Visa Inc. introduced the first payment wearable ring backed by a Visa account for use at the Rio 2016 Olympic games.
The Visa payment ring will be given to all Team Visa athletes in Rio. The Visa payment ring is NFC-enabled, allowing Team Visa athletes to make purchases by tapping their ring at any NFC-capable payment terminal.
Key features of the ring make this a unique payment experience. The ring uses the patented NFC Ring® design of McLear & Co. that includes a secure microchip made by Gemalto, with an embedded NFC-enabled antenna, enabling contactless payment capabilities. Unlike many other payment wearables, the ring does not require use of a battery or recharging. It is also water resistant to a depth of 50 meters, meaning Team Visa athlete and Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin can go from the pool to payment all with the tap of her ring.
In addition, at an event in New York City, Visa demonstrated an advanced prototype version of the Visa payment ring, which uses token technology provided through Visa Token Service, making it the first tokenized payment ring. Visa’s token technology replaces sensitive payment information, such as the 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier that can be used to process payments without exposing actual account details.
“Visa’s first payment ring puts smart payment technology right on the hands of our athletes for convenient and easy payments,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc.