Fans win with Visa at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

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Visa, the Official Payment Services Partner of FIFA, today announced its final results for the FIFA World Cup, showcasing the positive impact of the tournament throughout the 64 matches played across Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

Overall, contactless payment technology – including payments made using contactless cards, mobile devices or wearables – took centre circle, increasing in the host cities during the duration of the tournament.  During the FIFA World Cup, contactless payments accounted for 45 percent of all Visa purchases in the 11 host cities. Fans from Poland made the most of the contactless purchasing options in-stadium, making 74 percent of Visa transactions using contactless technology.

“Being the exclusive payment services partner at the FIFA World Cup has a demonstrable impact on Visa’s business and brand,” said Lynne Biggar, chief marketing and communications officer, Visa Inc. “At the tournament, we debuted innovative payment technologies that made the fan experience better and drove our global priorities.  Meanwhile, among the billions of fans who watched on screens around the world, we were able to drive Visa brand preference through a diverse, high-impact multi-channel media campaign.”

Foreign tourists outspend Russian fans

Visa data illustrates the economic boost that the FIFA World Cup™ provides for its host country.  Throughout the tournament, international travellers outspent Russian locals at the matches: specifically, international Visa cardholders spent 15% more in total in-stadium than Russian cardholders.  The increase of international traveler spend positively impacted tourism-related categories, with the biggest three merchant categories being lodging, airlines and restaurants.

In the end, attendees of the final match were the biggest spenders of all: the France vs. Croatia match on July 15 had the highest payment volume of the 64 matches.

Visa extends its brand through co-ordinated partner campaigns

The FIFA World Cup presents an unmatched opportunity to deepen partnerships, highlight Visa’s payment innovation and connect clients and consumers to the evolving portfolio of Visa offerings. In Russia, Visa curated unforgettable experiences for more than 250 clients and 3,000 consumers who traveled from over a hundred different countries.  In 103 markets around the world, Visa partnered with more than 500 issuers and 40 merchants in 24 languages on a variety of FIFA-related activities, whether to run custom marketing programs, host in-market viewing parties or utilize Visa’s exclusive marketing campaign assets to drive mutual business priorities 

Visa reaches fans at home

According to FIFA data, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia saw record-breaking global viewership, with an estimated three billion fans tuning in for some of the tournament this summer. FIFA data also shows that 22 percent of viewers watched the tournament digitally, through mobile or desktop, or through out-of-home viewing. In fact, the tournament is on track to be the most-viewed sporting event ever on digital platforms, setting streaming records in major markets including China, France, United Kingdom and United States.

Visa built brand equity among this global, multi-channel audience by having the Visa logo on field boards for more than seven hours on broadcast during the 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.  The company’s digital-first marketing approach was designed to reach fans no matter where they watched, through a multi-channel global campaign featuring international football superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimović, who helped fans defeat fear of missing out (FOMO) this summer. Visa’s FIFA World Cup campaign, “Visa’s Ultimate FIFA World Cup FOMO” documented Zlatan’s journey to the tournament and his return to the FIFA World Cup stage, highlighting the ease of contactless payment technology throughout his adventure.

“Visa brought me to Russia to defeat FIFA World Cup FOMO and to check out the cool payment technology,” said Zlatan Ibrahimović, star athlete and FIFA World Cup legend. “Together, Visa and Zlatan made sure fans were the real winners of the FIFA World Cup.”

Cashless from kick-off to the final match

For the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Visa was the exclusive payment service in all stadiums where payment cards were accepted. In-stadium, fans could pay with contactless Visa credit and debit cards and mobile payment services at the more than 3,500 point-of-sale terminals and 1,000 mobile concessionaires that were equipped with the latest in payment innovation. Visa also provided fans in Russia innovations for fast, easy and cash-free payment experiences, including the ability to purchase 6,500 payment rings, 30,000 payment bands and commemorative contactless Visa prepaid cards. Four years ago, many of these payment innovations did not exist and Visa looks forward to seeing how payments evolve by 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.