Date: 16/04/2020

Visa and Raiffeisen Bank announce e-commerce support for SMEs

The financial institutions will develop web services free of charge for 50 Serbian small and medium-sized firms

Visa and Raiffeisen Bank have announced a call for applications for free-of-charge development of e-commerce services. This support, which will be made available to 50 SMEs, will include a free year of web site hosting and numerous other benefits. 

The call is open until 21 June to businesses based in Serbia that need web-shops to grow. 

Web development will be accompanied by professional photography and photo processing services, instructions and training in how to use the sales platform, provision and set-up of an SSL certificate (the protocol that allows the web site to communicate safely with users), and search engine optimisation to better position the firm’s web site in internet queries. 

Business is increasingly moving online, as evidenced by the 32.8 year-on-year rise in the volume of e-commerce in Serbia registered in 2019. As many as 1.8 million Serbians now shop online. 

‘Interest in online shopping has been growing, with customers recognising they are able to quickly and conveniently buy what they need from the comfort of their own home, at any time of day or night. E-retailers are able to cut costs and attract new target groups by providing easy access to a broad range of goods and services’, said Vladimir Đorđević, Regional Manager for South-East Europe at Visa. 

He added the project was aimed at helping SMEs embrace innovative sales channels and so enhance their businesses. 

‘Micro- and small enterprises and sole traders are the backbone of our economy but also its most vulnerable segment, especially in these challenging times. This is why our bank wanted to show them they could count on our assistance alongside the government’s measures for the SME sector, which we will also be supporting. For various industries, the internet has long been the best way to sell products; during and after this pandemic, online sales will only be set to grow, said Petar Jovanović, Raiffeisen Bank’s Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board. 

Jovanović emphasised that all small businesses should seek to gain the knowledge, skill, and technical support needed for e-commerce to be able to quickly access the benefits of online sales. 

Firms interested in the support should complete the application form on the official web site.