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


Visa Marks 100 Days to Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies: Readies New Payment Technology Across Rio

Sydney - Visa 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.

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 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.

Australian travellers were the third highest spenders at the London Olympics, after the United States and France. These three countries plus Canada and the Netherlands collectively accounted for nearly half of the total tourist spend during the Games2.

“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.”

Team Visa athletes join Olympics campaign
Visa is supporting more than 40 individual athletes and national teams from over 20 countries in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Local members of Team Visa include:

  • Australia’s Sally Pearson, hurdler and Commonwealth Games and London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist
  • New Zealand’s Valerie Adams, four-time world champion and two-time shot put Olympic gold medallist

As excitement builds around the world for the Olympics, Team Visa athletes will feature in marketing campaigns over the coming months. Sally Pearson appears in a Visa Checkout campaign that is running across digital and social media channels in Australia. The campaign highlights Visa Checkout as the easier way to pay online and with mobile and connected devices. Across the Tasman, Valerie Adams fronts a campaign encouraging Kiwis to use Visa payWave. Both the Australian and New Zealand campaigns offer consumers a chance to win a trip to the Olympic Games.

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.
  • Set up automatic bill pay for their credit cards for peace-of-mind while traveling abroad.
  • Look for the Visa or PLUS logo at point-of-sale to ensure international payment cards are accepted.


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


About Visa

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 @VisaNewsAU.

Media contact:
Jillian Friant
02 9253 8811
0450 739 035
[email protected]