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Visa will trial a new NFC-based payment wearable at the Olympic Games in Rio

By Shawn Knight
Jun 3, 2016
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  1. Visa has secured its spot as the exclusive financial services provider at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio (at official venues, anyway). The company will be taking advantage of the opportunity in a big way as it plans to deploy an NFC-enabled ring that’ll enable users to pay for goods and services without the hassle of pulling out a phone or wallet.

    Like other NFC-enabled devices, wearers will simply be able to tap the ring to any contactless payment terminal to complete a transaction.

    Visa says the wearable uses the NFC Ring design of McLear & Co. which includes a secure microchip from Gemalto and an embedded NFC-enabled antenna. It’ll use token technology courtesy of Visa Token Service which replaces sensitive payment information with a unique digital identifier in order to process payments without exposing account details.

    Unlike other payment wearables, Visa’s solution doesn’t need a battery and thus, doesn’t require charging. What’s more, it’s water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.

    Payment rings aren’t exactly a new idea as several have surfaced via crowdfunding sites although Visa is quick to point out that this is the first backed by a Visa account.

    More of a trial run (no pun intended) than anything, the Visa payment ring will be distributed to a group of 45 athletes. The financial services provider didn’t specify when or if the ring would be available to ordinary consumers nor did it even properly name the device.

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