Visa introduces NFC-enabled payment ring for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Visa payment ringSome 45 athletes heading to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic games will be able to purchase things simply by waving their hand. The Visa payment ring is an NFC-enabled payment ring that will eliminate the need for a physical card or even smartphone, relying instead on a simple hand gesture.

“Visa’s first payment ring puts smart payment technology right on the hands of our athletes for convenient and easy payments,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc. “This ring is the latest example of how Visa is continuously innovating to deliver on its goal of universal acceptance at the games and across the world.”

The Visa payment ring comes with a secure Gemalto microchip and an embedded antenna. It uses Visa’s token technology to replace sensitive information like a card number with a unique digital identifier that is used to process payments without containing any personal information. The ceramic ring is also water resistant to 50 metres and does not require a battery.

Visa is piloting the new technology with the Team Visa athletes during the Olympics. The rings will not be available to the general public. There is no word on when Visa could expand availability of the rings to a wider audience.

Visa is the exclusive payment provider of the Olympic Games. Some 4,000 NFC-enabled POS terminals will be deployed across Olympic venues, accepting only Visa for credit card payments.

Source : Visa