Visa Showcases the Future of Payments at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

July 23, 2012 at 2:41 PM EDT

LONDON, July 23, 2012 – Visa, a worldwide partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, today announced that during the London 2012 Games, it will showcase the latest payment innovations that are transforming the way people pay and manage their money. Among the new ways to pay, Visa will showcase payments via mobile phone and chip-enabled payment cards that allow for faster, more convenient and secure transactions at thousands of retail locations throughout London and Olympic venues.

"Electronic payments play a crucial role in facilitating tourism and meeting the needs of consumers on the go during a world sporting event such as the Olympic Games, making this an unique opportunity to showcase how technology is changing the way people shop, pay and get paid around the world", said Jim McCarthy, Head of Products at Visa Inc. "This summer we will be demonstrating the future of payments in London – a future where most consumers will rely on mobile devices, tablets and PCs to manage their daily financial lives."

During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Visa and its partners are enabling Visa sponsored athletes, trialists, and visitors to experience the future of payments:

  • Visa Mobile Payments and Services: A limited edition of the Samsung GALAXY S III, Samsung's Olympic Games Phone during the London 2012 Games, will be provided to Visa sponsored athletes and trialists. The device will feature an Olympic-branded version of Visa's mobile payment application, Visa payWave. To make purchases, consumers simply select the Visa icon on the Samsung device and hold the phone to a contactless payment terminal to pay. The application also allows them to manage their spending by checking account history and balances real time.

  • Visa Contactless Payments: There are around 37 million Visa payWave-enabled credit, debit and prepaid cards in circulation across Europe. Contactless cards will enable visitors to the London 2012 Games to make "wave and pay" purchases at thousands of retailers. PIN or passcode is not required for purchases below £20 (limits vary by country). By the end of 2012, Visa Europe expects to have more than 50 million Visa payWave cards in circulation in Europe.

  • Contactless Retail Locations: By Games time, more than 140,000 payment terminals throughout the U.K. will accept Visa payWave-enabled cards and phones, including 5,000 London taxis and 3,000 point of sale locations at Olympic Games venues.

  • Visa Prepaid Cards: Visa prepaid cards will be on sale throughout the U.K. and will enable visitors to London to experience the convenience and security of Visa payments, allowing them to make purchases everywhere Visa is accepted and spend less time in concession lines and more time enjoying the Games.

  • Visa Mobile Prepaid: During the London 2012 Games, Visa Inc. will also showcase its newest product – Visa Mobile Prepaid – the first mobile-based Visa product providing consumers in developing countries a payment account that offers Visa's high standards of security, reliability and global interoperability. By accessing their Visa Mobile Prepaid account on their mobile phone, consumers can send and receive international remittances, pay bills, top-up wireless minutes, and access Visa ATMs.

Product Demonstrations – Press Only For members of the press interested in product demonstrations or to arrange executive interviews, please contact Visa staff at the Olympic Media Centre (High St, Main Media Centre, London 2012 Olympic Park), and at the London Media Centre (London Media Centre, 1 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA), or by contacting:

Elvira Swanson
Visa Inc.

+44 (0) 772 505 9794

Eleanor Orebi Gann
Visa Europe
+44 (207) 795-5336

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About Visa Europe
In Europe, there are 450 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending December 2011 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of €1.7 trillion. 14% of consumer spending at the point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card, and almost 80% of that is on Visa debit cards. Visa Europe is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European member financial institutions and was incorporated in July 2004. Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission's objective to create a true internal market for payments. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 200 countries.

About Visa Inc. Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About Visa's Involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Visa is proud to be a Worldwide Partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visa plays an integral role in the Games, having been a committed sponsor for 25 years. Visa is supporting more than 60 athletes from more than 30 countries through the Team Visa program. Visa Europe is also the presenting partner of Team 2012 – 1,200 British athletes who are striving to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. This is the first time that such a large group of athletes has been supported in this way. At every Olympic and Paralympic Games, Visa implements and manages the payment system infrastructure and network throughout all Olympic Games venues. Visa has been a worldwide Olympic Games sponsor since 1986 as well as a worldwide sponsor of the Paralympic Games since 2002 and is the exclusive payment card and official payment network of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.