The Everywhere Lounge at the Windsor Atlantica Hotel on Rio’s famed Copacabana beach offered Visa guests a respite from the excitement of the Olympic Games, the chance to grab a meal, view customized content on a 60-foot LED screen and the chance to maybe even rub shoulders with an Olympic gold medalist or two.
The Lounge also showcased the future of payment technology with interactive demos of Visa’s contactless payment system, including a self-service retail shop where guests could experience what it’s like to purchase a product without once interacting with a fellow human being.
“It’s an all-immersive environment where people can spend time with us, learn about our business and have a lot of fun,” says Jenny Stahl, global hospitality events manager at Visa. “We want to be relevant and create experiences that clients and consumers from around the globe wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.”
Visa also wants to drive transactions. An Olympic sponsor since 1986 and the exclusive payment provider of the Games, the company set up 4,000 point-of-sale terminals that were NFC-enabled to accept payments from the rings, bracelets and watches it distributed pre-loaded with currency to Team Visa athletes, clients, VIPs, media and employees who tested the technology in Brazil.
Two demos in the Everywhere Lounge, which was set up on the second floor of the hotel and available to the 400 clients Visa hosted from banks around the world, helped bring the payment technology to life. Inside the Flip Flop shop guests could grab a shopping bag and pick out their flip flops, then walk through a futuristic-looking metal detector that read the style and price of the shoes inside their bag. Then they stepped up to a contactless terminal, tapped their payment ring to pay for their purchase and, boom, they were done. No small talk with a clerk necessary. A second demo allowed guests to donate to Associacao Instituto Unitas, a Visa charity partner that works to improve conditions in the Mare favela, one of Rio’s poorer neighborhoods. Agency: GMR, Chicago.