Visa says international tourists visiting Beijing for the Olympics spent nearly US$10 million on Visa credit, debit and pre-paid cards on the opening day of the Games.
Visa says money spent by tourists on its cards on 8 August 2008 showed an increase of 11% over the same day last year.
The card network says its client financial institutions in China have installed more than 90,000 ATMs and signed up some 216,000 merchant locations or outlets throughout country to help prepare for the expected influx of international visitors.
On the opening day of the games, the biggest Visa spenders were from USA, followed by Japan, Hong Kong SAR, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Visitors from these five locations accounted for more than half of all Visa card spend on 8 August 2008, says the firm.
Commenting on the stats, Richard Chang, EVP and GM, Greater China and the Philippines, Visa says: "A safe and efficient payment system is important to the host country of the Olympic Games as visitors from all over the world expect to be able to make electronic payment as they do at home. To this end, Visa is committed to help China develop a world-class financial infrastructure, and is working closely with the government, tourism bodies and client financial institutions to build a robust electronic payment system in China."
Visa is the only accepted credit card in Olympic venues during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In separate Olympics news, Shanghai-based eftpos vendor Blue Bamboo has teamed with Chinese card network KuaiPay to develop a contactless payments system that is being used at Holland Heineken House (HHH), a meeting place for the Dutch community during the Beijing Olympics.
Customers can use HHH contactless prepaid cards throughout the venue on handheld POS terminals carried by staff.