Visa, FIFA to make Confederations Cup a cashless experience

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Visa wants to make it a whole lot easier to pay for things at the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup. The company announced a partnership that will see FIFA’s official Confederations Cup stadiums getting an upgrade to the latest and greatest payment methods — including the implementation of 1,600 payment terminals and 120 mobile concessionaires.

The goal here is to enable a completely cash-free experience — though obviously by making it easier to pay, fans are more likely to buy things like drinks and souvenirs too.

The upgrades will enable a number of changes to how you can pay at soccer matches, including Visa commemorative cards, contactless cards, and mobile payments through the new NFC-enabled payment terminals. On top of that, Visa is also working with the Russian Alfa-Bank, which is the official bank of this year’s Confederation Cup. That partnership will see the launch of a Visa NFC-based payment band, which is reloadable by the customer — so you can use a wearable band to pay for things. That seems a little pointless for those that already have an Apple Pay or Android Pay-enabled phone, but for those that don’t, it might be useful.

“We are thrilled to bring fans some of the most innovative payment experiences from around the world, enabling them to go cashless at the tournament,” said Ekaterina Petelina, country manager, Visa Russia, in a blog post. “We understand that fans are there for the action on the field and that they value a simple payment experience that gets them back to their seats quickly so they can focus on the match.”

While Visa is taking the credit for the rollout, the fact is that we are moving more toward a cashless world and, soon enough, having to carry around cash will be a thing of the past. While user adoption of systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay could be quicker, slowly but surely, the systems are growing and spreading around the world.