Visa Pushes Wearable Payment Devices at Rio Olympics

Visa is testing out ambitious new wearable payment technologies at the Rio Olympics. The company worked with organizers to set up about 4,000 NFC POS terminals at Olympic venues, and has distributed compatible wearables to athletes.

Visa Pushes Wearable Payment Devices at Rio OlympicsAmong those devices is the Team GB Payment Band, a wristband offered to members of Team Great Britain, and developed in collaboration with British financial services company Barclaycard, which has itself explored wearable payment devices through its bPay brand. Visa has also given the more than 300 athletes on Team Visa its new Visa Payment Ring, another of its NFC-enabled accessories.

For Olympics attendees interested in trying out this kind of new wearable payment technology, Visa is also giving about 3,000 fans and employees its Pulseira Bradesco Payment Band, a sweat- and water-resistant wristband developed in collaboration with Brazilian bank Bradesco. And Visa also partnered with Swatch to develop a contactless payment watch called the Swatch Bellamy Watch, available for at Olympic retail stores in Rio.

It could be an impactful promotional opportunity for wearable payment devices in general, a concept still unfamiliar to many in the mass market. And if the devices catch on, it will help establish Visa as an important brand in this emerging field.