistan by facilitating their transition towards ecommerce. We are proud of our partnership with Visa.”