Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Digitalization mobilization with “Smart SME” from TOBB and VISA

06.05.2021 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and Visa have implemented the Smart SME platform for the need for digitalization, which has become more pronounced, especially during the pandemic period. The platform will provide SMEs with digitalization-oriented equipment and skills to keep their business going during the pandemic period.​

TOBB and VISA announced that they have implemented the first phase of the Smart SME platform, where the products and services needed by SMEs who want to move their business to digital will be exhibited and guidance and training will be provided. Through the platform, which can be accessed from http://www.akillikobi.org.tr address, SMEs will be able to communicate with product and service developers through the platform, communicate their opinions and suggestions and access the trainings prepared in this regard.


In the first phase of the project, which started today, companies offering solutions on digitalization are expected to register their products and services with the form published on the platform's website. Once the registrations are completed and the products and services to be offered to SMEs are classified, the platform will be made available to SMEs in May.


- Meeting point with all suppliers necessary for digitalization


Through the Smart SME platform, SMEs will be able to access the products of suppliers focused on new technologies from all over Turkey with advantageous conditions, from accounting to human resources, website design to online booking, and will be able to purchase these services with appropriate payment terms and privileges and campaigns to be offered in cooperation with Visa. Digital maturity levels of SMEs can be determined on the platform and appropriate referrals can be made. In addition, SMEs will be able to come together and vision tour at virtual fairs to be held during the year.


- Comprehensive content on the World of Payments


A special “World of Payments” tab has also been prepared for small businesses to learn about payment systems on the smart SME platform. In the section, which includes payment methods, card infrastructure, commercial and individual cards, information about the types of cards and referrals to create a list of needs, questions about receiving and making card payments are answered.


- ‘Managing My Business’ trainings and digitalization support are also included


The educational contents developed by Bosphorus University faculty members of Visa's Managing My Business’ project, which was implemented with the support of 30 banks and e-currency institutions, will also be included in the Smart Academy section of the Platform. SMEs will be able to participate free of charge in Managing My Business online trainings, which include topics such as “risk management during the pandemic,” “supply chain management,” “business continuity and contingency plans.” Within the scope of Managing My Business, digitalization support will also be provided to SMEs who have completed their digitalization trainings and completed certain criteria.


- TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu: “We offer digitalization tools to the service of the business world under one roof”


Emphasizing that digitalization is inevitable for SMEs, Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, said, “Technology is developing with each passing year. This development leads to a change in the way we do business. SMEs are the most affected by the change. SMEs, which make up 99.8% of all enterprises in Turkey, provide 11.5 million jobs and realize a turnover of TL 5.8 Trillion. When we have such an important share in our economy, the digitization of SMEs is one of the important working agendas of our Union.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that there are many projects for the digitization of SMEs and said, “During our work on the digitalization of SMEs, we have identified a significant deficiency in the field. There is a disconnect between companies that offer solutions for digitalization and SMEs that want to digitize. SMEs that want to go digital are having difficulty reaching solutions and companies that offer solutions are having difficulties reaching SMEs. We developed the Smart SME project together with Visa to eliminate this problem and to gather all the work on digitalization under one roof. From here, we aim to create a digitalization ecosystem for SMEs. In addition, we will carry out activities to support this transformation throughout the year with activities aimed at the digitization of SMEs.”


“I invite all technology companies that offer solutions for digitalization to the Smart SME platform to register their products and services on this platform. After completing the registration of products and services, we will make our platform available to SMEs.”


- Merve Tezel: “SMEs emphasize the savior role of digitalization”


Merve Tezel, Managing Director of Visa Turkey, said, “As Visa, we support SMEs that have a vital weight in our economy on a global scale so that they can carry out their activities in a healthy way. In Turkey, we are working towards this goal, especially our Managing My Business project. The Smart SME platform, which we announced today with TOBB, is one of the highlights of these efforts. According to our SME research commissioned in 2020, the perception and desire of SMEs to digitalize is increasing over time. According to our SME research commissioned in 2020, the perception and desire of SMEs to digitalize is increasing over time. Online and contactless payments are listed as the biggest motivations of SMEs in terms of being more hygienic, making life easier, being safe, increasing sales volume through e-commerce, adapting to the requirements of the age and especially strengthening corporate identity with the website. We implemented the smart SME platform in cooperation with TOBB based on this urgent need for digitalization. We invite all our SMEs to log in to the platform for support in their digitalization journeys.”

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