Otto Karikoski/ Wikimedia Common

Eurovision Song Contest launches contactless payments in Stockholm

Eurovision Song Contest sponsor Visa Europe equips visitors with contactless payment wristbands backed by Gemalto’s Allynis events platform

Eurovision Song Contest sponsor Visa Europe is to provide visitors to the 2016 contest in Stockholm with contactless payment wristbands for the first time.

The wristbands will be available for purchase at the Eurovision Village – the main public festival area in Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården – and will be valid at any Visa contactless point-of-sale terminal in the world until the end of October 2016.

The Eurovision Song Contest expects to attract thousands of visitors ahead of this year’s grand finale at the Globe Arena on 14 May 2016, which will play out in front of a global TV audience of 200 million.

“At this year’s event, Visa is creating a contactless payments experience for fans and visitors of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016,” said Christina Lind, Sweden country manager at Visa Europe.

“Together with Gemalto, we are taking a big step into the future of payments and the launch of contactless in Sweden.”

Personalisation, packaging and fulfilment of the wristbands is being supported by mobile and digital security specialist Gemalto, underpinned by its Allynis Smart Event Platform for pre-paid payments and event management.

The Allynis platform can be used with any payment form factor, such as wearables or mobile near field communications (NFC), and allows Visa to manage payment, data and access rights, alongside a portfolio of white-label applications.

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Besides showcasing contactless payments and enabling visitors to Stockholm to shop without carrying cash or credit cards, Gemalto has also set up a website to enable access to real-time account information.

It will support a range of features alongside mobile payments, including access management to Eurovision venues and hospitality areas.

Gemalto said it would “improve and secure” the overall experience of visitors, while allowing Visa and Eurovision to implement intelligent communications, marketing, and loyalty schemes.

“The live event ecosystem is ideally suited to an extended NFC experience,” said Philippe Cambriel, president of Europe, Mediterranean and CIS at Gemalto.

“Our end-to-end Smart Event service makes it easy to look beyond contactless payments and embrace additional functions, such as access, visitor entitlements and data management.”

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