Olympic venues face further payment problems

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Visitors to the 2012 London Olympic Games will need to review their cash options before heading to any of the venues as only Visa cards or cash is an accepted form of payment.

Ticketholders have been warned against using other credit cards as Olympic venues will not accept any other type of card, including Mastercard, American Express compare credit cardand Maestro.

Visa is a global sponsor of the 2012 Games and is the only brand of card that is accepted at all Olympic venues. Those with alternative cards will have to use cash instead.

Not only are visitors restricted by what card type they can use, but they are also restricted as to when and where they can get cash. Further payment problems have emerged since it was revealed there are only eight cash machines to accommodate the 11 million expected spectators.

Some popular Olympic venues such as Earls Court, Wimbledon, Greenwich Park and Wembley don’t have a single ATM.

As part of the agreement with Visa, 27 rival ATM machines have been removed or covered at Olympic venues, meaning there are only eight cash machines that are fully operational.

A Visa spokesperson said; "Visa installs thousands of Point-of-Sale devices and a dedicated ATM network at every Olympic Games. There were no cash machines at the Olympic Park as it was built, so we have installed a number of temporary ATM machines.”

This is not the first payment issue that has occurred since the start of the Olympics. Thousands of card payments were refused at Wembley last week after the tills stopped working. Visa claims that the decision to not accept any card payments was made by Wembley management.

In addition to this, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has raised concerns about using prepaid cards during the Olympic Games as there is little protection for the cardholder if the card is lost or stolen. Credit card criminals might be operating at the event.

“Treat cards bought over the counter without an ID check as cash - losing one will mean losing any money loaded on there”, the FSA says.

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