Visas Olympic Rings Let Athletes Make Payments

XXXX on Thursday, June 2, 2016, in New York. (Charles Sykes/AP Images for VISA)
Financial services firm and Olympic sponsor Visa has unveiled a new contactless payments wearable that will be available exclusively for athletes at the Rio 2016 Games, in the form of a smart ring containing NFC technology.

The ring will be given to athletes from Team Visa, a group of 45 Olympic hopefuls from around the world who have been selected by Visa for extra levels of support and sponsorship. The NFC-enabled ring does not require a battery or recharging, and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.

“Visas first payment ring puts smart payment technology right on the hands of our athletes for convenient and easy payments,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa. “This ring is the latest example of how Visa is continuously innovating to deliver on its goal of universal acceptance at the Games and across the world.”

The payment ring incorporates Visas tokenisation technology, which replaces sensitive information like account and card numbers with unique digital identifiers that can process payments without exposing account details to fraud.

Visa is the exclusive payment provider of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and has been placed in charge of creating and managing the entire payment system infrastructure across each venue, from the Olympic Stadium to ticket points-of-sale and vendors within the Olympic Village. There will be approximately 4,000 NFC-enabled payment terminals across Olympic facilities.

“As an Olympian, rings have a special meaning to me,” said Missy Franklin, four-time Olympic hold medalist and one of the Team Visa athletes. “The Visa ring is a great innovation that I know all the athletes competing in Rio will enjoy as it will be great to go from a competition to purchase without having to carry a wallet or card.”