Spending on foreign-issued Visa-branded payment cards jumped by nearly 40% during the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games from a year ago, suggesting large, sponsored events can help drive considerable increases in card spending, data from Visa Inc. reveal.

Visa has been a worldwide sponsor of the Olympic Games for 24 years and was the only payment card accepted at Youth Olympic Games competition venues.

Spending on Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards issued outside of Singapore during the games, which ran from Aug. 14 to 26, totaled S$154 million (US$113.6 million or 90 million euros), up 37.5% from the S$112 million spent during the same period in 2009, according to Visa.

During the games, holders of the 50,000 active Visa prepaid cards in the country loaded S$1 million to their card accounts, according to Visa.

Top spenders by country during the games were tourists from the United States, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Hong Kong and China, India and Thailand.

Visitors to Singapore who used Visa-branded payment cards spent more than S$11 million on the opening day of the games, double the S$5.5 million spent during the same day in 2009, Visa says.

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