Visa and Samsung Partner to Launch London ’12 Contactless Payments

April 1, 2011

Samsung and Visa, official sponsors of the Olympic Games, announced yesterday, March 31, plans to join forces at London 2012 to make it easier for customers to make contactless payments using their mobile telephones.

The implementation of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology will enable customers to make payments by simply selecting the Visa mobile contactless application, choosing pay and holding the phone in front of a contactless reader at the point of purchase.

Visa is working with banks and retailers worldwide to roll-out acceptance for Visa contactless cards, as well as mobile phones, as part of an industry wide roll-out of contactless technology. 

Peter Ayliffe, the chief executive of Visa Europe, stated: “Visa, like Samsung, shares the vision of leveraging our Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsorship to leave a lasting legacy in the market for banks, retailers, mobile operators and consumers.

“We are not only breaking new ground for Olympic partnerships, we are committed to enabling consumers to connect with mobile and contactless payments technology for 2012 and beyond.

“We look forward to working with financial institutions and mobile operators alongside Samsung to make this initiative a success.”

There are already more than 60,000 locations where contactless payments are accepted during London 2012, and contactless and electronic card payments will be available in the run-up to and during the Games.

A Visa-enabled SIM card will be required for use with the device in order to make purchases at retailers who have the contactless payment system.

Mariano Dima, the executive vice-president of marketing and payment solutions at Visa Europe, added: “Innovation is a key business driver for Visa and mobile payments are one of the main areas we’re focusing on.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games enables us to accelerate our business goals and this partnership plays a large role in achieving them.”

Samsung has demonstrated its leadership in NFC-enabled phone technology since it launched one of the first commercial NFC phones in France last year and the President and chief executive of Samsung Electronics Europe, Seokpil Kim said: “As a pioneer in mobile technology, Samsung is striving for long term change in the way we use mobile payments.

“In London next year, we regard the greatest show on earth as the perfect opportunity to showcase how this technology can make a positive difference to people’s lives – enabling them to feel closer to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

“This mobile payment device will be available in the UK initially, and we plan to expand the service to other countries in Europe and around the world where contactless payment facilities are available in the near future.”

Gyehyun Kwon, the vice-president and head of of Worldwide Sports Marketing at Samsung Electronics added: “This marks the very first partnership between two Worldwide Olympic Partners of the London 2012 Games. 

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Visa to make the Olympic Games more accessible and convenient for everyone. 

“This fits extremely well with our ambition to enable more people to participate in the Games through our smart technology.”