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Visa promises payment innovation as part of Olympic deal

Visa has said it will offer improved and integrated payments for Olympic and Paralympic Games fans on site and at home, following the announcement it has extended its sponsorship of the Games.

This summer the global payments company renewed its partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through to 2032 – and, a few months on, it has said it will use its innovation centres to bring new experiences to sports fans.

The company said it will leverage its transit, retail and conversational commerce expertise to propose “forward-looking payment experiences for Olympic Games fans”, including remote, mobile ticket purchasing, in-seat ordering and new ways to pay at retail such as making a purchase through viewers' television.

IOC president Thomas Bach noted: “As we introduce innovations that help improve fan experiences both on site and at home, we know that no matter where in the world the Olympics take us, Visa is the right partner to help us deliver them.”

Visa has been the exclusive payment sponsor of the Olympics for over 30 years now, but at an event in Beijing on Friday the company shared blueprints for new payment methods which might be seen at future Games. Remote digital ticket purchasing, biometric authentication for stadium entry, smarter and streamlined retail shopping, and 'in-home couch commerce' using augmented reality were showcased.

On stage at the Beijing event, Ryan McInerney, president of Visa, said: “Our global innovation centres are immersed in solving every day consumer challenges and discovering improved commerce experiences, that can be shared and scaled globally.

“Planning for the upcoming Olympic Games helps Visa develop industry leading payments solutions that will redefine fan experiences and leave a legacy of improved digital commerce everywhere.”

The next Olympic and Paralympic Games take place in Tokyo in the summer of 2020.