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Visa Brings Digital Payments to Rio 2016 Olympic Games as 1.2 Million Travelers Are Expected in Brazil


Visa (NYSE:V) today celebrated the 100 day milestone to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In its 30th year as the exclusive payment provider of the Olympic Games, Visa is creating and managing the entire payment system infrastructure and network throughout all venues including stadiums, press centers, point-of-sale (POS), the Olympic Village and Olympic Superstores. This year Visa will implement 4,000 POS terminals across key Olympic venues, as well as 11 ATMs in partnership with Bradesco.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Olympic Games: Travel & Spend (Graphic: Business Wire)

Olympic Games: Travel & Spend (Graphic: Business Wire)

Visa also extends the value of its sponsorship to Olympic Games host cities, facilitating the development and advancement of payment infrastructure in those markets. This year Visa will introduce acceptance of new technologies and innovation throughout Rio, focusing on new ways to pay including payment wearables and mobile phones – letting fans swipe, tap, dip or click to pay in Rio.

“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 vice president 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.”

Olympic Games Travel Forecast

Visa projects that Brazil will host an estimated 400,000-500,000 international visitors during the month of August, based on trends observed in recent summer editions of the Olympics. Visa data points to 2016 inbound travel to Brazil increasing by an estimated 1.2 million travelers for the year, compared to the 2010-2015 average, primarily due to preparations for the Olympics Games.

The largest share of travelers to Brazil are forecast to come from Latin America and the Caribbean region (45 percent of all international travelers), followed by Europe (30 percent) and North America (15 percent).

Based on historical data from past Olympic Games, Brazil can expect to see an increase in per traveler spending. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, spending averaged $1,830 per traveler1, which was twice as much per visit than regular tourists to the United Kingdom in 2012.

“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.”

Travel Tips for Fans Visiting Rio

Visa is the only card accepted at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues and for any official Rio 2016 related transactions. To help fans attending the Olympic Games, Visa has released a series of recommended travel tips, directing cardholders to:

  • Notify their issuing bank or financial institution of potential travel plans, including the fact that they will be using Visa debit, credit or prepaid cards abroad to avoid any issues while traveling. Issuing banks can also provide information about travel-related benefits for Visa account holders.
  • 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.

About Visa Inc.: Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) 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 electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured 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, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.

1 Overseas Travel and Tourism - Monthly Release, August 2012; UK Office for National Statistics

Contact information

Visa Inc.
Andy Gerlt, +1-415-805-5153
Sheerin Salimi, +1-415-601-1583

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