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Have Visa simply sponsored the Games or bought them entirely?
Have Visa simply sponsored the Games or bought them entirely?
Campaigns » The Cash-is-Cool Olympics Campaign

The Cash-is-Cool Olympics Campaign

The cash-loving team here at Cash-is-Cool has become increasingly concerned at the growing levels of Visa card domination in all things Olympic, which has raised alarm bells over how cash-friendly next year’s Games will be…

Some Visa staff have referred to Visa’s aim for an entirely cashless Olympic Games in London in 2012. This flies in the face of the fact that over 90% of payments made around the world are made using cash.

Covering all bases, Visa will no doubt even be launching pre-paid cards for the duration of the Games for those who do not already have a Visa card. Since few visitors will use all the “credit” balances they buy on these cards, the residues could be another nice little earner for Visa, particularly if Olympic visitors don’t realise they can use the cards elsewhere after the Games.

All the various issues lead us to ask a crucial question: have Visa simply sponsored the Games or bought them entirely?

As the recent ticket purchasing fiasco has highlighted, Olympic fans who wanted to buy tickets to watch the events at the London 2012 Olympic Games on-line could only do so using Visa credit or debit cards. Not only has Visa excluded their card-issuing competitors from the ticket sales for the Games, Visa has also promoted its card as the only one that will be accepted at shops or cash machines at Olympic venues for the duration of the Games.

Believe it or not, it doesn’t end there, and the problem is not really that Visa is excluding competitors at the Olympic Games (that is all part and parcel of modern day sponsorship deals it seems). What really grinds our gears is that Visa seems to be making it as tricky as possible to use cash too. Whilst the government put the kibosh on Visa’s stated aim to make the Olympics entirely cashless, Visa has talked about it in this way since 2008 ( and is not going out of its way to correct the impression that a cashless Olympics is still a possibility.

Not a team to take this sort of impingement on personal freedom lying down, Cash-is-Cool has decided to mount a cash-friendly campaign. We want to ensure that all those attending the Games, from over 200 countries worldwide, really do find cash easy to use at all Olympic venues. We will be seeking the support of other organisations sympathetic to maintaining the public’s right to choose cash as their primary payment method. However, the most important supporter we have is YOU and we would like all visitors to Cash-is-Cool to post their opinions related to Visa’s Olympic take-over and our campaign for a cash-friendly 2012. Don’t be afraid to get involved and share your thoughts. The most thoughtful and creative opinion or suggestion will be in with a chance of winning £250!

Thursday, 12th May 2011

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