Olympics opening day sees 46% increase in card spending
The opening day of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver saw a 46% increase in card spending in the area to C$5.2m, up from C$3.6m on the same day last year, according to figures from official Olympics sponsor Visa.
The card network says the same trend held two years ago at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, with the Olympic year showing an 11% increase over the same day the previous year.
Visa has been an Olympic Games sponsor for 24 years, and is the only card accepted at the ATMs and over 800 POS terminals at Olympic venues.
Top spenders by country
If spending were an Olympic event, the US would definitely get gold, and in this case it seems that being close to home turf definitely gives a big advantage. The US drove the increase in Visa spending, racking up $2.3m of the $5.2m total.
The second biggest spender was China, with $395,000, and the bronze went to the United Kingdom, who logged $290,000 on the opening day (February 12).
Visa is the only card accepted at the Winter Games. One deal struck between Visa and Coke, another official Olympic sponsor, has equipped 270 vending machines throughout the Olympic Village with Visa PayWave technology for contactless payment purchases.