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Visa's Digital Footprint Targets The 1.2M Headed To 2016 Olympics

Visa has secured the spot as the exclusive payment provider for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio for the 30th year running.

But this year, Visa will be focused on expanding its digital presence at the games by having 4,000 POS terminals across Olympic venues, along with ATMs across the stadiums, Olympic Village and Olympic Superstore.

Visa also said it is expanding its sponsorship across Olympic Games host cities, facilitating the development and advancement of payment infrastructure in those markets. Visa will also bring its latest tech and innovation to Rio, which includes payment wearables and mobile payments to give the fans in Rio a contactless payment experience.

“Visa has always stood for universal acceptance and the most secure and fast way to pay across merchants, borders and currencies,” said Jim McCarthy, executive VP of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc. “As we prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Visa is transforming the way fans pay, giving them choice in how they want to pay for anything, anytime and everywhere.”

According to Visa's projection, Brazil will have an estimated 400,000-500,000 international visitors during the month of August. Visa also projects that inbound travel to Brazil will increase to an estimated 1.2 million travelers for the year.

“This data speaks to the increase in commerce generated through the Olympic Games,” said McCarthy. “More than 200 nations, 10,000 athletes, their families, friends and fans are expected to gather in Rio this summer to enjoy this truly global celebration of sports and athletics. Visa is excited to be part of their journey.”

Because of its exclusive rights, Visa is the only card accepted at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues and for any official Rio 2016 related transactions. As a result, Visa has provided the following tips for cardholders:

  • Notify the issuing bank or financial institution of potential travel plans, including the fact that they will be using Visa debit, credit or prepaid cards abroad.
  • Register for SMS notification with their specific bank, or bank’s transaction notification service, allowing travelers to track transactions on their Visa accounts.
  • Opt-in for services, such as Mobile Location Confirmation via the issuer’s banking app or Visa’s Travel Authorization Tag.
  • Set up automatic bill pay for their credit cards for peace-of-mind while traveling abroad.
  • Consider paying via a chip-activated terminal with a credit or debit card upgraded with chip technology for enhanced security.
  • Look for the Visa or PLUS logo at point-of-sale to ensure international payment cards are accepted.



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.

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