Visa Pushes Payment Rings Beyond the Olympics

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The Near Field Communication (NFC) payment rings Visa launched at the Rio Olympics earlier this year are now available to the general public.

The payments giant had installed more than 4,000 NFC-enabled payment terminals in the Olympic Village and in nearby stores earlier this summer and distributed tokenized payment rings to 45 athletes competing for Team Visa. The rings will soon be available to order for about $53 from manufacturer NFC Ring for a December ship date, according to Engadget.

The Visa NFC ring has a built-in secure chip manufactured by Gemalto and uses the Visa Token Service. It's also water-resistant and requires no battery or charging.

A rival product by Kerv has entered its production phase with Visa and Mastercard on board, following a successful Kickstarter campaign completed last year. Fitbit, one of the earliest wearables providers whose activity tracker was upstaged by the Apple Watch launch, has also acquired the assets of Coin, a payments company that MasterCard said it’s still backing for its own array of wearables.

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