Some of the athletes heading to the Olympic Games in Rio this summer will be sporting a high-tech accessory.
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Visa is equipping athletes it sponsors with a payment ring that will allow them to make purchases around town. The 45 members of Team Visa, which include Olympic and Paralympic athletes, will test the wearable in Brazil, making payments by tapping the ring on any NFC-enabled payment terminal.
The ring runs a Gemalto microchip and includes an embedded NFC-enabled antenna. It does not need to be recharged and is water-resistant. Visa said it's also working on an advanced version that uses token technology, which lets it replace sensitive data, like the traditional the 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier.
In Rio, athletes will have plenty of opportunity to try out the ring in the Olympic Village, as Visa is the exclusive payment provider there and plans to have about 4,000 NFC-equipped points of sale. The company is "creating and managing the entire payment system infrastructure and network throughout all venues including stadiums, press centers, point-of-sale (POS), the
"Visa's first payment ring puts smart payment technology right on the hands of our athletes for convenient and easy payments," said