Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Visa Inc. is planning to step up its game as the official payment partner for the upcoming XXIII Winter Olympic Games and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Affiliated with the Olympics since 1986 and FIFA since 2007, the global payments brand will unveil innovative cash-free fan experiences at both sporting events.
"We are looking forward to transforming the payment experience for everyone who attends the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang," said Iain Jamieson, Visa’s Korea Country Manager. "At Visa, we have been working tirelessly to ensure all of the Olympic venues are equipped with the very latest payment capabilities to provide the best experience possible for all those on-site."
During the Winter Olympics in February, Visa will introduce three commercially available near field communication (NFC)-enabled wearable payment devices – gloves, commemorative stickers and lapel pins – which can be embedded with desired prepaid amounts fans and athletes can use to pay at one of 1,000-plus contactless terminals on site. Each wearable features a dual-interface NFC chip housed with a contactless antenna.
Visa teamed with Lotte Card Co. Ltd., the financial arm of South Korean-based retail giant Lotte Department Store, to produce the new prepaid payment wearables, which are now available for purchase at designated locations in South Korea. It is estimated the Olympics will cost approximately $12.4 billion for South Korea to host.
The FIFA tournament will take place during the months of June and July 2018 and is expected to bring a combined total of 300,000 to 500,00 international visitors to 12 venues across 11 Russian cities. Based on historical data, Visa projects FIFA visitors will spend at least 25 percent more in area restaurants, 10 percent more on local transportation and nearly 10 percent more on lodging than is traditionally spent over the same period.
"From unveiling the latest payment innovations to upgrading payment terminals to allow for contactless cards and digital payments, such as those made via phone or watch, throughout official venues, Visa will continue to elevate the fan experience," said Ekaterina Petelina, Country Manager for Visa Russia. "Visa provides simple and secure payment options for those in attendance, so they can get back to their seats quickly and focus on the match."
According to the latest estimates, the cost to Russia for hosting the FIFA World Cup will be approximately $10.8 billion.
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