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Olympic Athletes To Sport Visa’s New Payment Ring In Rio

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Engadget: Visa is introducing a new ring at the Olympic Games in Rio that will let people pay for things by waving their hand — no phone, wallet, or battery is needed. The ring, which has yet to be named, features a secure microchip from Gemalto, and an embedded antenna. It is crafted of black or white ceramic, as metal would interfere with the antenna. There will be 20 sizes available during its trial run where it will be available exclusively for employees and partners, as well as the 45 athletes sponsored by Visa. The athletes inspired the creation of the ring, as wallets and typical wearables can be an annoyance to them when they’re constantly changing uniforms. The ring is even fit for Olympic swimmers, as it is water resistant up to 50 meters. It never needs to be charged since it draws a tiny amount of power from the payment terminal and transmits far less data than Apple Pay or Android Pay. As for security, the ring can be deactivated from a smartphone, and thanks to tokenization, sensitive data is replaced by a digital identifier that can be used to process payments, so thieves won’t be able to use it. There has been some controversy surrounding the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Some doctors have warned that the games could spark a “full-blow public health disaster” with the spread of the Zika virus.


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