The role of small businesses in the world

Big corporations still, to a large extent, dominate the global economy. The really large companies are becoming even larger. However, even though they are growing and claiming a bigger slice of the market, they are hiring fewer people. Automation and digitalisation are redefining the job market. Forecasts estimate that nearly half of all jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. (1)

Jobs of the future will probably be found in businesses characterised by complex tasks with a high degree of creativity, and in industries where robots will never be able to perform those services that require human and physical contact.

It is also likely that employment will be different in the near future. We can already see how permanent jobs are becoming increasingly atypical. People are drawn, more or less on a voluntary basis, to entrepreneurship: to the gig economy where employees regularly switch contracts and projects, and invoice their work as independent contractors.

This trend already means that the companies who really are contributing to the employment market are the small ones. There are over 28 million small businesses in our markets and together they contribute to more than 40 % of GDP. In a world where small businesses are becoming more important, their voices and needs should be heard.

We started out by revolutionising mobile payments, with the world’s first mini chip card reader and software for mobile devices. Dealing with cash carries its own risks, from store and bank heists to armoured vehicle robberies. The entire world of trade believes that card payments are more secure for both customers and business owners. Traditional card payment services can be expensive and complicated solutions for the small business owner, which is why cash payments have been their only solution.

Apart from security risks, there are other disadvantages to cash payments – for example, the risk of losing customers. For a small business owner with limited daily earnings, the loss of a couple of customers can mean the difference between being in the black or not.

It did not take long before we found that small businesses needed help with a lot more than just card payments, so we expanded our offer to include all kinds of payments: card, cash, invoices, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and alternative forms of payment like Swish, Vipps and MobilePay. We also started to offer services such as cash registers, point-of-sale, sales analysis, and business loans. These business tools save time and boost stability and growth for the individual business owner, who is often the CEO, HR Manager, Controller, and sales manager all rolled into one.

“Small businesses are the ones that really contribute to the employment market.”