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Visa runs into criticism over Olympic ATM plans

01 June 2012  |  9249 views  |  1 ATM

Visa has run into hot water again over its controversial Olympics sponsorship deal after it emerged that the card scheme has insisted on replacing 27 ATMS at various Olympic sites with just eight of its own machines.

Ron Delnevo, managing director of independent ATM operator Bank Machine and a member of the UK Payments Council, says Visa's move to shut down machines which accept cards from rival brands would result in a "cash-starved" games.

Visa confirms that existing ATMs at nine locations hosting Olympic events have been switched off and supplanted by eight new machines which will only accept Visa cards.

The card scheme lamely contends that visitors without Visa cards can still bring cash into the sites. It also points out that 115 million Visa cards are in circulation in the UK, meaning there is a "high probability" that most visitors will have access to one of its cards.

Visa's sponsorship deal caused a furore last year when it emerged that people wanting to buy tickets for the Games could only do so if they were in possession of a Visa debit, credit or pre-paid card. There was more trouble for Visa when the tickets eventually went on sale in March last year but applications from users whose cards expired before August 2012 were refused.

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 04 June, 2012, 13:40

If Visa is taking such obviously-controversial steps, it'd appear that it has adequate coverage in its sponsorship contract to do so. In that case, a fair share of the blame for such inconveniences must go the organizers as well. Would be interesting to know the outcome of the last two furores related to ticket booking and card expiration date. 

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