Visa gives payment ring to Rio athletes

Athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be able to use a payment ring to make purchases at any NFC-enabled payment terminal.

Visa, the exclusive payment provider at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will give the wearable payment device to each of the Team Visa athletes in Rio, a group of 45 Olympic hopefuls from around the world.

The tokenized payment ring allows the wearer to pay for goods and services by simply tapping the ring at any NFC-capable payment terminal.

“Visa’s first payment ring puts smart payment technology right on the hands of our athletes for convenient and easy payments,” commented Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc.

The ring uses the patented NFC Ring design of McLear & Co. and includes a secure microchip from Gemalto and an embedded NFC-enabled antenna, enabling contactless payment capabilities. Visa’s token technology replaces sensitive payment information, such as the user’s 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier that can be used to process payments without exposing actual account details.

According to Visa, unlike many other payment wearables the ring does not need a battery or recharging. It is also water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.

As part of its sponsorship of the Rio Olympic Games, Visa is creating and managing the entire payment system infrastructure and network throughout all venues including stadiums, press centres, point-of-sale (POS), the Olympic Village and Olympic Superstores. The company will implement approximately 4,000 NFC-enabled POS terminals capable of accepting mobile and wearable payments.

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