July 26, 2012

Many companies have been using the games of the XXX Olympiad as a vehicle to advertise new products or rebrand old ones. The financial services industry is no exception, with San Francisco-based Visa showing off some of its latest payments innovations at the games.

The card scheme has been showing off some of its payments products for mobile phone and chip-enabled payment cards. These include an Olympic-branded version of Visa's mobile payment app Paywave, which is installed in a limited edition of the Samsung GALAXY S III -- the "official Olympic Games phone" -- and demos of its contactless payments card, which can be accepted at over 3,000 point of sale locations at Olympic venues.

Visa is also debuting its newest payment products – Visa Mobile Prepaid – a mobile-based product designed to provide consumers in developing countries with a payment account.

Visa is of course, one of many companies working on new and forward thinking payment innovations. From telecomm-backed international payment networks, and the rise of NFC payments andmobile wallets consumers are well on their way to having as many payment choices as there are Olympic sports. The banking industry, while also offering many innovative payments products of its own, must be vigilant to not cede this space to other competitors.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...