Today I would like to take a look at the Mobile Payments role in the London 2012 Olympics. Payment: Visa, official supplier of the Olympics, pushed for M-commerce technology as convenient payment option safe for consumers during the London Games. Jim McCarthy, head of Visa Inc., said “this summer, we will demonstrate the future of payments in London-a future where most consumers will rely on mobile devices, and Tablet PCS to manage their daily lives.”
As a part of the Olympics Visa push for the future marketing of M-commerce, a Samsung Galaxy S III limited edition was provided to some visa sponsored athletes and those lucky enough to be chosen for the test run. The device features an Olympic-branded version of the mobile payment application of Visa, Visa. To shop, consumers simply need to select the Visa icon on your device Samsung and hold the phone in a contactless payment terminal to pay.
It looked as if he had seen all the pieces in place for this successful Olympic Games Mobile payments; a dominant payment network, including Visa ATM only positioned during the games, NFC-enabled suppliers able to take mobile payments and spectators with smart phones that could pay via mobile phone. The only problem was competing against a veteran of every Olympic Games, cash.
During the men’s football match in Britain against the United Arab Emirates, viewers were unable to pay for food and beverages at Wembley Stadium with a credit card or mobile payment terminal after it went down. Many ticket holders described lines subsequently built up as ridiculous and said the lack of ATMs in West London land added to the problem.
A visa spokesman was quick to point the finger at Wembley officials placed the blame firmly on the network infrastructure of the stadium saying “we understand that Wembley systems failed and then they were only accepting cash at the food and drink kiosks.”
Twitter was bombarded with thousands of angry messages from those who have found it unacceptable that he couldn’t eat. This was due to the fact that the only way to pay was with old-fashioned cash and coins, a means of coupon payments that Visa wanted to push its mobile payment application.
In these games, mobile payments did not expand as much as saw had anticipated. Add to that the collapse of the entire network to Wembley Stadium and it would seem that the effort was a flop at the Olympics this year. Silver lining, however, is that m-commerce have had a huge presence at the games. And the uproar caused by the failure of the network seems to show that we are rapidly moving away from cash as a society. A few years ago, credit card terminals, getting off at the Olympics could not have been a great story, not to mention a topic trend on Twitter. It seems that for the Olympic Games in London, cash took the gold medal again in payments, but with the recent doubling of mobile payment users here in the US and rising globally; cash may soon be unseated.