Unique test for cashless payments
In a couple of weeks’ time, what has been dubbed the greatest show on Earth will take place. As well as playing host to the best sportsmen and women in the world, the Olympics could also be the first to use contactless payments.
Interestingly, the Olympics of yesteryear were also firsts for other novel financial systems. For instance, while the credit card was around before the 1984 Olympics, it was this year that many Olympians decided to start using one.
Sir Steve Redgrave was one of those individuals. He said: “I had my first credit card for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. It was exciting, even if back then there was also something exciting about the grubby feel of cash. But I didn’t keep it long. The second I got back to the UK I swapped that Barclaycard for a Visa: it had the Olympic rings on it.”
Sir Steve is now an ambassador for Visa, which has been sponsoring the Olympics since 1986.
Visa wants to use this year’s event to trial its own mobile contactless payments system. As such, in combination with Samsung’s Galaxy S3, the designated official Olympic smartphone, Visa is set to see how contactless payments works in a large, albeit controlled environment.
What is more, its use will cover just about everything from buying food and drinks to car parking. “…It just makes life much more sensible,” added Sir Steve.
If this is a success, expect to see contactless payments roll out quickly.